Random Article

 
Posted September 19, 2012 by Always Acoustic in Interviews
 
 

Michael Lombardi Interview


Monday, August 31, 2009, 8:17 p.m. CST

It’s a misconception to label Michael Lombardi as an actor first and then as a musician/vocalist of Apache Stone. It’s actually quite the opposite. Michael grew up playing the drums, attended music school and was fortunate enough to get work as an actor. Playing the character Michael Silletti on Rescue Me has allowed Lombardi to hone his craft as a musician, while still working as an actor. 

AARON KEKER: Michael, good evening! How you doing?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Good man! I’m doing great! Thanks for taking the time to have me! Great to be on bro!

AARON KEKER: It’s good to have you too man! The week of August 2nd, Apache Stone performed in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. How did the three state tours go?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Wow! Let me think. They went good! Everything has great man from show to show it’s always different. I’m doing a lot of traveling which is mainly on the East Coast. We’re trying to get out West and expand our horizons a bit here. Go to some different places besides just being on the East Coast. Mainly this summer we spent most of our time here but definitely we traveled a lot did a lot of little cities and a lot of great clubs. It’s been a blast man every show.

AARON KEKER: Well how excited were you to release your debut album Apache Stone digitally on iTunes on June 10th and the CD on July 28th?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Awe! Thrilled! I mean it’s been a long time in the making. We started recording it last January. As a matter of fact we recorded up at a studio in New London, Connecticut called Sonalysts Studios and it is an exact replica of the Power Station, which is a famous studio in New York City. This studio in Connecticut was built by one of the Bon Jovi’s. We stayed up there and we just stayed at a really small motel right off the highway right next door to it. Completely secluded there and we recorded the whole album and it was just a blast to do. We’re fortunate enough that MySpace Records has come on board with us for digital distribution and it is sort of an interesting thing we have going with them. It’s not like they are our main label because we’re not in stores and so forth with them. But it’s sort of like a partnership, you know with the music business being so wide open and their being so many different routes to take to get your music out there. It’s been pretty interesting for us to sort of have this little partnership with them and they’ve been amazing to us. They’re the ones that put our music out on iTunes and Amazon and they’ve giving us a lot of love with MySpace Records as far as MySpace goes as well. So, it’s been awesome bro!

AARON KEKER: Are you going to be on like Napster and Rhapsody too?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: I’m not sure about that! That’s a good question. I’m not sure where they’re taking it. As far as I know right now it’s just iTunes and Amazon.

AARON KEKER: Will Apache Stone be releasing any music videos on iTunes?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Awe! Yeah! Good question! It’s definitely in the works. It’s been talked about a lot. Right now we’re sort of concentrating on you know getting it out there and doing our live thing. Playing for the people and gathering our following that way.

AARON KEKER: Okay. “Synthetic Self” and “Highlighted Life” are the most played songs on Apache Stone’s MySpace page. What are some of your favorite songs from the album?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Well “Synthetic Self” is definitely one of my favorites because it’s the first song [that] we actually wrote together and it has been getting the most hits. People seem to enjoy it. Obviously, hold like every song pretty close to my heart. You know, I had like a book of some poetry, lyrics and stuff that I’ve written over the years. Then when I put the right group of guys together it all came together. And we just wrote these songs, so they definitely all have different meanings. “Synthetic Self” is pretty driving and “Highlighted Life.” I like the tune “Let it Live” a lot. I think “Without Tomorrow” though is definitely one of those sort of like epic rock ballade kind of Zeppeliny vibey kind of songs. So I am pretty pleased with that one too.

AARON KEKER: Well you know “Let it Live” you kind of sound like a little bit like Anthony Kiedis.

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Yeah! I’ve heard that! That was definitely one of my influences. I think being an artist; you know you have to have influences. A lot of this stuff like the Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Audioslave, Stone Temple Pilots, Guns N’ Roses, Led Zeppelin. All those guys have influenced me tremendously not only musically but like in my life.

