Swookie Monster of TABS on How Creating New Material Sometimes Makes Him Want to Throw His Computer Against the Wall
That I might still live in Phoenix and just never make it out anymore. But personality-wise? It's hard to be personable to everyone you see out that you know or meet, but I intentionally try hard to be appreciative and genuine to everyone I interact with if I'm playing a gig
What's the key to a good gig?
Without getting too out there, I think it's a pretty back and forth relationship between the DJ and the crowd. You need a DJ that knows what they're doing and can read what the crowd is feeling with where to take their set, and at the exact same time, the crowd is looking for the exact same thing from the DJ, to provide a great environment for them to dance and have fun. When those things come together at the right time, any gig can be great.
What's the gig you're doing this weekend with MAJR?
We got invited for our first time ever to play at Monarch Theatre. We always love playing Bar Smith so we're excited to be here for our first time. I'd been looking for a gig to invite our friend MAJR who I spin with at Club Congress in Tucson with who is an East Coast native (Baltimore and D.C.) and also is a fantastic DJ. This is the show it all worked out with, and we're super-excited to be playing with Murk and Mad Ladz before us as well.
Are you planning anything special for the performance?
We have an hour to play but we'll be starting off the set with 7 unreleased tracks all produced by us as TABS, stuff we're all working on getting released right now and that hasn't been played out live yet so it'll be a great way to debut them. The second half of the set we'll be showcasing some of our favorite new tracks that have come out recently.
What's the craziest shit you've witnessed during a gig?
I happened to get backstage at a fairly large event in Scottsdale with quite a few "marquee" DJs in which the green room was absolutely trashed. Meat and cheese tray stuck to the walls, trash everywhere, liquor everywhere. It's not that I was surprised, but it was definitely jacked.
What's been your best experience as a DJ thus far?
Getting to open right before The Twelves as TABS. To give an example, with as much hype that surrounds Daft Punk playing Coachella each year, my love for The Twelves is that strong as well. It was a dream come true, completely humbling, and also was a big milestone to feel I was ready to play along side artists of that caliber. A lot of things rolled into one night.
What do you think is in the future for EDM?
Tough to say, the massive festivals globally (EDC, Ultra, Tomorrowland, Sensation, etc.) have totally surprised me in taking over what rock and hip-hop used to seem to have a stranglehold on. I know there are still a few like Coachella (and maybe Creamfields abroad) that draw large attention, but it pales into what EDM has accomplished in such a short time. I see a steep road for rock and/or hip-hop to even take back any sort of reputable festivals that compete in any sort of way.
Even Coachella is infused with its own EDM tent, which showcases the best from the previous year. It's all mind blowing how huge it's gotten and how quickly. Something like Lollapalooza seems laughable at this time in music compared to the attendance of these EDM festivals. Where all that is taking EDM? I believe the talent and innovators in the industry will still remain at the top of their game and continue to push the envelope while young creatives will always emerge in all types of genres that challenge even the biggest artist.
C² Presents featuring TABS, MAJR, Murk, and Mad Ladz takes place on Saturday at The Monarch Theatre. Doors open at 10 p.m. Admission is $10.