Alessandro Cortini (born May 24, 1976) is an Italian musician best known for touring with the American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails from 2005 to present as the keyboardist. Cortini is also the frontman for the Los Angeles based electronic-alternative band Modwheelmood and was the rhythm guitarist for The Mayfield Four from 2000 to 2002.
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 2001-2002, 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:
Cortini toured with the live Nine Inch Nails band from 2005 to 2007, during the band's "Live: With Teeth" and "Performance 2007" tours. 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 2007, Cortini continued touring with Nine Inch Nails in support of the 2007 Nine Inch Nails album Year Zero, mainly outside of the U.S. In September 2007, Reznor expressed his interest in moving away from the "rock band configuration", and effectively disbanded the live band. It has been revealed in recent months, through photos posted on the official Nine Inch Nails website, that Cortini participated in the production of the 2008 album Ghosts I-IV with Trent Reznor, Adrian Belew, Atticus Ross, and others. Cortini rejoined Reznor and Nine Inch Nails for the Lights In The Sky Over North/South America 2008 tour.
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. Modwheelmood have also remixed "The Great Destroyer" on the Nine Inch Nails release Year Zero Remixed.
Cortini uses the following equipment in his studio: