Mike Lombardi gig aids Danbury firefighters
By night, Mike Lombardi can be seen stealing scenes from loose cannon Denis Leary on the acclaimed FX series “Rescue Me,” as Mike “Probie” Silleti. By day — well, OK, it’s at night, too — the actor fronts a band called Apache Stone and it’s coming to our area.
On Saturday, the band will play a special benefit show — fittingly, supporting local firefighters — at Tuxedo Junction in Danbury. Some proceeds from the 9 p.m. event will go toward the Danbury Professional Fire Fighters Scholarship Fund and DFD Training Center.
I caught up with Lombardi recently and asked him about the event and the rock band (think STP or Audioslave) he recently put together with bassist David Leatherwood, drummer Mark Greenberg and guitarists Nick Bacon and Hank Woods.
How do you balance “Rescue Me” and your band?
I have been fortunate enough to be on “Rescue Me” for five seasons now. Having steady work as an actor is a pretty amazing thing. Working on such a well-written, well-acted show based in NYC makes it even more amazing.
I am definitely an East Coast guy. Knowing that I’m based in NYC and don’t have to travel for work has enabled me to put together a great group of musicians, rent rehearsal space and schedule all rehearsals and gigs around my shooting schedule. We get our schedules episode to episode and when there is a day I’m not filming, I book band rehearsal.
Does Denis Leary’s character inspire any of your songs?
Human behavior in general inspires our songs and music. Different things that I/we have gone through or observed has inspired our music. The most important thing is to write about what you know and what you hold close to you. In regard to Denis, he has been a huge inspiration to me in all aspects of my life. His drive, loyalty, hard work, creativity and dedication — all of it.
Observing him doing all this has inspired me in many ways. I wanted to take whatever success that I have established as an artist and do my own thing. I have really enjoyed writing my own songs, putting this great group of guys together, producing our album and of course performing.
How’d you come up with the name Apache Stone?
I have an arrowhead that was given to me by someone very special; it is an Apache arrowhead made out of stone. Native American culture has influenced me throughout my life. The Apaches were a force to be reckoned with. They had a tremendous amount of passion and drive. It has been said it would take a hundred soldiers to take down 10 Apaches. They were sometimes referred to as “the tigers of the human species.” Their drive, passion, strength and determination struck me. I want my band to follow that vibe.
What came first, music or acting?
Although I am the lead singer of Apache Stone, I grew up playing drums. I got my first drum set at a pretty young age. I was enrolled at the Drummers Collective music school in NYC when I started taking acting classes. I was fortunate enough to start getting acting work.
Is this a side project for you or are you serious about music?
Apache Stone is not just a side project for me. Like acting, it is a major passion of mine. This season in “Rescue Me,” my band is written into the show as part of my character’s story line. How lucky am I? So it is incredible to have the two passions cross. Whatever happens I am having a blast with my band and learning a lot along the way!
Where are you from originally? Will Saturday at Tuxedo Junction mark your first time in Danbury?
I was born and raised for part of my life in Waterbury, Conn. Then my family moved to the Litchfield County area. I have actually seen a lot of cool bands at Tuxedo’s when I was a young drummer. I always wanted to play the venue. It’s definitely a special show because I have friends in the Danbury Fire Department and will be donating some of the proceeds from the gig to the DFD.