“Running a Family Farm is more than Rock n Roll Music”. So tell us, how is it to run a farm like yours and how do you conciliate that with your band (rehearsals, writing, concerts, etc).
This because as farmers ourselves, we can confirm that touring and playing in front of thousands of people is much easier than dealing with Mother Nature's anger due to climate change as well as with all factory farms and agro-industry pressure added to the permanent green-washing.
“Wolfs At The Door” and "Saving The Geese" tells the story of the struggle with a duck factory near your farm in the face of a huge pandemic of bird flu, then a civil disobedience against the French State who wanted to kill healthy animals as "prevention, including yours. Tell us more about this story and how’s the outcome of that so far?
Indeed, this song deals with this civil disobedience moving our geese from the farm to a safer place to save them from the death during a “bird moving prohibited” period. We had to do that at that time because there is now a factory duck farm 300m away from the farm even though we tried to convinced this factory not to settle there as we were here. They haven’t given a shit about what we told them so we did not want to run the risk that any of our geese be in the 3km bird prevention killing radius if any of the ducks from the factory farm gets the bird flue. The local vets and the French bird flue specialist: professor JL. Guerin (from Toulouse Vets school) came to the farm and gave us the right to raise our geese there outside which protects us legally from the factory farm. We were then good for this 1st year of bird flue pandemic. The following year this happened again, this time we decided not to move the geese but to fight if anything arises. The factory farm nearby got its ducks sick and then been killed whereas all was good here at the farm. We don’t feel very secured though because now the virus is getting worse and worse and is spread by air so our geese are again unsecured. We told the vets that if something happens we will not kill our geese as we are one of the rare farmers still having a local goose race alive. We have to save the DNA of this goose race: the Grey Goose of les Landes. It’s certainly also our agro ecologic system that make them resistant.
We can say that you’re the punks around!
Well, indeed, you could call us punks as we have the same way of working, very DIY however we don’t feel like punks. More like rock farmers.
How’s the music scene in your region?
The music scene here in les Landes is on the fiesta/party side, we mean there are a lot of “bandas” (group of horns and percussion) traditionally played by farmers who play mainly in each city party from April until end of September. Rock, Blues are not in the French nor Gascon culture. We’ve been attracted by the Rock and the Blues listening to American bands from this area.
You run your own record company as well. Why this decision? What are the biggest difficulties running the releases this way?
We run our own record company as well as booking agency, management because we learned through the years how to handle and how works this business. We’ve been in the music business for more than 20 years now. The main difficulties are that it’s a lot of work, especially when you are an international band releasing albums worldwide. It means managing 20 distro/promo teams worldwide as well as booking tours, etc. However controlling all aspects of your business makes you be free. That is priceless and our way of living, that’s why we also handle our organic farm to be self-sufficient.
We’ve seen recently many mainstream tours and festivals being announced with shocking prices and even more, with totally shocking ticketing commissions. Sometimes with the agencies themselves being owners of the ticketing platform. How do you see the live music industry these days and the way it's being run?
Yes, we know that the mainstream business is run like that, that prices go higher and higher, that mainstream artists ask for more and more money although people who go to concerts and/or buy music are not richer. Controlling the whole chain of the business allows you to control all that, that’s what we do this way.
What do you think bands and crowds can do about this?
As said, bands could take care of their own business more and stop asking for too much, be closer to the actual economy of their music. Unfortunately we’re not sure a lot of bands want to run their business because it ‘s too much of work and a lot of knowledge to have and also not being as rich as the mainstream path but we do prefer like this. The crowds have it’s own part to play: don’t go to very expensive tickets shows.
Last summer you toured again with Clutch, this time for a European Tour. How was the response from the crowd?
We had the chance to open for our dear friends Clutch last summer on some Euro gigs. It was the third time we opened for them because we get along with together (humanly and musically wise) and their fans really got into our music and really liked it as well as those gigs were super billing nights according to the crowd. We hope we’ll be able to share the stage again sometimes.
The Inspector Cluzo live at Hellfest 2022
Last year you played at Hellfest’s main stage. How was the experience?
That was a challenge for us to play this metal heads festivals as we are more a rock/blues band. However as Gascons, we like those challenges and show to metal heads that it’s possible to play a real rock show at the Hellfest main stage with only two people (drums and guitar/vocals) on stage playing live music. No tracks no computer behind. The crowd loved it, so job’s done. They were 55000 people in front of us... crazy!
This year you’re back at festivals and you’ll play Resurrection Fest, for example. This time you’ll play in a thematic stage. How do you adapt your live shows between huge or smaller stages?
Yes we’re confirmed at Resurrection festival this year. We are happy to come and play there in Galicia. We don’t know about the stage size yet but anyway we’ll play our set as usual with our heats and guts. We’ll just adapt the set list according to the set length we’re allowed to play. We are used to play on the dynamics of the music so we can fit either big or small stages and we are confident on the strength of our songs as well as we sing what we actually live at the farm.
Do you have plans for a tour of your own with this new record? Hopefully returning to Portugal as well.
We do have our own tour this year because it’s important to build your own crowd if you want to last through the years. We’ll first start with 15 gigs in France then open for Eels in the UK, Benelux, Germany, Austria and Hungary which will increase our profile and hopefully increase our number of fans in those countries as we’ll play prestigious big venues. We think Eels fans can appreciate our music too.
To finish, our traditional question. Which new records have you been listening to these days?
We listened to Neil Young last record “World Records” as we are Neil Young fans and admire his way of handling his career. We also listen to Chris Stapleton “From a Room vol 2” produced by our producer as well Vance Powell. We listened to The Eels last album “Extreme Witchcraft” and many more as we like listening to new as well as old music from a lot of different styles as far as it’s organic music from the SOUL.