AARON KEKER: Before settling on the name Apache Stone, were there any other names strongly considered?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Good question! There were a couple names. To me it just didn’t hold the weight that Apache Stone held for me. I just don’t feel like they captured the vibe of the music. There were a couple fun names thrown around.

AARON KEKER: Any names you’d like to share? (Laughs)

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Fake Baby Head.

AARON KEKER: (Laughs)

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: (Laughs)

AARON KEKER: I think I like Apache Stone better man. (Laughs)

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Yeah! Yeah! Me too man! It meant a lot to me too. Everything that I wrote lyrically for this album I tried to like have a meaning and tell a story. Apache Stone also does that for me. So it’s not just some name throw around.

AARON KEKER: Usually people relate to the music when there’s a story to it.

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Yeah! Thank you!

AARON KEKER: Rescue Me often draws story lines from the cast members’ real lives and puts a comedic spin on it. Especially in the “Lesbos” episode, when Denis Leary’s character Tommy Gavin said “Mike, you know I like your band. I think we can all agree, the band name sucks!”

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: (Laughs)

AARON KEKER: (Laughs) But on a serious note, Apache Stone has been given another platform to get their music heard. Will there be any future plans to release either “Synthetic Self” or “Social Outlaw” on another Rescue Me soundtrack album?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Awe! Good question! It’s definitely not up to me. It would be awesome if that happened! Basically, Denis Leary, Peter Tolan and Evan Reilly the writers of Rescue Me found out that I had a band. And like you said, you know a lot of different story lines and different things are either pulled by the actor’s real life and totally like twist it up with a comedic or dramatic element or they’re pulled out of real firefighter’s lives. One thing that I didn’t know was a lot of firemen have bands and there’s like a real FDNY battle of the bands and all this. They’ve wrote it into the show. Definitely added a comedic element where the band gets ragged on and the band name. But you know what I thought was really cool? Was they all like had a real respect when they heard the songs and the music and they let us play our original stuff. If it did go any further and they did put it on the Rescue Me soundtrack that would be amazing too! But I’ll tell you already FX Network and Sony put it on their web site. We thought that was pretty cool for them to do.

AARON KEKER: Apache Stone has Bacon in the family. First, your album was produced by Arthur Bacon. Second, the name of your guitarist is Nick Bacon. Can Arthur and Nick be linked to the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Yes, they can!

AARON KEKER: (Laughs)

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: (Laughs)

AARON KEKER: (Laughs)

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Those guys are really talented guys. I’m so lucky to have them. Nick’s an amazing guitar player. Saw him playing. Loved his vibe. He was very much heavily influenced by a lot of punk. He’s been around playing in New York and stuff for a while. He was in a band called the Pilfers, who were pretty big band and a good following. We saw him playing and “We’re like, we gotta have this guy.” Fortunately enough, he came on board and his older brother Arthur, the music producer, and we met with a bunch of producers. Before we went in to do the album, I felt like Arthur was the guy that really got us and was going to represent our music the most organically and sort of the way that I wanted to be represented.

AARON KEKER: Well Apache Stone is influenced by heavy rock of the 90’s like STP, GN’R, Audioslave, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam. If you could do a cover song by any of them, which song would it be?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Awe! That’s a really good question! I mean a lot of different songs came to mind from each band. All those guys had so many great songs. You know the thing is I’d have to say about it is that all those guys did all those songs so well, that I’d probably be scared to touch any.

AARON KEKER: (Laughs)

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: I mean, I really would be. I really wanna make it my own and do it. So I’m thinking like “Live and Let Die.” GN’R covered that from Paul McCartney, right?

AARON KEKER: Yeah!

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Yeah! “Rooster” would be pretty sick though, right?

AARON KEKER: Yeah! “Rooster” that be awesome! Another good one would be “Patience.”

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Awe!

AARON KEKER: You really wouldn’t have to raise your voice, really on that. You know, just keep it at kind of like a melodic level.

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Yeah! Exactly! (Laughs)

AARON KEKER: (Laughs)

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Just scared to go to Axl Land. Couldn’t do it man!

