interview with Philippe Coignet

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Have any of you played in other bands?
All of the musicians playing with EHA, from the first steps of the band, more than 20 years ago, are high level musicians from    
Europe, South and North America, Africa, West Indies… 
EHA members or guests have all played around the world with different bands or their own band, some are world famous: Mike 
Stern, Michel Alibo, Cacau, Minino Garay, Andy Narrell, Damien Schmitt ...
How is it that you started playing music?
I’m a self taught composer, guitar and bass player, I started playing with rock groups in my teenage years, later opened to 
other genres : Jazz, south American, world music, folk
What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you?
On EHA’s next record : 
Leandro Aconcha (from Lugano Switzerland) : all keyboards, programming, brass arrangements
Philippe Coignet ( Paris France ): Composer, electric and acoustic guitars, 
‘Cacau’ Claudio de Queiroz (from Rio de Janeiro Brasil): soprano, alto, tenor and barytone saxophones, flute, 
Juan Manuel Forero (Bogota Colombia): percussion,  
Mario Contreras (from Punta Arenas, Chili): tiple, percussion, 
Michel Alibo (from Fort de France, Martinique): bass, 
Damien Schmitt (from Saint Nazaire, France): drums, 
plus guests : 
Mike Stern (New York, USA), guitars, 
Andy Narell ( from NY USA) : steel pans
Minino Garay (from Cordoba Argentina) : percussion
Rubinho Antunes (Sao Paulo, Brasil) : trumpet
Sulaiman Hakim ( from Los Angeles USA) : alto saxophone
Lionel Segui (Toulouse France) : trombone, tuba
Apart from drummer Damien Schmitt aged 36, all other musicians are aged between 50 and 60
Have you had other previous members? Yes, too many to name ...
Did you make music even when you were young? Yes  
Where are you from? answers above
What year did the band form? 1988
What's your style of genre? hard question! I will say World Jazz Funk , undoubtedly a kind of musical fusion 
What inspires you? Sound of the wind in the trees, colors of the sky, life
How often and where do you reherse?
We don’t rehearse, I send scores to the musicians with all useful indications, every one knows what he has to do when he comes 
to the studio or for a concert, of course solos are improvised and there’s room left for each musician’s imagination and personality
inside definite but potentially moving structures 
How have you developed since you started with the music? More experience, more musical skills, better for composing and leading a band ...
Do you have other interests of work outside the band? I teach guitar and bass, and play with another band, the Rytones 
Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that? I’m thinking of it, but business is not my thing
Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? I got a label. I think that musicians like us got to be free from major companies as we are more live players than record sellers
What made you decide to make this music? My music is a mix of many things that inspire me, was in my heart and in my head, just had to make it out
What are your songs about?
Life, human feelings, earth vibes, sky lights
Music is not just notes following notes, it has to tell a story, even instrumental music with no lyrics
Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? I’m the composer, no lyrics, voices used as instruments
Do you compose in a certain inviroment?
I compose when inspiration comes, and for a new recording, to add tunes to those that were already composed, to make a
coherent whole, as each recording is different. Next album color is electric jazz funk. 
No particular environment, I compose at home most of the time, but it can be anywhere : I composed 1984, one of the tunes of 
the next album in the year 1984, while waiting in line before a Miles Davis concert at the Antibes Juan-les-Pins Jazz Festival, kept
it in my head only during more than 20 years
Have you done any covers live? No, only original material
What language do you sing in? No language, voices used as instruments
What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs?
We once played in front of 3 people, including a cousin of mine and her husband - and gave it all as usual! The event planners 
were not there, had not advertised the gig, they just gave the money to the caretaker (who also turned into a casual sound 
engineer !!!) to pay us after the gig !
Biggest gigs were open air gigs in front of hundreds or thousands of people
What ages are most of your concert attendants? Teenagers, young adults, grown up
Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? We vary 
Do you have a regular place you play live often? No
What was your first gig like? In a festival near Paris, good gig! as it was a new band with entirely original repertoire we had rehearsed a lot of times
What was your latest gig? More than 10 years ago, the band was sleeping until this new recording, it’s a new start.
When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? First record released in 1997, distributed in 25 countries, played on radios in many countries, sold out
Where can people buy your merchandise? 2nd record still available, last recording session for the new album 2 days ago with percussionist Juan Manuel Forero, as soon as we start the mix I will start calling the right people for the next phase 
What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days? Music industry and internet made that possible, there’s not much we can do, but bands like us, real ones in general make it live and that’s where the truth is   
How do you think the music industry have changed because of this?
Many labels and distributors have disappeared or changed activities because record sales have gone down
Musicians are less dependent on record labels, musicians can reach an audience by themselves anywhere on the planet through 
the internet, and we are free to produce our music the way we want, we got the tools for that : Bass & drums, most of the brass 
instruments were recorded at ADIMA studio in Paris, Leandro Aconcha and I did the programming of the tunes in his house, 
where he also recorded all keyboards, my guitars and all the percussions were recorded in my house, Mike Stern’s guitars were 
recorded in his place in NY, same for Andy Narell in Paris, Rubinho Antunes completed his trumpet tracks in his place in Sao 
What do you think of my work? I hope I will soon know more about your work ! 
How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business? I humbly think that any interview, article or review will help us and I thank you for that
Do you have any role models or idols? My 2 guitar heroes : Django Reinhardt and Jimi Hendrix
Why do you think that they exist? Geniuses  
Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? I get my inspiration from all kinds of music, past and present
What have been your biggest obstacles? In the music business in France, people like to open already opened doors...
What advice would you give other bands or artists? I don’t feel I can give any valuable advice to anybody - other than do what you wanna do and play with your heard.
How do you get psyched for a gig?
I love to play, give what we have to give to the audience, the adrenaline, I’m very confident when we play, the guys with me are 
great, I trust them and myself, playing before an audience is an act of sharing and I love to share
Do you have any new material? 2 tunes from our previous repertoire on the next CD, the rest is new, sometimes written long ago, sometimes recently, I got enough tunes in my notebooks to record 3 or 4 new CDs
What are your web sites? No website for EHA yet, should build one soon
How can people reach you? Facebook Philippe Coignet
What are your plans for the future? Play our music live, record the next CD
Do you have something to add? I thank you, I hope to play live in Sweden again
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