no-ne is Hervé Rico’s solo project.

Based in Marseille, where he works as a sound engineer, this is his third musical adventure since the late 80s.It all started  in 1988 with Anyway, a pop rock group of four high school friends. Gilles, Hervé’s younger brother, now an opera director, also joined on keyboards for a while, despite still being in middle school.

They mostly performed locally, in and around Vitrolles and Marignane in the South of France. The same year, they won a musical competition and performed at UNESCO in Paris.

With their first demos recorded, the lineup changed the following year. In 1990, Hervé found himself at the Faculty of Literature in Aix-en-Provence. It was from this city that Anyway’s reputation grew and spread further afield.
The band gained notoriety in the Aix – Marseille region, performing regularly in larger and larger venues, attracting more and more people. However, in 1994, after a final change in personnel, the group became a quartet again.

Hervé started writing in French for the first time. With his Atari and an 8-track quarter-inch tape recorder, he experimented with other universes under the tutelage of Jean-Louis Pierot and Edit Valbuena of Les Valentins.

A new project, Pupille, saw the light of day in early 1997. To respond to the many criticisms about singing in English, the lyrics would be in French. The machines quickly gave way to a quartet of real musicians who performed in concert.

A 6-track demo was recorded. Pupille played its repertoire in small venues and opened for Strangelove, Cornu and other popular artists of the time. But relationship problems within the band led to the project being put on hold for 18 months, though it continued as best it could, with guitarist Alain Minguez.


At the same time, Hervé had been touring more and more often. He participated in the creation of music for the theater and acted as a sound and video manager. Between 2001 and 2002, the album L’ Ambiguïté was recorded in three different studios. It was mixed in Birmingham, England by Jon Cotton (Scott Matthews, Carina Round, Gramophone) and mastered on the Isle of Skye in Scotland by Denis Blackham (The Stranglers, OMD, Ride, Cocteau Twins, Depeche Mode). 

1,000 copies of L’ Ambiguïté were pressed by Kezako Music, a label from Marseille. The official release took place in October 2003 and it only became available on streaming platforms in January 2022. It’s an album of 14 tracks that was presented to the public in December 2003, with different guest appearances depending on the song.
This expenditure of energy to ensure the cohesion of the group and the organisation of the project led Hervé to throw in the towel and go on tour again, this time along with actor Jacques Gamblin, which they would do for several years.

During a rare return to Marseille, a few solo songs were recorded, but it was in 2008 when the desire to compose and write really reappeared. During the summer, four songs were written. Recordings started the following winter at Artisan Audio in Birmingham and at Hervé’s studio in Marseille.

The formula was simple. Everything had to be done in one go, like taking  an instant photo. Recording sessions started at 10pm and ended at 7am. Hervé was at the helm, both as musician and technician. The following night, the arrangements were created and recorded. The next night, it was the vocals. Mixing then took place on the fourth night. Every night a good bottle of wine was drunk to keep things going.

After the fifth night, the week’s recordings were put online in the form of a blog on Myspace. That’s actually where the name no-ne came from, as Hervé had to enter the name of the group when registering on the site.
A total of six songs were recorded, including two covers (The Cure and Joy Division). The process was destructive, but the flexibility of working alone, at any time of day or night, pleases Hervé. Although less so for his neighbours…

The project was stopped after two months and the songs were played live much later. 

It was only in 2016 that the no-ne’s first EP, I try this for the first time, was released on iTunes, which until now had been removed from streaming platforms.

Apart from The Drowning man and Love will tear us apart, the two covers, the rest of the songs are in French, sometimes with a touch of English.

Carine Lesaffre illuminated certain compositions with her voice. A drummer, an accordionist and a saxophonist were added to the project. Jo Hamilton held the viola. The songs were posted on the Internet. Voilà was number one in the charts of the website Number one Music. A new audience was formed. Thousands of listeners enjoyed the songs.

That does not prevent Hervé from going back on the road, not least of all with actress Juliette Binoche. A few months later, during a party in a bar in Hong Kong, he grabbed an acoustic guitar that was lying around and, a little tipsy, started playing and singing, eventually giving an impromptu solo concert. The formula is obvious: an acoustic guitar, a voice and songs born according to the free time and the wishes of their author. 

In 2015, four songs were written.Then from 2016 there were solo performances in Paris, Aix-en-Provence, Toronto, Montreal, Odessa….

The task was arduous. It’s difficult to bring songs written for a band to the stage alone. It’s difficult to hold your own set without being a performer. But the problem was mostly the time spent rehearsing and rearranging old and new repertoire, which ultimately slowed the momentum of the writing. Because the desire to make an album became getting bigger and bigger.And so, between 2016 and 2017, new songs were composed.

In November 2017, the recording of the demos for what would become no-ne’s first real album began. The instrumentations were written during the recording sessions, as was the case with I try this for the first time. It took a year, with numerous interruptions, to get  the 10 tracks, played with multiple instruments.

The drums were recorded in early January 2019 in Trets, in the Provençal countryside. Jean-Philippe Barrios, who had already played on a post-Pupille demo, ended up on the recording. The session lasted five days. Hervé received advice from producer Dave Allen (The Cure, The Chameleons, The Psychedelic Furs) for this work.

In February 2020, Hervé met producer Steve Albini (Pixies, PJ Harvey, Nirvana, Godspeed you black emperor) at Studios La Fabrique in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. After listening to two pre-mixed tracks, he convinced Hervé to mix the record himself.

During the first lockdown in spring 2020, voices and instruments were added to the songs. These continued to evolve and it was not until the end of 2020 that the first mixed versions could be heard.

However, Hervé was not entirely satisfied with the result. From time to time, with the help of his friend Nicolas Dick (Kill the Thrill), he locked himself away in the studio Le Puits Sonore to revamp the album. But, lacking time, the project was once again put on hold until the fall of 2021. He finally finished mixing in his studio in early November.

The mastering was entrusted to the Englishman Dave Draper and the graphics of the album to the Polish artist Ania Pawlik. Daisyland was completed in early 2022.

Thereafter a completely different adventure began: setting up the tools to promote the record and finding a label to release it. Like many artists, Hervé was not excited about taking on a new role that is far from that of a musician. With no deadline, he once again puts the project on hold. It was not until the spring of 2023, after completing the album artwork and training in digital marketing techniques for music, that he decided to present Daisyland to the music industry.

Many labels were interested and signings were completed in the summer. Finally, no-ne signed with ShuSha records (Inouïe Distribution) in France and with Epictronic for the rest of the world.

Daisyland, the first single, taken from the eponym album, is out on 15 February 2024. The album of ten tracks is released physically and on streaming platforms on 22 March 2024There are two different pressings for the CD : French and international.

To be continued…

Photos : © Alain Bouvier, Nathalie Moneti, Jenny Hofschneider, Ybao Benedetti, Jon Cotton, Hervé Rico, Lara Samuel, Carlos Thomas, Jean-Luc Morato. Droits Réservés.