English born producer who has risen to the top of his field and boasts productions for such groups as Nine Inch Nails Smashing Pumpkins and The Jesus and Mary Chain.
Alan Moulder was born in Boston, Lincolnshire U.K. in the early sixties.
As a young boy and teenager he was actively involved in few local bands, to a varying degree of success.
After teaching himself guitar while still in high school he joined a group of friends and started to play gigs.
The style of music mainly focused on emulating ‘The Clash’, much the same as the rest of the garage based bands at the beginning of the 80’s.
When he finished school still aspiring to be a rock star he got the money together to hire a small London studio and record a few demos.
This was the first step Alan would take towards the other side of the glass wall.
Whilst recording the demos at the small offices called Trident Studios, Alan realised that working in this environment would as well as paying his rent keep him touch with music industry and maybe allow him to further his band.
When they returned the next day Alan successfully badgered the management into hiring him as a tea boy.
He lasted less than a month the job. At 20 years old he realised he did have the will, commitment or patience required to spend long hours waiting for ‘inspiration’.
He handed in his apron and returned home to Boston. He landed a job at the Ministry of Agriculture and spent the next four years dedicating his time to the study of rare plant diseases.
During this time he had toiled with his band and eventually by mutual agreement they called it day. Still longing for something more creative Alan’s older and more mature mind turned back to Trident.
After a few calls to the former head engineer and now owner of the studio, Alan returned this time not as a tea-boy but went directly to being an assistant engineer.
Over the next four years Alan would work with some the most highly regarded minds of the field and formed strong professional and personal bonds that last ‘till today.
He worked extensively with Mark Ellis, a.k.a Flood who at the time was Trident’s in-house engineer as well as Clive Martin and the owner of the studio Steven Stugar Short. For time they even had the presence of Steve Osbourne.
With Short he learnt all about the process of engineering sounds and translating[ideas into music.
The studio was slowly gaining a reputation but was still relatively cheap. These two factors combined meant that there was a lot of demand for their service, mostly form alternative bands (Flood produced most of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds’ work at the time) and Alan had continual opportunities to test his skills, and nurture his abilities and experiment with all types of sound.
Soon after his first steps in the industry a trio of producers came along and changed the British musical scene almost over night. There names were Stock, Aitken and Waterman. On the basis of their new brand of pop and production methods, studios popped up all around. Studios that were in a sense little more than overdub booths.
Alan was lucky enough to catch the end of the traditional and time tried method of production: Stick The Band In A Room And See What Happens.
At this time Alan’s music credits were far apart and varied, bands such as Atenna and The Smiths or Hi-NRG recorded with Alan. The record label Record Shack, having found Alan to be an outstanding professional started throw more dance music his way and he start to carve out a niche in that area.
In the next year Trident underwent a change of ownership and Alan, saw the chance to branch out on his own.
Luckily he had a strong circle of experienced friends to advice him on this move. He had also seen people go freelance with just one client and not have anywhere to turn if anything happened.
At this point he met Dave Stewart who had recently signed Alan’s wife’s band , Toni Halliday of Curve, to his record label Fundamental Music. Dave was quick to sign Alan on to his company. Fundamental Music and the company studio, The Church was run by Karen Ciccione who is to this day Alan’s manager.
As his client portfolio built up Alan still was remixing dance music courtesy of his friend Danny D who would throw stuff his way, he did a lot of work in this area and claims to have loved it. Work that stands out from this era are Bomb The Bass tracks and Shakespeare’s Sister ‘Hormonally Yours’.
One day he got a call from Alan McGee at Creation Records, who at the time was managing The Jesus and Mary Chain. McGee approached Moulder to work on their upcoming production ‘Automatic’. On the strength of the results he started working with them on a regular basis.
This was to be his first step into the alternative genre.
McGee was so happy with the quality and sound of Alan’s work that he was soon producing bands like Ride and My Bloody Valentine.
At this time Moulder’s work was solely record engineering and the transition into production was seamless and easy.
At the time most bands were producing themselves since the idea of hiring a producer was a novel idea. He slowly began to take on more duties during his sessions. Over the years all of Alan’s work has become a co-production with the bands as well as engineering them.
Come the early nineties and Alan was working hard with My Bloody Valentine.
Billy Corgan, who is a self proclaimed fan of My Bloody Valentine had been following Alan’s career for a few years now, in need of a engineer for his new project he convinced his record that Alan was the man for the job.
After nearly a year in Chicago, The Smashing Pumpkins masterpiece and one of Alan’s landmarks in the industry was unveiled; Siamese Dream.
From this point onwards Alan has not stooped.
His next assignment took him to Trent Reznor’s doorway and another long hard year to create ‘The Downward Spiral’.
By the time he had finished both leading men, Billy and Trent alike had found a new direction and a new member of their teams.
Siamese Dream had established The Smashing Pumpkins firmly in the mainstream and sold like hot cakes.
The Downward Spiral threw Trent’s raw talent and sound into faces of the public world-wide.
The beast was unleashed, so to speak.
Back on track again, Alan took some time out and laid back for a well deserved break, stopping here and there to remix a few singles for Depeche Mode and The Jesus and Mary Chain again.
One call was all it took to get Alan back to work.
Billy had been writing furiously since their last encounter, he had over 100 songs ready for production and a double album.
Alan was back to Pumpkinland., Chicago.
Whenever he talks about his days with The Smashing Pumpkins, he never fails to praise the band for the flexibility and versatility.
Even though Billy Corgan is a very domineering and technical man, he allowed Alan to experiment with the bands sound, bringing them to a new level. As the end results contest this was an album in which the whole team, had grown up.
When he finished with this he felt he was ready for his biggest challenge to date. In much the same vein as Billy, Trent had grown up, he had spent the last four years locked in his New Orleans mansion. He had written over 120 songs for his new album..
Initially it was meant to be a single CD but when Alan saw the of material and the quality of it all they both knew the world was going to have a double Nine Inch Nail CD.
When he took on The Fragile production and engineering Alan did not realise that it would mean two years of his life. Hesitant at first when he found out how massive the project was he changed his mind within in minutes of hearing the first samples.
It has been a long two years for all involved. Amongst other things they were determined to go in at number one. The Downward Spiral had entered the U.S. charts at number two.
And they superseded even there wildest expectations.
Alan put it all down to Trent. Trent says he couldn’t have done it with out Alan.
Whatever the case, Alan has done work on almost all of Trent’s tracks since The Downward Spiral.
This includes credit for Nine Inch Nail’s contribution to the Tomb Raider Soundtrack, Deep.
As for Billy Corgan, he drafted in Moulder for the Pumpkins farewell album, Deus Ex Machina.
At the moment Alan is taking a break from the studio and dedicating more time to his family
Sources: Various interviews and previous knowledge.
I am sorry for any holes in this bio, I have pieced together the information from my sources, if any one knows any other accurate source on the work and life of this man I would appreciate it.