HOW IT ALL BEGAN
None Of Ones was just born, but has quite a history.
Anis’s first encounter to Alain’s music was Chris Cornell’s solo album “Euphoria Morning” which Chris had made together with the band Eleven, a band formed by Alain and his partner Natasha, back in 1999. Anis was deeply impressed by the beauty of their mysterious chord progressions and the dark yet gentle melodies. He collected all of Eleven’s albums though they were hard to find in pre-internet Japan.
Around this time Anis formed his own band in Japan, grunge influenced band MONORAL, singing entirely in English. MONORAL got worldwide recognition with their single Kiri, which was the opening theme for an artistic animation series “Ergo Proxy”. By 2008 they were able to tour worldwide, and through this experience, Anis started to think about expanding his career internationally.
In 2010 MONORAL took a break, and Anis started to work on his solo album. Right at the beginning of this project, Anis was wondering whether he could make a record with Alain. He took a leap of faith and sent two demos to Alain’s manager.
To Anis’s surprise, Alain personally answered his mail with an unreleased song with late Natasha back in Eleven days, adding “Are you looking for this kind of music?”
Anis flew to LA immediately and finally met his God of Rock who welcomed him with a big hug.
Alain’s studio 11AD in Los Angeles was like a Disneyland for musicians…over 600 instruments Alain and Natasha had collected over the years were beautifully displayed, ready to be played anytime.
Natural light and fresh breeze went in and out through the big windows and doors. Much to Anis’s surprise there was no sound proofing. Instead, this studio was blessed with fantastic neighbors, who appreciated famous rock musicians coming in to play. They’d just ask: “who’s playing today? “
While Anis stayed at 11AD, many big name musicians came to visit. Josh Homme, Mark Lanegan and Brody Dalle, all dear friends of Alain and seeking for help or a friendly chat. Blessed with this fantastic environment, their journey started in 2012.
At first the plan was to prepare the songs and then work on them together, but soon Anis wanted to write all the songs together from scratch, because he felt so much magic coming out of Alain. Anis was allowed to live in the studio, so basically every day they would eat breakfast, talk, compose, talk, drink coffee and wine, watch Alain’s favorite video clips, talk about Natasha’s memories, eat sushi, work and sleep at 11 AD.
One of the main characteristics of None Of Ones is the distinctively weird and cool drum patterns Anis loves to create, so the drum recordings were the first highlights in the production. Joey Castillo recreated all the weird and complicated fills and breaks; there were many times during the recording where the bystanders were applauding after each track Joey nailed.
Alain’s biggest talent is not the wonderful ideas for phrases, not the perfect placing of the chords nor writing beautiful lines nor coordination of the whole musical balance, it is the mind blowing speed with which he executes all the above. There is no waiting for “something to come down”, his muse seems to keep sending him all sorts of inspirations 24/7. Finally, with his sensitive and grainy vocals, Anis gives all the songs the story that needed to be told. Inspirations, masterful skills and magic plus two and a half months studio time: these are the ingredients of this new born band, None Of Ones.
None Of Ones means nothing belongs to nobody. Without the other one, nothing could be created. And it contains two “one”s representing 11 (Eleven). When you hear their music, you will instantly understand the mutual respect and the joy they had during the creating process.