Swookie Monster of TABS on How Creating New Material Sometimes Makes Him Want to Throw His Computer Against the Wall
What projects have you been working on lately, either solo or with TABS?
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."
Is it a challenge to create new material?
Most definitely. Some days it flows easy and sometimes you want to throw your computer against the wall. But for the most part it's somewhere in-between and fun, which is what it should be.
How do you create energy in your mixes?
With a live mix, I like to think of it as a journey. I'll sometimes pick where I want to start with a song and what one I'll want to end with, and then navigate the whole middle on the fly. Energy should flow through builds not only in songs but in multiple songs strung together to create a great mix. It's why knowing your song library and building one over years and years can be your biggest strength as a DJ as well as the biggest factor that makes you unique.
How much work do you put into your mixes for your own DJ gigs?
I'm pretty extensive with collecting tracks, I like to stay current with music being released and one of my favorite things is getting to expose people to new music for my gigs. I just had a wedding of two good friends that flew me out to Monterey, California, for the occasion. I spent over a month preparing for their wedding since I know them well and I wanted it to be really special for them. When it comes down to set time, minus a few songs, its always picking songs on the fly as I go through my set.
What's your favorite track of the moment?
Benoit & Sergio, "New Ships." It's a few months old, but I've still been listening to it a lot lately.
What other artists have you been digging lately?
I've been doing a few nu-disco sets down here and always enjoy stuff from Gigamesh, Edwin Van Cleef, The Magician, and Mighty Mouse. It's hard not to dance to all of them. A bit away from the DJ realm -- when I like to take breaks -- Grimes, Chad Valley, Twin Shadow, and Diamond Rings. On the house side I've really enjoyed Calvin Harris' 18 Months and going back over the collection of outstanding tracks he's done in that time with a few new ones thrown in.