By Van Muller-
House of Cool is on a mission to reveal new and inspiring heroes to encourage our audience to believe in themselves, just as the role models we feature do.
We’re proud to tell amazing stories about people who found their own way into the spotlight with their talent, effort, energy and curiosity.
This week we’re having a conversation with “it artist” Max Lugavere. This New York-born, LA-based super-talent finds himself immersed in a universe of occupations: he’s a filmmaker, singer/songwriter, science addict, has a double degree in film and psychology, and according to his own description of himself, a “wonder junkie”. Let’s not forget his tenure as host/producer of Al Gore’s Current TV back when it won an Emmy, and founder of Rockdrive, a philanthropic concert series that Max started humbly in LA and has now spread to 3 other major cities in the US.
For Max it seems the sky isn’t really the limit. We had the honor to find out why.
Hello Max. It seems like you have a very busy mind with your involvement in film, TV, and music. Do you think that’s what this artistic generation is all about? Being multitalented?
It’s always a good idea to hone one’s craft. You still need to put in your 10,000 hours. But on the other hand, we’re a generation bestowed with amazing technologies that empower us to create more and faster than ever before, and then to broadcast those creations to potentially millions of people. If you’re being pulled to create in a medium that is new for you, don’t fight the urge. Listen to it.
For such a vibrant artist, it seems like the sky isn’t really the limit. How do you manage time to be involved in so many great things and what do you really stand up for and why?
For me, it’s as Alain de Botton once said: It’s not about having to do everything. It’s about honoring that which one suspects one may be capable of. All I’ve ever wanted to do was to create meaningful content regardless of expectations, especially my own. I get so much out of media, from movies to music, that for me it’s just about returning the favor to the Universe.
We know you’re a science lover. Do you think science and religion could ever walk side by side and be contributors one day?
I don’t believe in any of the pre-prescribed, organized religion stuff. It’s just that: organized. Life is messy and as Jiddu Krishnamurti—a hero of mine—would say, truth is a pathless land. I do consider myself spiritual and regularly have peak, dare I say, spiritual, moments with music. Those moments are just as transcendent as anything happening in church.
Did you watch TV when you were little? If so, what was your favorite show?
My favorite show of all time is Six Feet Under. I regularly re-watch the whole series. As a kid I had a crush on Alex Mack, the girl on Nickelodeon with super powers.
What is being cool in your opinion Max? Would that be related to your looks or to your personality and self- awareness?
Being kind is cool. Being passionate about things, definitely cool. Showing vulnerability is cool. I’d say I’m pretty self-aware but I don’t know if that makes me cool. I’m super health-conscious, I eat really healthy, take supplements, and work out a lot. I think that’s a good way to live, I guess.
As a songwriter, who are your heroes and what inspires you the most?
My favorite band of all time was the band Live. These guys, at 18, were writing about religion and spirituality and mysticism and ending racism and the end of the world and stuff like that. They inspired me in so many ways from the literature that I read to a lot of my core philosophical beliefs. That inspired me tremendously growing up, that music can actually have a tangible effect like that, beyond just something to tap your feet to. That it can actually go in and rewire neurons and shake you out of your comfort zone and provide a framework to make sense of the world and stuff like that. It’s just a beautiful fucking thing.
What would you consider as being the highlights of your career so far and what are your plans for the future?
I played recently at this last event in the boiler room of the Queen Mary, which had a very cathedral-like vibe. Rusted steel and a 150-foot ceiling… The reverb in there was epic. Ceiling so tall you couldn’t even see it, it was just blackness. It was definitely one of those peak, pinch me moments. It influenced the performance for sure.Art by Bruna Pontual.