Music can make or break anything. A dramatic movie scene, a video game, a first dance, everything will always come back to the music. A lot of times we only see music for the lyrics or how the music makes us feel, and in doing so, we overlook the composers who make these amazing music arrangements possible.
One of these insanely talented people who compose the music you hear in different films and TV shows is Max Lombardo. Star Wars: Battlefront II (EA videogame), Documentary Road Rebellion, live show Sea World Orca Encounter, are just some of the projects he worked on. He has also won a number of awards and recognitions including – to mention just a few – 3 Global Music Awards and Best Original Score: Honourable Mention at the AoF Film Festival for his score for Karma, a 3D CGI animated movie that was selected in over 40 festivals and won over a dozen of prizes. Originally from Padua, Italy, Lombardo has lived all over the world composing music, now living in the beautiful Los Angeles. I was lucky enough to get to talk with Max about his amazing career and love for composing. Lombardo’s music is beautiful and tells a story, which really allows you to escape into the moment.
Read my interview with Max Lombardo below:
So, tell me a little bit about yourself?
I was born and bred in Italy, in a town near Venice called Padua, but I have also lived in Milan and New York for a while. I was always into music, I’ve been playing drums and guitar since the age of 4, although lately I rarely play due to my busy schedule as a composer. I have a bachelor’s degree in Audio Engineering, a Diploma in Electronic Music, a Diploma of Merit in Film Scoring (granted by the Academy Award Winning composer Luis Bacalov at the renowned Chigiana Music Academy in Siena, Italy) and a Diploma with honours from USC in Scoring for Motion Pictures and TV.
I started my career as a drummer, playing in several rock metal bands, touring all over Italy and releasing a few records. That was the time when I started writing music, as I was the main writer for the bands. From there I started focusing more and more on composing which I realised at some point it was the one thing I’ve always wanted to do.
What drew you to the music industry?
Thanks to my parents who raised me playing Bruce Springsteen instead of lullabies before bedtime, I always had a big passion for music and rhythm (that’s why I became a drummer so young). In addition to this, another thing that was always part of my life was movies, I started watching movies when I was really young, which is something I also owe to my parents because they are both very passionate about good cinema.
What drew me into the film scoring business I would say it’s my passion for these two things that are probably what I was always obsessed with; music and movies. It sort of happened naturally for me, my music style was always cinematic even before I started scoring movies.
There is one episode though that made me realise this is what I want to do in my life. I was about 19 and at the time I had already worked on some short movies and trailers, I remember because of the most random coincidence I was offered to write music for a very big Italian movie called I 2 Soliti Idioti, a comedy that was going to be released in theatres on Christmas 2012. The movie was my first experience with a major production and, although it would get pretty stressful at times, it made me realise that was exactly what I wanted to do. The movie was a huge success and was the highest grossing movie of the year in Italy.
So after that, what is the biggest piece of work you have done or worked on?
Since the beginning of my career I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the finest artists and creator of the Industry, but if I had to pick one project I would probably say “Star Wars Battlefront II’, the most anticipated game of the year by EA Dice (the game will be released in November). I had the pleasure to write with composer Gordy Haab on the game, where we recorded the score in London at the legendary Abbey Road Studio with one of the greatest orchestra in the world: the London Symphony Orchestra. This is the same orchestra and the same studio studio where John Williams recorded the scores, it was literally a dream come true.
What is your biggest goal that you want to achieve being a composer?
It’s hard to tell, I feel like the more I get to know this industry the more I find out about ‘great hidden treasures’ in it and I’m constantly adapting my path to try to follow the most exciting adventures. However I’m a huge fan of director Christopher Nolan, I know all his movies inside out, The Dark Knight had a huge impact on me, not to mention Interstellar, which really redefined the genre for me. So yes, a big dream of mine would be to score a Nolan’s movie one day, ‘unfortunately’ he’s been in pretty good hands with Hans Zimmer (laughs).
Who inspires you and your work?
I remember when I watched Jurassic Park for the first time, one of my favorite movies of all times, that was also the first time I noticed music in movies (and what music!!). The John Williams’ score for Jurassic Park is probably one of the main factors that contributed to pushing me into the film scoring career. He is certainly one of my biggest inspirations. On the other hand there are so many great composers and musicians in the industry who inspire me everyday, I would need another full article to mention them all.
As you can see from his full packed resume of amazing work and accomplishments, Max Lombardo is already making waves in the music industry, and will continue to do so. To listen to some of his work go to his website http://www.maxlombardo.com/ and see his career take off.