Two-time GRAMMY®-nominated musician Jeff Russo has become a prominent composer, songwriter and arranger in the film and television industry. Russo is currently composing music for two highly-anticipated television series: FX’s ten-episode limited series, FARGO, starring Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Colin Hanks, Bob Odenkirk and Kate Walsh and Starz’s new original drama, POWER, from executive producer, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. He has just completed work on the feature film thriller, THE SURFACE, starring Sean Astin and Mimi Rogers and later this year, he is slated to begin work on the upcoming Wilt Chamberlain Biopic, WILT.
In addition to composing music for film and television, Russo still plays music with his rock band. He is a founding member, lead guitarist and co-songwriter of two-time GRAMMY® nominated, multi-platinum selling rock band, TONIC. Their debut album, “Lemon Parade,” posted three singles in the U.S. Mainstream rock Charts’ Top 10, with “If You Could Only See,” rocketing to number one. In 2003, the band received two GRAMMY®-nominations, one for “Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal” for “Take Me As I Am,” and one for “Best Rock Album.”
Most recently, Russo co-composed the score for CBS’s television mini-series drama, HOSTAGES, starring Dylan McDermott and Toni Collette, and wrote the original score for USA Network’s NECESSARY ROUGHNESS, starring Callie Thorne, Marc Blucas and John Stamos. In 2013, he also worked on several feature films, including Shoreline Entertainment’s WATERCOLOR POSTCARDS, starring Laura Bell Bundy, and the independent feature, FREE RIDE, starring Anna Paquin, Cam Gigandet and Drea de Mateo. Russo’s work can also be heard in films and television shows such as Marvista Entertainment’s film BAD BEHAVIOR; the independent feature ABOUT CHERRY; Lifetime’s MEET JANE; the pilot for ABC’s CHARLIE’S ANGELS; Showtime’s SHAMELSS episode, “It’s Time to Kill the Turtle”; ABC’s MY GENERATION and THE UNUSUALS; a documentary featuring interviews of the original students and teachers of the 1967 “Third Wave Experiment,” LESSON PLAN; and ABC/Bad Robot’s main title song for WHAT ABOUT BRIAN with Low Stars. Russo has also contributed to the score for Showtime’s WEEDS; a rap song for ABC’s hit-series CASTLE; score for NBC’s SMASH; and NBC’s final season of CROSSING JORDAN and debut season of THE BIONIC WOMAN, both under renowned composers, Wendy & Lisa. Tonic’s music has also been featured in films such as, Universal Pictures’ AMERICAN PIE and Dimension Films’ SCREAM 2.
In addition to scoring film and television, Russo has composed music for the New York Ballet Company Cedarlake Ensemble.
Jeff Russo is nominated for an Emmy for Best Score for Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special (Original Dramatic Score)
That was one of my most enjoyable interview, that starts in laughing from both sides and talking about the movie “The Princess Bride” (in my response “as you wish” in his question about using a camera for our interview, he asked me if I’m quoting “The Princes Bride”). So here we are!
Interview conducted by: Eleni Mitsiaki
Special thanks to: Jeff Russo, Jana Davidoff (cw3pr) and Beth Krakower (Cinemedia Promotions)
Buy FARGO CD here