Allen's interest in music started from an early age. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, his father was a disc jockey for several radio stations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Because of this, Allen grew up surrounded by music. When he was 7 years old, he taught himself to play piano on an old stand-up piano that his mother owned. Later he taught himself to play the guitar, drums and bass.
After graduating high school in 1990, Allen took a year off from school and moved to Seattle, Washington. During this time off and the following years in which he attended music school, he became interested in sound design and the synthesizer. This ultimately led to the founding of A Covenant of Thorns.
Allen currently resides in the upper midwest, outside of Chicago, with his wife.