Meet our next MAI ‘Wonder of the World’, Sydneysider, musician and charmer, Donny Benét. A self-confessed lover of inspirational speakers, Robert Palmer and fretless bass. Who takes Italio disco and brings it one step closer to everlasting world domination. We had a chat ahead of his upcoming Berlin show and found out how The Don does business…
Hi Donny, so we’ve heard through the grapevine that you are into inspirational speakers… a) is this true & b) besides inspirational speakers who or what has been inspiring you these days?
I am – positive reinforcement is always the way! I really get a kick out of watching an old television special on Anthony Roberts, especially the piece by Quincy Jones…a favourite line is “Get off your keester!” I think Quincy went and hung out on Tony’s private island after his meltdown over winning only 1 Grammy award the year after Thriller won a whole bunch.
Inspiring these days – everything from artists both past and present. There’s a few Australian peers who are just relentless in their quest for success/domination and there’s always lessons to be learnt from the past.
Aside from your music holding a pretty strong 80s influence, it’s also just really fun. What song did you have most fun producing on your last album?
Thanks for picking up on the fun aspect! I think the most satisfying track was Santorini – it took me a good few days of editing and by the time I’d locked down all of the bass/rhythm parts it was al about layering synths and the lush BV’s. That part was a real fun time!
You are based in Sydney and you have an Italian family background… Can you tell us the last text you received from your mother?
We don’t text much at all – Like any good Italian boy I adore my mother and it’s always a nice chat on the phone. I’m not an animal!
Which concert would you most like to have had the chance to see live? (time travel is permitted, if not, encouraged with this one)
Maybe some Robert Palmer concerts just after he’d had his big hits. Watching the audience have to sit through all the older/fantastic and more unknown material until the big guns came out. And his live bands were so slick – I think in particular there’s a 1992 live in Japan concert – that looks like a real fun time.
What’s a ridiculous thing that you are afraid of?
Missing a show – it’s always a recurring dream for musicians.
What’s something that you love that everyone else doesn’t?
What’s the best piece of advice that your dad gave you musical or otherwise?
Always leave a bit of space on the track. And never go to bed without resolving an argument.
What do have coming up next?
World domination. New music, lots and lots and lots of touring. It’s just the beginning.