AARON KEKER: (Laughs) In one of the scenes in the episode of “Carrot,” you were playing the acoustic guitar. Besides playing the drums, do you play the acoustic guitar?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: I know a couple chords on the acoustic. I love acoustic guitar. I love guitar. I grew up like I said playing drums and always dabbled in the guitar but unfortunately never put as much as my concentration into that as I did the drums. I mean, I love the drums as well. But for writing purposes it would be so nice to have some chops on the guitar. I know a couple of chords that’s about the extent of it. They got a little Hollywood on it. They did not come to close on my hands playing but I will say I did really play those chords. I think it was only about three of them on the show. That was really me playing. (Laughs)

AARON KEKER: (Laughs) Yeah, dude! I wish I could play it. I can’t sit there and play “Row Row, Row Your Boat,” you know what I’m saying.

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Yeah, dude!

AARON KEKER: I wanna play like “Patience” but you know you got to learn how to play the basics. I’m like I just can’t play “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” it’s not motivating for me.

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Yeah! Exactly! (Laughs)

AARON KEKER: (Laughs) You know what I’m saying.

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Yes!

AARON KEKER: Does Apache Stone enjoy playing acoustically?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Honestly, we love it! We have an acoustic rehearsal tomorrow to be honest with you. A lot of our songs translate pretty well acoustically. It’s a really nice vibe. What happened was a while back we had this opportunity literally the night before someone said, “Hey, do you want to come to this small bar in the East Village and just do an acoustic set.” And we’re like “All right!” So I think we met like that afternoon and we ran the acoustic set and “We’re like this is cool.” I think we did like eight songs off the album and two of them still would’ve worked but we needed a little time to work ‘em out to make them be where we wanted them to be for a live acoustic set. But they are all translated pretty well. It was really a nice vibe. I really enjoyed it!

AARON KEKER: Apache Stone would tour on an acoustic theme?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Awe! Yeah!

AARON KEKER: Have you ever watched American Idol?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Yes!

AARON KEKER: If American Idol had removed the age limit years ago, would you have auditioned for the show?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: (Long Pause) No! No! I take a long time to answer that question because now I see that Slash is on. I mean every time I’ve watched it seems like, you know, artists who I respect are more and more appearing on it and I’m like “Whoa!” I mean the show is legit and everything but I really always want to stay away from anything reality on TV. Even when I was younger because I always had my own dreams and aspirations of doing my own thing. And I always thought that would flaw me, you know.  So I always stayed away from that. Never wanted to take that route as an artist. So I think as much as I would’ve like loved the chance to have done it and gone on there, I think I would’ve definitely been hesitant to take that route. But then I might have thought twice when I saw like Slash go on. (Laughs)

AARON KEKER: (Laughs)

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: I would’ve been like, you know maybe. (Laughs)

AARON KEKER: (Laughs)

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: It’s really cool obviously. What I really do admire about is the fact that these kids they’re going up there and it’s incredible how many people call into vote. They’re really doing it. I mean, they’re not paying their dues by going on the road and doing their thing. But it’s pretty strenuous what they have to go through. Definitely I have a certain amount of respect for it but I wouldn’t have done it. Not the route that I would choose.

AARON KEKER: According to IMDB, your character has appeared in all 74 episodes. Of those 74 episodes, do you have any favorites?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Have favorite scenes for sure out of the 74, but I’ll tell yah it’s been such a long haul. 74 one hour episodes from what I can remember. I guess the scenes that I remember the most must be the ones that I love the most and I love a lot of the scenes that I’m not in too. It’s a pretty well written show and a lot of funny things. Definitely have a lot of respect and admiration for the cast and the crew.

AARON KEKER: Now you guys still filming or you guys done right now?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: We wrapped like I don’t know five or six months ago. In the meantime, I’ve just been touring with my band and now we go back to filming September 14th for season six of Rescue Me. So, I’ll be back to work in a couple of weeks. I’ll be doing at least three gigs a month. Every Saturday for the most part we’ll be gigging. During the week we’ll be playing in New York. There are not that many writers forRescue Me, so we’ll shoot like five weeks and they give us two weeks off. In those two weeks we’ll be doing a ton of gigs trying to get out to the Midwest and out West. Get out to Chicago to visit you bro!

