Acclaimed rock pianist Marco Benevento brings his own brand of piano rock to the Arden Gild Concert Hall in Arden, Delaware on Saturday, February 1st at 8:00 pm and with him more than a decade of brilliant work collaborating with a host of established musicians. He is in the middle of his stateside winter tour, is working on a new record with Richard Swift in March, and this will be his first ever live show in Arden, Delaware. This much anticipated show will be a rocking, danceable, intricate, fun and entertaining live show. Local jam band favorites Mad Sweet Pangs is opening the show at 8:00 pm.
Check out this great live video performance with his band that features Dave Dreiwitz (Ween) and Andy Borger (Tom Waits):
I was curious to get more of a sense of what to expect from Marco Benevento, so I was lucky to get the chance to speak with him.
Jon: How does it feel to come to Delaware?
Marco: We don’t get to come there that often even though we’re a New York band we still haven’t been to Delaware that much. We played in Wilmington about 6 months ago. It was fun. It was our first time there. We had been on the road for the last 4 years, and it was our first show in Delaware. I don’t hear a lot of bands about their frequent stops to Delaware. They either play Baltimore or DC or Philly. So, we are psyched to go to some new venues and check out new people and places to play.
Jon: What would you say has influenced you most prominently?
Marco: I guess rock music, and then there are the other tinges of electronic music and dance music as well as jazz and improvisation, but the heart of it is rock…more of an upbeat, straightforward, loud show. I actually travel with my own piano that has guitar pickups on this piano, and I run it into a guitar amp, and I have some other fun boxes that play drum machine loops and other synthesizers. There is synthesized piano, synthesized keyboard parts that we play along to. It’s 3 guys on stage, but there’s a lot of sound coming out there.
Jon: Talking about your last album Tiger Face, I see you collaborated with many artists and it’s amazing the names like Matt Chamberlain from Pearl Jam and John McEntire (The Sea and The Cake) just to name a few. How did that come about?
Marco: I have collaborated with so many people. I don’t know where to begin… going out to Chicago and working with John McEntire for one tune on Tiger Face was just so awesome. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I’ve been a huge fan of Tortoise and his production skills. To sit with him for 2 days in the studio and messin’ around with songs and we even kinda got to a second song, but to be able to collaborate with him was great. He played drums on “Soma” from Tiger Face. Matt Chamberlain, I’ve known him for a long time…about 10 years. We’ve been on tour together many times. We were on the same record label for a while…..started the band basically with him 6 or 7 years ago when I first started touring as a pianist. He was the first guy who came on the road with me. We made records together. He is on all my records, the last 4 that went out…. What I really like is what Brad Mehldau did with him. I like Brad Mehldau’s record called Largo sort of a cross more on the jazz side, with crazy rock drumming (Matt Chamberlain kinda drumming). It was a blend of rock and jazz that really appealed to me, and I sort of grabbed that and grabbed Matt and started making records and touring in that style….lost that jazz tinge and now have more of what some people even described as “ambient.” So, there are elements of that. I also collaborated with guys from Phish: Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon, and we did a 3 week tour in 2006. I recorded with Trey. I think living in Brooklyn, being hungry for gigs and touring, and getting known brought together all these collaborations.
Jon: A new album coming out?
Marco: Yup. We’re working on a new record. The bass player who has been in my band for 4 years is Dave Dreiwitz , and he was in Ween for 15 years, and Andy Borger is the drummer who toured with Tom Waits for a while….Nora Jones for a while. The 3 of us will go into the studio. We have more of a cohesion now we’re playing together really well. We’re going out west to record with Richard Swift who is a great engineer, keyboard player, drummer, singer, DJ. He’s collaborated with Foxygen and so many people. He’s kind of a genius. I’ve known him for 4 years just from passing through Oregon and playing shows. I’ve seen him out West. We’re going out to make a record with him in March. We have a lot of new songs we’ll probably be playing at the show from the new record. We play a mix of tunes from all of the records we have out there.
Jon: You are in the middle of your winter tour. Do you like being on the road?
Marco: Yes, absolutely! I love it. Like anybody if you do it too much you start to get antsy. We’re not in a tour bus or anything. Even if you are, it’s still time away from home, and you are on a strict schedule, but you’re playing music, so it’s the best thing in the world. The gigs erase all memory of any crazy drive or any flat tire or any crazy thing that might have happened. Music makes up for it. I love it. I will keep playing music all my life, touring and performing. I think every musician seeks a balance between touring and being on the road, but we stay busy.
Jon: What would you like those people who may not be familiar with you….what would you want them to know about you in terms of your music or yourself?
Marco: We like to have a good time. The show is uplifting. We’re on the spot if something gets thrown at us from the audience we’ll incorporate it into the show. We like to have a good time and engage the audience. The show is not a sit down show. It’s more of a dancing kind of show!
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Full concert info at http://www.ardenconcerts.