Swookie Monster of TABS on How Creating New Material Sometimes Makes Him Want to Throw His Computer Against the Wall
If you haven't seen Ben Andersen out at any Valley clubs lately, it isn't because the house and nu-disco DJ/producer known as Swookie Monster is hiding out at home or anything. In fact, he isn't even in the Valley at all. Although his two-man collaborative project TABS with Tempe's Eric "Speedy Graffiti" Hoss is considered a Phoenix act, the 30-year-old calls Tucson home and regularly spins at such Old Pueblo joints as Club Congress.
Ben Anderson (a.k.a. Swookie Monster)
This weekend, he's making the two-hour trek to our neck of the woods to reunite with Hoss to perform at the Monarch Theatre on Saturday night. We caught up with Andersen recently in honor of the occasion to learn what he's been brewing up lately on the EDM tip both as a solo artist and with TABS. His creative process occasionally can be a frustrating one, he tells Up on the Sun, which sometimes -- as you'll read in the following interview -- results in an overwhelming desire to destroy his MacBook Pro.
Name: Ben Andersen
AKA: Swookie Monster
Preferred Genres: Progressive house, electro, nu-disco, and indie remixes are my four strongest, but I enjoy elements from all other sorts of subgenres, if you will, and I believe a great set can incorporate a multitude of genres
How did you get into the DJ game?
I started spinning CDs on CD turntables at my good friends house in college for house parties. When he needed a break, I'd hop on for like an hour and then again really late at night after he showed me the basics. Really humble beginnings. Shifted to working and practicing with some other friends in all of our free time on a lot of the blog house wave that was coming out of LA in 2006-ish.
Do you have a particular mantra as a DJ?
If I don't think I could dance to it, I probably won't play it.
What projects have you been working on lately?
We have about 11 tracks written we want to split between two EPs as TABS. Production and fine-tuning on all the tracks as well as working with labels to get them released proves to be quite time-consuming. We're always keeping an eye on the next thing we want to do as TABS. I've also been gigging down here in Tucson and "keeping the skills sharp."