There are overachievers, and then there is Max Lugavere. Rather than wax poetic at how good the young man is at the various jobs he holds, let’s just list them; co-founding host and producer of the Emmy-winning Current TV, the international television network founded by Al Gore, co-host of Pangea Day, the TED Conference’s live broadcast of short films from six international cities that reached more than 150 countries, brand expert who has worked with companies including Axe, Ford, Samsung and Cartier, pilot creator for an HBO docu-series entitled Talk Nerdy To Me with executive producer, Bill Maher, and singer.
You can download Max’s EP here, the highlight being the track “One Year Later,” sung with Voice contestant Angel Taylor.
So why so many projects and does he have any free time? We decided to chat with Mr. Lugavere and find out.
Has singing always been something you have been interested in? It seems to be worlds away from your other work in many ways.
I’ve always been into singing. Music informs my life in many ways, quite seamlessly in fact. It’s yin and yang… The more opportunity I have to talk about big ideas and social issues in other mediums, the more personal and confessional the music becomes.
What can you tell us about the pilot you just finished for HBO?
I’m really, really, really into science. Before I ended up in LA hosting/producing a show on Current, I was on a pre-med route (I graduated w/ a degree in Psychology and Film). I think it’s got to be hilariously confusing at first for people who find out about me through my music or Current and end up seeing me tweeting science links all day, but then they start to get it. It’s the “how” and “why”. For example, there isn’t a person on Earth who doesn’t love good music: the goosebumps we get, the feeling of transcendence. But I also love digging in and learning the neuroscience behind it. That sort of thing really excites me. So the pilot is a show about scientific ideas. That’s the kind of TV I want to make.
Working with TED is such an amazing honor, what can you tell us about that? How nervous were you?
I wasn’t that nervous. Getting to work with your buddy always helps too. I’m a huge fan of TED for the way they package art and science. They’re masters at giving esoteric ideas an increasingly mainstream platform.
Tell us more about Rockdrive. What inspired that?
Rockdrive was really just a merger of music and philanthropy with a focus on improving local educational systems. I’ve been really lucky to work with great people—Angelique Sheppard and Dave Garner, event producers and musicians in their own right—and also with awesome talent. Bruno Mars, Angel Taylor, Andy Grammer, Aqualung all have played Rockdrive, among many others. We’re working on a 2012 event right now and looking for partners and sponsors.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?
Making music, travelling, creating, having fun! I see Rockdrive becoming a big global brand.
Is there one job or role you enjoy more than the others? Singing? Producing?
I love being creative and making content that is important and meaningful to me. Content that uncovers human truths in a visceral way. That is all I want to do, ever.
What were your earliest ambitions?
At 14 I wanted to be a virologist. I was the webmaster of a site dedicated to the Ebola virus. True story.