Nursing student rocks hard with local band Gorillafight
Published: Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Updated: Sunday, July 10, 2011 10:07
At around 6 a.m. on Friday, UCF nursing student Michael Lombardo helped senior citizens eat and provided personal care and comfort to patients at a long-term care center.
For more photos, view the gallery here.
No less than 15 hours later, he was on stage at the Hard Rock Live at Universal Studios playing his guitar with reckless abandon and banging his head in unison with his band and the hundreds of fans in attendance.
And it's just another day for him. When he's not studying for tests in UCF's accelerated nursing program, Lombardo plays lead guitar for the local band, Gorillafight. The band consists of rhythm guitarist Brian Kizer, vocalist Dave Fernandez, bassist Chuck Molnar and drummer "Heavie" Kevin Collado.
Lombardo's current goal is to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, and he says he's starting to feel the pressure of the program.
"I've been in the program for about a month or two, and it's ridiculously busy," Lombardo said. "I bounce all around the city and I barely have any free time. I think it really has to do with the fact that I love music. I love being in this band, but I don't want to risk having a future that doesn't give my family whatever I want."
Lombardo earned his first college degree in business at the University of Florida in 2003. He worked as an account executive at the Bank of Arizona for three years. After the economic downturn of 2007, he went into orthopedic medical sales in the Orlando area. He said that it was there that he began to aspire to be in the operating room as a nurse, not a salesman.
"Everything I did in the past was benefiting me," Lombardo said. "When I was in banking and orthopedics, I was working so I could make more money. I did well, but I got burnt out on getting up every day to benefit myself and from the hospital I could see the benefits that nurse's made in people's lives. Spending a day helping someone in the hospital for an accident makes you come home tired for a much better reason than money alone."
Lombardo brings only one-fifth of Gorillafight's diversity. The band mixes elements of metal, soul, hip-hop and classic rock to create an individual sound.
"We all have completely different influences when it comes to personal music tastes," Kizer said. "Chucky comes from the school of the soul, Michael's a metalhead through and through, I don't like anything past 1988, Dave comes from a death metal background and Kevin pretty much listens to only one band."
"The one strength that we have as a band is that we tend to reach out to a wide variety of fans," Lombardo said. "We aren't for one genre specifically. The music that we write is a culmination of a lot of different mindsets and musical tastes. Whether you're old, young, black, white, metal or soul, we're a band for anyone who wants to come out and enjoy a good show for a night."
Though Lombardo has taken a number of paths to get where he is right now, he sees nothing wrong with doing something different, a mentality Gorillafight takes to heart when they make music.
"I think there's no reason that you can't chase more than one dream at a time. Personally, I want to be a jack of all trades and excel at everything I can do."
For more information, visit the band's Facebook page.