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Flood (music producer)

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Mark "Flood" Ellis
Birth nameMark Ellis
Born (1960-08-16) 16 August 1960 (age 63)[1]
London, England
Occupation(s)Record producer, audio engineer, musician
Instrument(s)Guitar, keyboards, vocals
Years active1978–present

Mark Ellis (born 16 August 1960), known by his professional pseudonym Flood, is a British rock and synthpop record producer and audio engineer.[1] Flood's list of work includes projects with New Order, U2, Nine Inch Nails, Marc and the Mambas, Depeche Mode, Gary Numan, Sneaker Pimps, King, Ministry, The Charlatans, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Erasure, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, PJ Harvey, Foals, a-ha, Orbital, Sigur Rós, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Killers, White Lies, Pop Will Eat Itself, Warpaint, EOB, and Interpol. His co-production collaborations have included projects with Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois, Steve Lillywhite, and longtime collaborator Alan Moulder, with whom he co-founded the Assault & Battery Studios complex. In 2006, his work with U2 led to his sharing of the Grammy Award for Album of the Year for How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.

Early years[edit]

Mark Ellis was born in London.[1] As a child Ellis attended St Olave's Grammar School in Orpington, England. He began his music career as the vocalist[citation needed] for the band Seven Hertz. In 1978 he began his professional studio career as a runner at Morgan Studios in London[2] and was the tape operator on Rick Wakeman's album 1984. Ellis was also a runner at Battery Studios in London and held apprenticeships at Marcus Studios and Trident Studios.[3]

Freelance and Some Bizzare Records[edit]

Flood moved up to house engineer before becoming a freelance engineer in 1981, the same year he worked as assistant engineer on New Order's debut album Movement.[4] The following year he engineered Ministry's debut album, With Sympathy. He became associated with Stevo's Some Bizzare Records label, leading to him working with Cabaret Voltaire, Psychic TV, and Marc Almond's side project, Marc and the Mambas among others.[4][2]

Mute Records[edit]

Following his work with Some Bizzare Records, Flood began working with Mute Records as one of their preferred producers, heralding his first production project with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds on From Her to Eternity (1983–1984) and the follow-up album The Firstborn Is Dead (1984).[4] His work at Mute was as a producer, co-producer, or engineer with each of the label's major acts including Depeche Mode, Vince Clarke, and Erasure, whose debut album Wonderland (1986) and its follow-up The Circus (1987) he engineered.[4]

Mainstream commercial success[edit]

Flood's first mainstream commercial break came in 1987 when he engineered U2's The Joshua Tree, alongside producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois.[4] In that same year, he gave up mixing U2's album to produce Erasure's The Circus, the duo's second album and the first one to have great commercial success. Shortly thereafter, he co-produced Nine Inch Nails on debut Pretty Hate Machine,[4] along with John Fryer, Adrian Sherwood, and Keith LeBlanc. He also worked with Depeche Mode on their 1990 album, Violator.[4] In 1991, he returned to work again with U2 on Achtung Baby, along with Eno, Lanois, and Steve Lillywhite. The following year he returned to work with Depeche Mode to record the album Songs of Faith and Devotion and co-produced three tracks of Nine Inch Nails' Broken EP.[4][5]

In 1993, Flood shifted from engineering U2's albums to being a producer along with Brian Eno and The Edge on Zooropa.[6] In 1994, he worked again with Nine Inch Nails this time on The Downward Spiral.[4] In 1995, Flood co-produced The Smashing Pumpkins' album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness with longtime collaborator Alan Moulder, and PJ Harvey's album To Bring You My Love. Shortly thereafter, he assisted producer Nellee Hooper on Sneaker Pimps' Becoming X.[7] He also collaborated with Dave Bessell, Gary Stout, and Ed Buller to create Node; an analogue synth heavy project that produced the album Node.

In 1996 Flood teamed with U2 once again to produce Pop, released the next year.[4] The following year he assisted Billy Corgan and Brad Wood in producing The Smashing Pumpkins's 1998 album Adore and co-produced PJ Harvey's album Is This Desire?.[4]

2000 to 2005[edit]

In 2000, he co-produced Machina/The Machines of God by The Smashing Pumpkins with Corgan.[4] He co-produced Erasure's Loveboat with Vince Clarke and Andy Bell of Erasure. The following year Flood worked again with Depeche Mode, remixing the single version of "Freelove", and in 2002 he produced Richard Warren's Echoboy album Giraffe. He also co-produced I To Sky, by JJ72.

