MARIO MILLO was born in Sydney, Australia in May 1955 to Italian parents, both whom had musical backgrounds. His music career began at the age of five when his father taught him to play the mandolin. By nine, he had begun performing in various Sydney night-clubs and was fast becoming an accomplished guitar player.
In 1967, at twelve years of age, he formed his first band, wrote his first song
and two years later his second band "The Clik" were the winners of a major "battle of the bands" launching the group into mainstream live venues and their first record release.
"The Clik" broke up in late 1973 and Millo decided to join Sydney band "Sebastian Hardie". It was with this band that he began to develop his unique writing style and in 1975, Sebastian Hardie released their debut album "Four Moments" which achieved gold status soon after its release. The bands second album "Windchase" was released a year later - both these albums were hailed as classic progressive rock performances, with Sebastian Hardie recognised as one of the most innovative rock bands of the seventies.
The band toured Australia with many international acts including Santana, Lou Reed, Osibisa and Focus. Sebastian Hardie held their own alongside these major acts in the eyes and ears of audiences and the press with Millo's melodic and soulful guitar playing gaining the respect of legend guitarists Carlos Santana and Jan Akkermann and the praise of his many followers. A stream of great reviews followed each of their performances and Mario Millo was acknowledged as "a guitar master from Down Under".
In late 1976 "Sebastian Hardie" went their separate ways and Millo formed the band "Windchase" with Seb Hardie keyboard player Toivo Pilt. They recorded "Symphinity" which was released in 1977. This album, while different in many ways compared to the previous Seb Hardie albums, still maintained a unique innovative quality and remained in the category of "progressive rock". Toward the latter part of the seventies, it became more and more difficult to obtain radio support for anything other than "commercial/radio friendly songs", and as a consequence, Windchase disbanded late in 1977.
1978 saw Millo embark on his first film score, co-composing and performing the music for the acclaimed television series "Against the Wind". The soundtrack, released soon after, was one of the largest selling Australian Soundtracks of the time, with sales of over half a million units world-wide.
In 1979, Millo recorded "Epic III", his first solo album. He and his band toured Australia promoting "Epic III" as support act to Joan Armatrading ... however, as a result of the ongoing success of "Against The Wind", there was great demand for Mario and co-composer Jon English to headline their own tour to promote "Against the Wind". They toured extensively throughout Australia and the success of the series had also extended to Scandinavia where Mario and Jon performed concerts in the major cities.
Upon returning to Australia, Millo's management and record company encouraged him to record a new album - to "produce a commercial album" with songs suitable for radio airplay. "Human Games" was released in 1983. Mario was not entirely happy with this album, feeling he had to deviate too much from his natural style of writing.
Later that year, he was commissioned to compose music for the feature documentary "Aussie Assault" (Australia's historic win of the America's Cup) It was Mario's first orchestral score and the resulting music stirred up great interest among Australian film makers - film offers began pouring in. Millo was excited at the prospect of composing for orchestra and also fascinated to be part of and involved in the film making process. This new direction demanded most of his time, and made it difficult to pursue his recording career for the following few years. He did, however, release many successful film soundtrack albums over that period.
His film highlights are many and include composing and performing the haunting guitar music for the film "Shame" in 1986, which became a "cult" film in the USA. In 1987 he won the coveted Australian Film Institute (AFI) Award for "Best Film Score" for his music in the epic cinema feature "The Lighthorsemen" and in 1991, he composed and performed the score for the Emmy nominated hit series "Brides of Christ". For this moving and much acclaimed score, Millo won an ARIA Award for Best Soundtrack and APRA Awards for Best Film or TV Theme and Best Film or TV Score. The Soundtrack of "Brides" was a winner on it's release and is still in demand .
Mario's career as a film composer has captivated him over a long period of time and his achievements have been many. He has an outstanding reputation for creating powerful, thematic and emotional scores and has been recognised many times over by his peers with the awards he has to his credit.
In November 1994, (around the time Millo had signed a two year agreement to score the music for the Australian television series "GP") Sebastian Hardie were approached by promoters to reform the band for a one off performance headlining PROGFEST, (Progressive Rock Music Festival held annually in Los Angeles). It was a great success and the band were keen to continue performing together, however Mario's commitment to "GP" meant they had to put any further plans on hold.
While producing the music for "GP", Millo regularly used a select group of studio musicians - and when "GP" came to conclusion in late '97, he decided to collaborate with them, with the intention of producing a CD as a studio project. As their writing began taking shape - so did a unique sound that became "Men From Mars". Performing live became a natural progression for the band and they performed at various low key gigs around Sydney. The CD was put on hold as Mario pursued another dream - to record a solo album, his first in nearly two decades. He has just finalised mixing the CD and it will be released in a few months.
In 2001, Mario completed the scores for the successful ABC television drama series “Changi” and “Heroes Mountain - The Thredbo Story”.
In 2002, he changed pace a little to write some radio themes and stings for ABC Local Radio, which will be used as station identification on more than 50 ABC regional stations.