Nov. 18 2008
Eric Thievon

Eric Thievon

A.Project, Friendship

TAMA :What music style do you thrive the most on ?

Eric : Initially, I tend to have a rock background. But year after year, I started developing other styles, especially during my studies in Los Angeles (PIT and Grove School Of Music), which enabled me to improve my musical knowledge, more specifically in jazz and latin music.
A. Project is all about finding a compromise between modern blues playing and the spirit of the Chicago Blues, embodied by our guitarist and singer.
With Friendship, we improvise a lot, and our range of styles is wide, from rock to blues, ballads with brushes, including funny remixed jazz fusion tracks.
And last but not least, with much more elaborate progressive songs in the "Stick Story" dedicated to my own compositions.
Those three bands complement each other, demanding energy, inspiration and versatility.
I actively take part in the creating process in each of those three ensembles.

TAMA : I think you also work in solo, among other things for Tama through the French distribution?

Eric : That's true. Mogar Music, which distributes Tama and Ibanez in France, asks me to do clinics and master classes and other promotional events in specialized shops.

TAMA : Does it sometimes feel intimidating to sit alone at you kit, when you're used to perform as a band?

Eric : Yes, of course, especially as the audience mainly consists of drummers.
I usually play solo for 20 to 30 minutes, and then, i answer questions.
I do my best to try and keep it as lively as possible. I tell anecdotes about our job, and I feel to make the audience participate. I try to make it simple, focusing on sound, tempo et versatility rather than just on the technical aspects for the sake of it. I try specialy to make it interesting for non-musicians as well, so as to awaken their interest and make them want to play an instrument.

TAMA : Your teaching skills are also well-known, with several manuals to your credits. Tell us about it...

Eric : I like sharing my passion for drums and music in general.
Today, I only give classes once a week at ABCDrums, my own studio and association of musicians. The venue offers 150sqm dedicated to music, with rehearsal rooms and a recording studio. We give courses, jam sessions, master classes, and produce heaps of methods, magazines, CDs and DVDs.
At the same time, I am working on various teaching media with several publishers, such as printed manuals combined with a CD or a DVD, and co-authoring compositions with different musicians as an ensemble.

TAMA : I think there is a network of Tama drum schools in France.

Eric : Yes! Alain Gozzo, Tama France product manager at Mogar and formerly a renowned drummer, worked very hard to create this network over 25 years ago. Today, he still runs it, and I am in charge of the educational aspects for about 30 structures in France, which represents 600 students. There is a similar network for Ibanez guitars. Among other things, we developed our own teaching medium entitled "Génération Batterie" and "Génération Guitare" two years ago, which I co-authored with Yannick Robert (educational manager for the Ibanez network), published by Carisch Music. Alain, Yannick and I, are already working on a series of thematic booklets, and, among other things, bass, drums and guitar playback media. This first series focusing on rock and blues as well as a DVD entitled « Génération Batteur » was released for the big Paris Music Show, in September 2008.

TAMA : What are your projects now ?

Eric : I have a few projects throughout 2009, such as a new A. Project album entitled « Blues On The Run », and a Friendship live CD. In addition to festivals in France, both bands were offered contracts to perform in Italy, Canada and Belgium... I hope those will materialize.
Moreover, we are currently working on a series of beginner booklets on blues, a method on snare drums and a method for very young children.
Tama has been very helpful on all these projects since 20 years, and I am very thankful for that.