Hervé performs and releases music under so many different names it’s hard to keep up: The Count, Voodoo Chilli, Action Man, Dead Soul Brothers, Speaker Junk and Young Lovers. Pen names are relatively common in the literary world. But it’s unusual for a musician. Why would an artist perform under so many different pseudonyms? Maybe Hervé wants to avoid overexposure. This seems unlikely, since he explicitly lists each alias on his myspace. He certainly isn’t hiding anything or trying to fool anyone. Maybe he doesn’t want to get pigeonholed to one genre. But he releases similar sounding club/electro/dance music under each different moniker, so this can’t be right.
Sometimes pseudonyms conceal the fact that there are several contributors working together on a project. This is where literature and music differ. First, a larger proportion of music is made by groups of people. Of course, no artist in any medium creates in a vacuum. I’m sure every book in Borders was read over by dozens of people before being sent to press. Still, most books give one author sole credit. And when books do have multiple contributors, each is listed as a co-author rather than referring to them all as one “author collective.” When musicians work together, they have band names.
In Hervé’s case, my best guess is that he switches around his name for his own personal amusement. But his best work may very well be the collaboration LP he released under the name Machines Don’t Care. It has Hervé collaborating with some big names in the scene including Sinden, Fake Blood and Detboi. A second collaboration album is supposedly in the works, too. It was scheduled for release this past March, but with so many other things going on in Hervé’s career I’m starting to think it might never be released. Luckily, we have this gem to make the wait a little easier. Listen below for a taste of what great minds working together can produce.