Interview: Donny Benet speaks Volumes
Volumes Festival is just around the corner and will see acts such as Mossy, Koi Child, Donny Benet, Christopher Port and Nicholas Allbrook gracing venues in Sydney. We caught up with Donny for a chat:
Hi Donny and thanks for taking the time out to speak with us at Something You Said. I remember attending one of the Jurassic Lounge events at the Australian Museum some years ago and seeing you walk down a set of white marble stairs, dressed in an all-white suit surrounded by suspended skeletons and taxidermy. It was a sublime image and begs the question, is one simply born with class or is it something that can be learned?
A bit of both – Italian blood gives you good taste but you’ve got to also aim high to make it in this world. For me it’s been a combination history, culture and endless Anthony Robbins motivational seminars.
You have teamed up with artistic powerhouse that is SPOD not just in a live setting but also for some of your video clips. I couldn’t think of a better man for understanding your vision and laying it down on film. Can you give me an insight into the story board process for your clip Don’t Hold Back?
I’ve been very fortunate to work with SPOD for the “Don’t Hold Back” clip as well as “Gimme Your Heat”. SPOD interpreted my music perfectly and the clips really do speak for themselves. For “Don’t Hold Back” SPOD was actually driving across the US and had a friend film the clip for him in green screen. When filming I had absolutely no idea what he would be doing and basically tried to sum up some heat from nowhere. When I got the clip back I’d realized that he’d used all the off-camera shots, which really gave it a real awkward vibe, which totally nails it. To this day people still ask me how did I afford the Learjet in the beginning of the clip…it’s that good.
What are Donny’s top three tips for becoming a sophisticated lover?
Be a good listener.
Don’t be stingy with the compliments.
Scramble your eggs slowly on low heat. Don’t make a fat omelette.
You are a multi-instrumentalist, which instrument is the sexiest to play?
Bass is my bread and butter. Everyone loves good bread.
You have played in some of greatest cities in the world, 😉 Paris, Rome, London, New York and Marrickville. What makes the inner west so much better than the rest?
It’s cuisine. So much choice at such good cost (before the baby boomers moved back in).
Having played with some amazing acts including Dan Deacon, were there any words of wisdom spoken to you that really resonated with you and altered the way you approach your music?
For me it’s been my bro’s, Jack and the Lads. Jack Ladder, Kirin J and Laurie Pike. So much taste, style, conviction and support.
You are playing the Volumes Festival this August, if punters play their cards right will they score a free Weekend At Donny’s T-Shirt?
Yeah, I think I have some left. Come see me and talk up a deal – good cash prices.
Are there any other acts on the bill you are keen to check out?
Heaps… But I’m hanging for You Beauty – #1 boys. They play a real hot show.
What’s the rest of 2016 have in store for you?
I’ve got some new tracks/album ready to go… expect to be touched before the year is out.
Interview by Courtney Dabb.