AARON KEKER: I know man! Being a wise cracking funny man, what is the craziest prank pulled on you by Denis Leary?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Craziest prank pulled on me by Denis.

AARON KEKER: Yeah!

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Well you know what it is more than like pranks, I mean Denis is hilarious and we always have such a blast like on set. I mean there’s a lot of funny things that go on. He wears so many hats on the show. You know he is starring, producing, writing but when he’s hanging out with us he’s just one of the guys. We all get along really well. It’s a really like well oiled machine. Whether the camera’s rolling or not there’s always just like funny stuff. It’s like that brotherhood and sort of that fraternal relationship that we all have together. There’s always a lot of joking. He’s always busting chops and like just a really funny guy.

AARON KEKER: Yeah! I remember him in The Ref. You ever see that one?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Yeah!

AARON KEKER: He always cracks me up with that movie.

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Kevin Spacey. That movie was great!

AARON KEKER: Yeah! Which is more difficult, reading and memorizing lines for Rescue Me or playing and singing in a rock band?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Which is more difficult? I think honestly there’s more than being difficult because in both, you know, you’re playing and you’re doing your thing. It’s doing what I love to do. I really couldn’t see myself doing anything else. So there’s definitely a certain amount of nerves involved that’s for sure. It’s always a fear of failure that gets me the most like I’m just really nervous. I wanna do awesome at this. I wanna be great. I wanna be, you know, all these things so it’s all that build up and it’s about equal with both of them. Because when I walk on set to do a scene and everyone is around or whether I’m doing a live play or whatever it is I just always wanna be good. (Laughs) The same thing in going to perform live there’s a lot of nerves. But once you get up there and you do it that’s just the type of person I am. A lot of build-up. A lot of nerves. A lot of preparation. A lot of rehearsals for both. I really like to be prepared and do a lot of work and then I just let it all go. And what happens, happens. And I feel like that is very similar with both the arts. And both things that I’m doing. So I don’t think one is more difficult than the other for me because I get so much enjoyment out of both of them.

AARON KEKER: Does Denis Leary ever recommend that Apache Stone perform “Asshole” in a live performance?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Well, here’s the thing. When we came to play on set my guitar player Hank Woods, he knows the song. So he wants to start playing it but I didn’t know the lyrics. And I was like “I can’t do it. My boss will be pissed off, I don’t know the lyrics.” So we (Laughs) didn’t do it.

AARON KEKER: (Laughs)

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: I felt like that should be something that maybe I should know because I am a Denis Leary fan. I didn’t know ‘em so we didn’t do it. But when we came on we were going to start playing just as like a joke to him. But we didn’t. Then I told him that and he goes “Awe man! He goes you should’ve. I would’ve jumped up and sang.”

AARON KEKER: (Laughs) Yeah!

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: I was kind of bummed we didn’t.

AARON KEKER: Awe man! Well maybe next time?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Yeah! Exactly! I’m sure we’ll have an opportunity too.

AARON KEKER: For those of us who have never seen a live performance of Apache Stone, what can we expect?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: I think in our live performance it’s honestly a great show! Like there’s a lot of energy! It’s real! It’s not cookie cutter stuff! We just get up there and do our thing. Definitely be taken on a ride and hopefully touched. I mean we really pour our hearts and souls into it and like no matter what happens, we have a blast along the way. Hopefully you will too.

AARON KEKER: You ever go out and sing while you’re in like the middle of the crowd?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Haven’t gone out to the audience but definitely like I’ll hang out and have a drink afterwards that’s for sure. We’ve always had really warm friendly audience. So it’s always been a really good vibe every show! I’m so blessed. It’s been awesome bro!

AARON KEKER: Have you ever heard of Secondhand Serenade?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Yeah!

