Charlie Clouser

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Charlie Clouser
Charlie Clouser by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Clouser at the 2017 WonderCon
Background information
Birth nameCharles Alexander Clouser
Born (1963-06-28) June 28, 1963 (age 60)
OriginHanover, New Hampshire, United States

Charles Alexander Clouser (born June 28, 1963) is an American keyboardist, composer, record producer, and remixer. He worked with Trent Reznor for Nine Inch Nails from 1994 to 2000, and is a composer for film and television; among his credits are the score for the Saw franchise and American Horror Story. Clouser was nominated for two Grammy Awards for Best Metal Performance in 1997.

Early life[edit]

Clouser was born in Hanover, New Hampshire; his father, K. Danner Clouser (1930–2000), was a professor at Dartmouth College and Pennsylvania State University.[1] He attended Middletown High School in Pennsylvania and graduated from Hanover High School in 1981.[1] He is also a graduate of Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts; he earned a degree in electronic music in 1985.[2]


Clouser plays keyboard, synthesizer, theremin, and drums.[3] He also does music programming, engineering, and mixing. He co-worked with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails (1994–2000) for several projects. Before he worked with Nine Inch Nails, he was in the alternative band Burning Retna with former L.A. Guns guitarist Mick Cripps and fellow Nothing Records employee Sean Beavan. Clouser also was a member of the band 9 Ways to Sunday, which released a self-titled album in 1990. Clouser has remixed artists such as Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, White Zombie, Rammstein and Meat Beat Manifesto.

In 2004, Clouser produced the Helmet album Size Matters. Consisting mainly of collaborations between Clouser and Page Hamilton, it was intended to be a Hamilton solo album. The first release from the collaboration, known as "Throwing Punches", appeared on a soundtrack in 2003 for the film Underworld, and was credited as a Hamilton track. Clouser created one of FirstCom music's master series discs, only sold for commercial use, in the late 1990s.

Two songs programmed by Clouser were nominated for Grammy Awards in 1997: White Zombie's "I'm Your Boogie Man" and Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper's "Hands of Death (Burn Baby Burn)", the latter of which Clouser also co-wrote and mixed.

He worked with Trent Reznor on the soundtrack of Natural Born Killers, helping record and produce a new version of "Something I Can Never Have," the original version of which appeared on Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine album. Clouser's remix of Zombie's "Dragula" can be found on The Matrix soundtrack. Another Zombie track remixed by Clouser, "Reload", appears on The Matrix Reloaded soundtrack. He produced the unfinished Hamilton project Gandhi. In 2001, Clouser formed the supergroup Revenge of the Triads with Jason Slater and Troy Van Leeuwen, although they later disbanded in 2002 without releasing any material.[4]

Clouser provided the live synth for Alec Empire's "Intelligence And Sacrifice" tour in 2001. He appears in the Moog documentary about electronic-music pioneer Robert Moog and composed the song "I Am a Spaceman" for the original soundtrack of that movie.

Clouser has also worked as a film and television composer, scoring the entire Saw series of films.[5] He was the "top choice" for scoring the first film of the series, as director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell are both Nine Inch Nails fans and they used remixes of the band's songs for the temp score. Clouser said, "They wanted progressive, underground music that was kind of underground, and they were looking to inject that flavor in the score."[6] He has also scored films such as Deepwater (2005), Dead Silence (2007), Death Sentence (2007), and Resident Evil: Extinction (2007).[7][8] On television, he was the composer for the TV series Las Vegas (NBC), for which he won a BMI TV Music Award,[9][10] Fastlane (Fox), and Numbers (CBS).[11][12] Additionally, he composed the theme song for those shows as well as American Horror Story (FX).[13][14]

Personal life[edit]

Clouser married his long-time girlfriend, photographer and model Zoe Wiseman, in the summer of 2007.[citation needed]


Other artists[edit]

Clouser has performed on releases with a variety of other artists and bands.



Year Title Director Studio(s)
2004 Saw James Wan Lionsgate Films
2005 Deepwater David S. Marfield Halcyon Entertainment
Saw II Darren Lynn Bousman Lionsgate Films
2006 Saw III
2007 Dead Silence James Wan Universal Pictures

20th Century Fox

Death Sentence
Resident Evil: Extinction Russell Mulcahy Screen Gems
Saw IV Darren Lynn Bousman Lionsgate Films
2008 Saw V David Hackl
2009 The Stepfather Nelson McCormick Screen Gems
Saw VI Kevin Greutert Lionsgate Films
2010 Saw 3D
2012 The Collection Marcus Dunstan LD Entertainment
2016 The Neighbor Anchor Bay Films
2017 Jigsaw The Spierig Brothers Lionsgate Films
2021 Spiral: From the Book of Saw Darren Lynn Bousman
Eye Without A Face Ramin Niami Sideshow
2022 Unhuman Marcus Dunstan Blumhouse Productions
2023 Saw X Kevin Greutert Lionsgate Films


Year Title Studio(s) Notes
2002–2003 Fastlane Warner Bros. Television
20th Century Fox Television
2003–2008 Las Vegas DreamWorks Television "A Little Less Conversation" by Elvis Presley was the theme during the series run in the United States while "Let It Ride" by Clouser was used as the theme in international and DVD versions of the series
2005–2010 Numbers Scott Free Productions
2008 Fear Itself Lionsgate Television
2011-present American Horror Story 20th Television Theme music
2015 Childhood's End Universal Cable Productions
2015–2016 Wayward Pines 20th Century Fox Television

Video games[edit]

Year Title Developer Publisher Notes
1999 WCW Mayhem Kodiak Interactive Electronic Arts song "Mayhem"
2009 Singularity Raven Software Activision With Michael Wandmacher
2015 Evolve Turtle Rock Studios 2K Games With Jason Graves, Lustmord & Danny Cocke


  1. ^ a b Leary, Alex (August 5, 2000). "On the Road with Nine Inch Nails". Valley News. pp. C1, C3. Retrieved December 19, 2023 – via
  2. ^ Kimpel, Dan. "Charlie Clouser". BMI. Retrieved December 21, 2023.
  3. ^ "The Tour". Keyboard. GPI Publications. 26 (1–6): 45. 2000. Retrieved December 20, 2023. The touring ensemble consists of Trent (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Robin Finck (guitar, vocals, keyboards), Danny Lohner (bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals), Charlie Clouser (keyboards, theremin, vocals), and Jerome Dillon (drums).
  4. ^ Blabbermouth (2002-12-16). "REVENGE OF THE TRIADS Cease To Exist". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Retrieved 2022-12-06.
  5. ^ "[Exclusive] The Sounds of SAW: An Interview with Composer CHARLIE CLOUSER | Nightmare on Film Street". Nightmare on Film Street. 2017-12-11. Retrieved 2018-01-10.
  6. ^ Hay, Carla (January 29, 2005). "Breaking Into The Big Screen". Billboard. Vol. 117, no. 5. pp. 5, 46. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved December 20, 2023.
  7. ^ Ebert, Roger (September 2, 2007). "Bacon completes 'Sentence'". York Daily Record. p. F2. Retrieved December 20, 2023 – via
  8. ^ "SoundtrackNet: Charlie Clouser". Retrieved 2006-11-02.
  9. ^ Hay, Carla (January 22, 2005). "'One Tree Hill' Sprouts Soundtrack, Tour". Billboard. Vol. 117, no. 4. p. 48. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved December 20, 2023.
  10. ^ Whitmire, Margo (May 22, 2004). "BMI Hands Out Film, TV Honors". Billboard. Vol. 116, no. 21. p. 36. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved December 20, 2023.
  11. ^ Crisafulli, Chuck (January 14, 2008). "Rock stars try new tune as Hollywood composers". Reuters. Retrieved December 20, 2023.
  12. ^ D., Spence (May 20, 2012). "Charlie Clouser Interview". IGN. Retrieved December 20, 2023.
  13. ^ Stack, Tim (September 28, 2011). "'American Horror Story' opening credits". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 20, 2023.
  14. ^ McLevy, Alex (July 2, 2016). "Nine Inch Nails' Charlie Clouser makes American Horror Story and Saw sound creepy". The A.V. Club. Retrieved December 20, 2023.

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