Zild is not the usual young and self-absorbed musician. For one, he’s been taking to heart the advice of his dad Franklin Benitez, former drummer of the Hungry Young Poets and Barbie’s Cradle.
“Value people around you more than the fame,” Zild quoted his dad.
Father and son are among the performers in “Welcome Home,” a benefit show on Nov. 25, 6 p.m. at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay, which also features Gigi de Lana & the Gigi Vibes, Juris, Kenaniah, Chen, Daddy’s Home, and Musicians on Fire.
Proceeds of the event will help build a church for Christ the Living God Fellowship (CLGF), where father and son are both members.
In this online chat, Zild recalls how he got into music, his influences, as well as the “universal feeling” of hating Mondays.
Did your father influence your interest in music, and at what age did you get serious in becoming a musician?
I grew up listening to a wide range of music. From Christian music to Pinoy rock to Toto to fusion jazz folks like Chick Corea and Dave Weckl. I subconsciously gravitated towards music. I started taking it seriously when I was 13, because our church needed a bassist.
What advice from your father did you appreciate most when you joined a band?
Value people around you more than fame. Also, he always quoted Sting: 'Be yourself, no matter what they say.' Be unapologetically yourself.
There was a lot of buzz when IV of Spades came into the scene. But the band was gone as quickly as it drew many fans at the start. Did you feel anger or frustration over the way the band suddenly ended its promising career?
No. It is what it is.
But you’ve also been successful as a solo artist. In fact, I was blown away by your performance on August 27, 2022 at 19 East. You wore a black trench coat with the words, 'Oh, Lunes Na Naman' scrawled at the back. Anything significant behind those lines?
It’s a universal feeling (besides love). Everyone hates Mondays. Mondays are just mundane.
What about this part of your song’s lyrics: 'Umiikot lang ang panahon, ang bagong dekada Sitenta!' Please enlighten us, what did you mean by that?
Sometimes history really just repeats itself, no matter how much facts or information we have.
Your music sounds like a wonderful mix of classic rock, punk and disco. Did you really intend to combine those elements?
It was all in my subconscious. I just wanted to write music that I grew up on and resonated with. I try to not be intentional as much as possible. I just want to create.
Who are your biggest musical influences—foreign and local?
Church music plays a huge role in my music up to now. I always see music as something that transcends spiritually. Locally, Armi Millare and Rico Blanco influenced me a lot when it comes to writing music. They have their own voice.
What can your followers expect from you soon?
More music and more smiles.
What’s been your guiding principle as a young musician?
Music is a tool to make this world a little bit more bearable.
You’re headlining a benefit show, 'Welcome Home,' which is organized by your father. Are you preparing anything special?
I have no idea yet, but this show is close to my heart because it involves the community where I learned about music. These are the people who’ve supported me since the very beginning.