AARON KEKER: So you kind of do what John does. He always goes out after, you know, his performance for Secondhand Serenade and he actually meets with the crowd. So that kind of sounds like what you do too?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Yeah! I do! I can’t tell you how like I feel so thankful that … people actually come out. What’s funny is in the beginning, I’d try to just get as many as my friends as I could to gigs in New York. I’d be like “Will you guys come?” You know, I’d have a handful of people there. Now we’re starting to see that people are starting to hear about us and coming out. Checking out our web site or our MySpace page or seeing us on the show. I mean, it’s really amazing that people take the time to come out and see it! I always feel so touched.

AARON KEKER: I think also it helps when you got the PR and stuff out there. You know, when I did a couple of tweets saying I was going to interview you. And they’re like “Oh isn’t he from Rescue Me?” I’m like “Yeah!” You know, that’s the first thing that they think of.

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Yeah!

AARON KEKER: And they they’re like, “Oh he sings.” “Yeah, he’s pretty good!” Then they’re like “Oh, really?” Then I usually tell ‘em to go check you guys out at MySpace or whatever.

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Awe! Thank you so much man for plugging us! I really appreciate that man! That really does help getting the PR out there because the other thing too is there’s always a stigma I think around actors who have bands and stuff. And like I get it, I mean. I realize every interview that I do because it’s brought up. I get that but you know what? It’s funny how like that can be perceived in the public eye. But when it’s you doing it, you’re just like “Aw, listen I’m just doing what I love to do. Like I came to New York. I was in music school. That’s what I wanted to do.” I was fortunate enough to start getting work as an actor and that’s like the path that I took. I’m so lucky to be on Rescue Me and a TV show that I’m actually like getting paid for what I love and that like afforded me to be able to get a rehearsal space and have a band in New York. Take the time and write and rehearse with my band to get this album done. So that’s kind of how I looked at it. That’s just been my path. Honestly, like the music can stand by itself. So what’s really cool is we’re trying to get it out there as much as possible. And if people listen to it, hopefully they like it whether they know Rescue Me or they don’t. Down the line our second album, hopefully, you know, we can keep just growing as a band. That’s really what I want to do.

AARON KEKER: Your second album probably not out for a while, right?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Probably. I don’t know. Definitely not putting this in stone, I have no idea, but I’m thinking like really try to put together a good string of tours from now through January. Maybe get back into the studio. Next summer I really want to tour for sure whether it’s with this album or an EP. But we’re working on these songs all the time so we’ll see. It’s always hard to tell what the future holds you know.

AARON KEKER: Right.

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: We’re definitely writing constantly. We have new songs already that we’re performing out live at our live show that are not even on the album.

AARON KEKER: Does Apache Stone have a Twitter page?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: No, we don’t!

AARON KEKER: You guys should try and, you know, get one of those.

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: We got to get on the Twitter bus don’t we!

AARON KEKER: Yeah, I think so! Final Question.

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Okay.

AARON KEKER: Apache Stone is mostly touring on the East Coast. When will the band start moving Westward into Chicago and the rest of the country?

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: When will the band be?

AARON KEKER: Yeah!

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Yeah! Like I said, we cannot wait. Actually Chicago is like honestly one of my #1 places to hit. I can’t wait to hit Chicago and the rest of the Midwest and West Coast. What we’re trying to do now is this: We’re going to continue sort of playing on the East Coast just locally over the course of the next, you know, probably couple of months. We resume filming of Rescue Me on September 14th and we normally shoot about five weeks and then we’ll get like two weeks off. As soon as I get my official schedule, which I’ll get next week. As soon as I get that two week hiatus we’re going to book at least 10 shows and hit the Midwest. Get out and see you guys. That’s like our #1 thing right now. We’re gonna make it happen for sure this winter and again in the spring and summer because then I’ll be done. I’m done filming in April and then it’s a full blown tour from April on through the whole summer. Really like I said trying to get out there before April but worst case scenario would be in May. But I know it’s going to happen before then.

AARON KEKER: Thanks for your time! Hope you have a wonderful evening!

MICHAEL LOMBARDI: Yeah bro! Thank you so much even for having me Aaron! It’s great! I’m glad we finally got this thing done!

2009-08-31_Michael_Lombardi_Apache_Stone_Interview