We’re taking a slight change in direction for Day 13 of the 2022 Essential Advent Calendar. Our door opens on The Inspector Cluzo, a pair of farmers from the Gascony region in France, who are also a long-established rock-blues duo, who began in 2008. Their latest single, ‘Swallows’, which is accompanied by a stunning aminated single, comes from their upcoming ninth studio album, ‘Horizon’, set for release on January 27, 2023.
Comprising Laurent on guitar and lead vocals, and Mathieu on drums, the pair met when they were both studying Physics in Mont de Marsan. They’ve released 8 albums so far, and are totally 100% self-financed, family based and organised. They’re also 100% DIY.
The Inspector Cluzo have a reputation for being one of the world’s most prolific touring bands, having played more than 1200 shows in 67 countries. They’ve played festivals such as Fuji Rock festival (Japan), Pentaport Festival (South Korea), Lollapalooza (Brazil &Chile), Download (UK), Paléo Festival (Switzerland), Oppikopi (South Africa), Blues Fest (Australia), Shaky Knees Fest (USA), Hell Fest (France). The Inspector Cluzo completed sold out USA support tours with Clutch and Eels in 2019, as well as a maiden US headline tour. In the summer of 2022 The Inspector Cluzo played extensively on prestigious stages across Europe, including the widely renowned Hellfest Festival, where they gathered a crowd of 50,000 fans.
Despite all that, the main activity of The Inspector Cluzo is farming. They are organic professional farmers, running a 15 hectare family farm called “LOU CASSE” (“the oak” in Gascon language) in Gascony, producing organic wheat and organic corn with their own free seeds.
No GMO, no hybrids seeds, no chemicals or pesticides are used. They belong to a new generation of farmers that are into an Agro-Ecologic system challenging and fighting climate change for the new generations.
The video for ‘Swallows’, drawn by Cecilia Pepper and animated by Maxime Cazaux, perfectly embodies the spirit of this track. ‘Swallows’ is more than a ballad, it brings to the frontline crucial issues we all face, with rock elegance, unbearable sadness and profound anger.
The Inspector Cluzo comments:
“At Lou Casse organic farm, we’re fortunate enough to see migratory birds such as swallows building their nest in the old barn. Pesticides used worldwide make it hard for swallows to find food because bugs are being killed in the fields. Furthermore, the proliferation of urban zones prevents them to find proper shelter to raise their young. We can see them disappearing little by little. It’s ironic to know that the use of pesticides is said to “feed people” – most food on Earth is made using chemical agriculture techniques – whereas it destroys every little life around it.
We decided to write a song about the swallows not only because they are so beautiful spinning around in the sky or flying over our organic wheat and corn fields to collect bugs to feed their young, but also to point out that farming is possible without destroying the world. Though it’ll be a long shot and a long fight before modern society understands this.
At Lou Casse, we’ve been trying out this agro-ecology system for more than 10 years now and are so fortunate to welcome swallows every year… “
The band’s upcoming 9th album, ‘Horizon’, follows on from their critically acclaimed 2018 studio release, ‘We The People Of The Soil’ and the live album ‘Brothers In Ideals – We The People Of The Soil Unplugged’, from 2020.
Recorded in three weeks, ‘Horizon’ was produced by Grammy Award winner Vance Powell, and is the deepest and truest album The Inspector Cluzo have written to date.
Every song shares and takes inspiration from real life events and experiences. For example, ‘Wolfs At The Door’, tells the story of the struggle the two farmers experienced when standing up against a duck factory located in front of their farm and the fight they had to put up when faced with a massive bird flu pandemic. ‘Saving The Geese‘ describes the civil disobedience against the French State and the big local agro-industries corporations that wanted to kill the band’s healthy animals as “prevention”. ‘Shenanigans’ re-evokes the great times the band spent in Nashville with their friend Bill Elder who run the Shenanigans bar and who put them up during all Nashville studio sessions. ‘Rockophobia‘, on the other hand, is one of many surprises The Inspector Cluzo reserved for the fans. A fun rock number, in which the band wonders “what does rock mean today?” it takes a gentle poke at Iggy Pop – with the man himself deciding to feature on the track.
- Act Local Think Global
- Wolf At The Door
- Running A Family Farm Is More Rock Than Playing Rock ‘n’ Roll
- The Outsider
- Swallows – Where are The Swallows Gonna Build Their Nest
- Rockphobia – feat. Iggy Pop
- The Armchair Activist
- 9 Billion Solutions
- Saving The Geese
- Swallows Back – When Will The Swallows Return