A Night Out w/ Ben Andersen of Night Thieves

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Ben Andersen aka "Swookie Monster" is one of eight members in Night Thieves, a DJ/ producer/ artist/ party promoter collective of locals that are hell bent on dance music domination.

The dance party initiator and full blown remixed music geek has been a key player in bridging the gaps in what has become a rather fragmented and competitive local DJ scene. His most recent project with friend and fellow Night Thieves member Eric Hoss, or "Speedy Graffiti," TABS, is receiving major internet buzz and feedback from a few heavy hitting radio show hosts and taste-making DJs across the country. 

Andersen's collaborative mission to unify artistic communities instead of compete with them proves to be working rather well. Hmm, maybe all you do need is love (and some mad mixing skills).

We caught up with Andersen and a few other Night Thieves on our latest Wingman venture. Read on after the jump.

The Meet Up: The night started by meeting Andersen, Eric Hoss and friend Sean Anderson at the Indian School and 26th street dive bar Chopper John's to support local dubstep, indie, electro DJs "Mikey Pro" and "Thiq Nick" Rodgers at their new Wednesday night dance party, XO!

Ben explains it's Mikey and Nick's first night at Chopper's and that he first met the dudes when Night Thieves weekly Tuesday night gig Gin & Tronic moved from Stray Cat in Tempe to Vagabond Ballroom in Scottsdale.

After staying for a couple of Mikey and Nick's sets, Ben tells me our next stop is to visit another weekly DJ party--one that this Wingman venture knows all too well-- at yep, you

guessed it, The Scenario at Bar Smith. Making this destination extra special tonight is the guest DJ, The Ariel, who is also a Night Thief party beast and veteran Drum and Bass initiator.

The Company: Though Andersen's 6-feet, 6-inches tall and goes by the intimidating DJ handle Swookie Monster, he might be one of the nicest and most genuine local DJs in the scene and posseses a thoughtful and (dare I say it) teddy bear-like presence that the crew he runs with is happy to attest. You might say the same about his close friend Hoss, who stops on our way into Bar Smith to give a homeless person begging for change a few bucks.

On the rooftop we are met by another Night Thieves member, Ben Linsenmeyer of DJ moniker "Benni Beatkick" and a whole rooftop full of locally involved veterans, including NightFuse's Fernando Hernandez (which is always a clear indication it's a big night), Quincy Ross, Sean Watson, Jason Ayers, William Reed, and James Przewlocki of local Neo Funk Soul band, Home Jones.

Favorite Spots:  Though Andersen has recently been spending a lot of time huddled over his music equipment for TABS, his "all in this together" approach to making new friends and supporting the local community puts any and all spots on his radar.

And from the diversely affiliated faces that are seen dancing together on the rooftop tonight, it seems like Andersen, and the rest of the Night Thieves, may really be on to something.  

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