Fast Chat With Donny Benet

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Fast Chat With Donny Benet


I’m very confused about the level of irony in your press release. Can you actually play the accordion?


Oddly, the internet makes no mention of famous Italian accordion artist Antonio Giacomelli Benét, which is sad, because your dad sounded like an awesome guy. Why has history forgotten such a seminal artist?

History can be cruel sometimes. Dad was a big hit in his home towns in Italy but sadly the mainstream audiences never got to enjoy and appreciate his talents.

How did you go from serenading old folks in a nursing home to the electro synth explosion that is Don’t Hold Back ?

Tension and release – it’s great to give back to the senior community but sometimes all that emotion gets pent up and needs to be released through vehicles such as Don’t Hold Back.

How do you think the old folks would like your record?

They like it, although they wish I did an Italian speaking version.

What kind of music do you like to listen to?

Most good music: R’n’b, funk, soul, Italo-disco, J pop – anything really!

What are the highlights of yacht rock and electro funk, in your opinion?

Michael McDonald. Michael McDonald. Michael McDonald. Plus Kashif, he’s a real mother.

If you could have it either way, would you prefer to be an electro rock musician in the early ’80s, or a retro ’80s synth pop artist in 2011? Why?

I wish I could go back knowing what I know now – kind of the musical equivalent of Back To The Future II.

Forgive me for asking, but how did a goatee-sporting older fellow such as yourself end up on the bill at Parklife, aka Australia’s premiere children’s festival?

I thought Parklife was an adult-contemporary music festival…I thought they were hiring me as a young, fresh face…

Tell me about your live show. What kind of performance skills have you got?

I know all the tricks, can play all the licks – I’ve got hands of fire, for you to desire.

And what do you bring to the Australian music landscape that nobody else does?

Premium gardening know-how.

Donny Benet plays Workers Club on Saturday August 13.