Cortini performing with Nine Inch Nails in 2007.
|Birth name||Alessandro Cortini|
|Born||May 24, 1976|
|Genres||Alternative rock, industrial rock, industrial metal, indie pop, electronica|
|Instruments||Vocals, keyboards, synthesizer, guitar, bass|
|Labels||Interscope, Buddyhead Records, Modwheelmusic|
|Associated acts||Modwheelmood, SONOIO, Blindoldfreak, Muse, Nine Inch Nails, The Mayfield Four, Marilyn Manson, How To Destroy Angels|
Alessandro Cortini (born May 24, 1976) is an Italian musician best known for touring and recording with the American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails from 2004 to 2008, and he rejoined the band in spring 2013. Currently, Cortini is also the frontman for the Los Angeles based electronic-alternative band SONOIO. In addition, he was a touring member of The Mayfield Four from 2000 to 2002. Cortini was also a founding member of Modwheelmood, an Electronic-Alternative band from Los Angeles, California along with former Abandoned Pools guitarist Pelle Hillström. He recently completed a small Canadian tour under the guise of his solo project, blindoldfreak.
Cortini was born in Bologna, but raised in Forlì. Cortini moved from Italy to the United States to study guitar at the Musicians Institute. After graduating, and straying away from the guitar, he decided to focus on keyboards and synths. From 2001 to 2002, Cortini acted as touring guitarist for The Mayfield Four in support of their album Second Skin. While briefly teaching at the Musicians Institute, he saw an ad for open auditions for Nine Inch Nails. Reznor stated that Alessandro Cortini "fit in immediately." Reznor also stated that:
My first thought when Alessandro walked in was that he didn't look like what I had in mind. His presence was intense but gentle, not the "I'm gonna attack you" energy fans might associate with NIN. Then he started, and within 30 seconds I was like "That's the guy!" I never once regretted it. Without taking anything away from Charlie [Clouser], Alessandro is really into playing the studio parts as much as humanly possible.
Cortini toured with Nine Inch Nails from 2005 to 2008, during the band's "Live: With Teeth", "Performance 2007" and "Lights In The Sky Over North/South America" tours. His primary role was that of touring keyboard player, although he also played guitar and bass guitar on some songs. Besides touring with the band, Cortini also contributed to the instrumental album Ghosts I-IV (receiving co-writing credits on a number of tracks) and the 2008 album The Slip. A Modwheelmood remix of "The Great Destroyer" was also released on the Year Zero remix album Year Zero Remixed, and Cortini features in the live DVD Beside You In Time, as well as the music videos for The Hand That Feeds and Survivalism. He left the band at the end of 2008, citing a desire to pursue other projects.
Cortini is also the frontman of Los Angeles band Modwheelmood, which he leads with former Abandoned Pools guitarist Pelle Hillstrom. Together they have released two EPs, ? (2003) and Enemies & Immigrants (2006). In 2007, they released Things Will Change, the companion remix disc for Enemies & Immigrants, and they released the first part of their new album Pearls to Pigs, Vol. 1 on December 25, 2007 exclusively as a digital release.
In fall 2006, Cortini contributed to the Musicians Institute's Recording Artist Program by acting as advisor for one-on-one training with students. In 2009, he filled in for Morgan Nicholls of Muse while Nicholls took a leave of absence to be with his newborn son. In 2010, he recorded a song called Birds of Prey with pop artist Christina Aguilera, produced by Ladytron. The song is featured on the deluxe edition of her fourth studio album Bionic.
In summer 2010, Cortini formed the band SONOIO. The band name SONOIO comes from the Italian phrase “sono io”, which means “it’s me”, as it is a solo project consisting solely of Alessandro Cortini. In July 2010 SONOIO released the album "SONOIO Blue" which was followed up by a remix album in December 2010 "NON SONOIO". In June 2011 SONOIO released the album "SONOIO Red".
Recently Cortini has joined former NIN cohorts Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Rob Sheridan's latest side project How To Destroy Angels as a touring member. He performs multiple instruments onstage and in addition has remixed their single "The Spaces In Between" under his SONOIO moniker which has been used as the show finale for the majority of the tour.
Cortini uses the following equipment in his studio:
- Buchla 200e
- Buchla 200
- Electro-Acoustic Research modular synthesizer (custom-created for Nine Inch Nails at Cortini's request)
- Native Instruments Reaktor and Guitar Rig
- Apple Logic Pro
- JoMoX XBase-09 analog drum machine
- As himself
- 2009: 1 (EP, 2009)
- 2003: ? (EP, 2003)
- 2006: Enemies & Immigrants (EP, released May 2006)
- 2007: Things Will Change (The companion remix disc to Enemies & Immigrants, released digitally in October 2007.)
- 2007: Pearls to Pigs, Vol. 1 (EP, released on December 25, 2007)
- 2008: Pearls to Pigs, Vol. 2 (EP, released on February 26, 2008)
- 2008: Pearls to Pigs, Vol. 3 (EP, released on July 16, 2008)
- 2009: Pearls to Pigs (Album, released on June 2, 2009)
- With Nine Inch Nails
- 2007: Beside You in Time (live DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray, 2007)
- 2007: Year Zero Remixed - "The Great Destroyer" (remixed by Modwheelmood)
- 2008: Ghosts I-IV
- 2008: The Slip
- 2013: Hesitation Marks
- With Jovanotti
- 2008: Safari
- With Ladytron
- 2008: Velocifero (Collaboration & Production. Album, June, 2008)
- 2008: Ghosts single (modwheelmood remix, May, 2008)
- 2011: Gravity the Seducer (Collaboration & Production. Album, September, 2011)
- With Yoav
- 2008: Adore Adore (modwheelmood remix, 2008)
- 2008: Beautiful Lie (modwheelmood remix 2008)
- With The Mayfield Four
- 2001: Second Skin
- With Puscifer
- 2007: "V is for Vagina" (Synthesizer. Album, October, 2007)
- 2011: Conditions of My Parole (Collaboration & Production. Album, October, 2011) - "Oceans" 
- "blindoldfreak dates-updated.". 2009-01-24. Retrieved 2009-02-16.
- "From Italy to Rock Stardom". Times Square. 2007-01-02. Archived from the original on 13 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
- Reznor, Trent (2005-01-22). "access". Nine Inch Nails. Archived from the original on 2005-03-04. Retrieved 2008-02-01.
- "Musicians Institute Announces Four New Project Advisors"-Modern Guitars. Retrieved on October 13-2007.
- "Video With Alessandro Cortini About The Gear in His Personal Studio".
- Nine Inch Nails Custom Modular Synth Archived 28 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- Richardson, Jordan (2011-10-22). "Music Review: Puscifer - Conditions of My Parole". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
- SONOIO Official website
- Blindoldfreak Official website
- Blindoldfreak Official MySpace
- Modwheelmood Official website
- Modwheelmood Official MySpace
- Who Is Blind Old Freak?