Keyboardist Alessandro Cortini is best known for his work with Nine Inch Nails and How To Destroy Angels. His upcoming, synth-heavy album Volume Massimo will be released on September 27 and features three different album covers for each different format of release (CD, vinyl and digital). Get to know our TALENT SCOUT Artist of the week.

NAME: Alessandro Cortini

HOMETOWN: Bologna, Italy

MUSICAL TRAINING: I started playing guitar - including lots of '60s, '70s and '80s music, when I was 13 years old. I studied guitar from then on with different teachers before ending my studies at Musicians Institute in Los Angeles in 1999.

FIRST GIGS: The first gig of mine was at the age of seven in front of my family and friends performing a lip-synced version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA.” The first real show I attended was Guns N’ Roses in 1992 at the Stadio delle Alpi in Torino, Italy. It was an amazing show with GNR in top form.

MUSICAL INFLUENCES: Everything good and everything bad. Melody and Noise.

Volume Massimo CD Cover

Volume Massimo CD Cover

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW: Carcass' Heartwork, Caspar Brötzmann Massacre's The Tribe, Suicide’s discography, Caterina Barbieri's Ecstatic Computation, Fennesz' Agora, Abul Mogard's And We Are Passing Through Silently, Suzanne Ciani's Flowers of Evil, Steve Vai's Passion and Warfare

MY BIG BREAK: Joining Nine Inch Nails in 2004. That really shaped my future and strengthened my ability to understand myself and what I wanted to do as a musician.

LATEST PROJECTS: My new album Volume Massimo, will be released by Mute on the 27th September.

FAVORITE KEYBOARDS AND WHY: As far as vintage keyboards are concerned, it would be the Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 and VS. They are two opposites, but both cut through the mix equally. The interface is very intuitive and they sound unique in their own worlds. For more modern keyboards, I prefer the Waldorf Quantum. It’s hands down the most revolutionary keyboard of the last decade to me. Definitely the one I’d pick if I had to choose only one to keep.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU: Same as usual: making more music one way or another.

ADVICE TO THE NEXT GENERATION: Buy one piece of gear. Explore, learn, and live with it for a year before adding anything else. Your own voice is born from the process, not from the size of your studio. 

For more information, visit Alessandro's official Facebook page