In 2003, Flood re-worked Gary Numan's "Cars" for his album Hybrid. The following year, Flood produced London-based The Duke Spirit's debut album Cuts Across The Land. In the same year he co-produced U2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. In 2004 he produced Soulwax's album Any Minute Now, and in mid-2005 he mixed a-ha's eighth album, Analogue, and produced Yourcodenameis:Milo's debut album Ignoto. Later that year, Flood also mixed Placebo's album Meds.

2006 to 2013[edit]

Flood co-produced The Killers' album Sam's Town in 2006 with fellow English producer and engineer Alan Moulder. Later that year he remixed the debut single by Dark Room Notes, Love Like Nicotine. At the beginning of 2007, he co-produced PJ Harvey's album White Chalk with John Parish and PJ Harvey. He also co-produced a couple of songs on the Goldfrapp album Seventh Tree, which was released in February 2008. In late 2007 and early 2008, he produced Sigur Rós's Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust in Iceland.[8]

Flood and Paul Hartnoll of Orbital co-produced the 2008 album by The Music, Strength in Numbers. He produced the 2009 album by The Hours, See the Light. He joined Steve Lillywhite again in 2008 to work with Thirty Seconds to Mars, on This Is War. And then worked with Editors on In This Light and on This Evening. He also collaborated with Nitzer Ebb again to finish up their first new release in over a decade, Industrial Complex. In 2010, he produced Belong by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Let England Shake by PJ Harvey.

In 2013, Flood worked again with Depeche Mode, being responsible for the mixing process of their album "Delta Machine" which was produced by Ben Hillier.


Flood had a studio in Kilburn called The Bedroom.[9] He opened the Assault & Battery studio complex with longtime recording partner Alan Moulder.[10] In 2008, Miloco Studios opened Assault & Battery 2, a tracking and mix studio in Willesden Green. Assault & Battery 1 came under the Miloco umbrella in Summer 2009, and both Flood and Moulder remain involved with the studios, which have since been renamed Battery Studios.

Production style[edit]

Billy Corgan, who worked with Flood on three albums, said:

Flood is a tremendous producer. Flood is very masterful with the sonics, but where he really shines is he's a great idea person. And I don't mean like he tells you, "Oh, put this chorus here." It's more like he can see an ambiance of the song that you don't necessarily see and he would really fight with us — not negative a fight, just he would really kind of push us to say there's another vibe here that you can get to.[11]


According to producer Mark Freegard, the pseudonym "Flood" was given to Ellis by producer Chris Tsangarides during Ellis' early days at Morgan Studios while The Cure was there recording. As a young studio runner Ellis was responsible for responding to numerous requests from the recording artists and staff for tea and bacon sandwiches. Ellis kept up with the numerous requests for tea while the other runner remained largely unavailable, leading to Tsangarides nicknaming them "Flood" and "Drought," respectively.[12]

Selected engineering/production credits[edit]

Selected production credits:[13]


  1. ^ a b c "Flood | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  2. ^ a b Dave Thompson, Alternative Rock, Miller Freeman Books, 2000, p. 767, ISBN 9780879306076
  3. ^ "Flood and Howie B: Producing U2's Pop", Sound on Sound, July 1997
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Colin Larkin, ed. (2003). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Eighties Music (Third ed.). Virgin Books. pp. 198/9. ISBN 1-85227-969-9.
  5. ^ "Nine Inch Nails: Biography". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 18 January 2011.
  6. ^ Pareles, John (4 July 1993). "A Raucous U2 Moves Farther Out on a Limb". The New York Times.
  7. ^ "Sneaker Pimps Sign With Tommy Boy". Billboard. October 2001.
  8. ^ "Sigur Ros Tap Producer Flood for LP5", Spin.com, November 2007
  9. ^ "Flood & Alan Moulder Interview at Assault & Battery 2". Milocostudios.com. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  10. ^ John Payne, "Editors and Producer Flood Bring Synths to the Forefront, Record to Tape, and Make Mistakes Great" Archived 29 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine, EQ Magazine, Feb 2010/
  11. ^ "Guitar Center Interviews Billy Corgan". GuitarCenter.com. Guitar Center. Archived from the original on 2 January 2012.
  12. ^ "Spend $40,000 building a studio, and get it all back!". Audiomasterclass.com. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  13. ^ "allmusic – Flood, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 May 2011.

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