Hailing from Nottingham, UK, that pioneer of the wobble known as Cookie Monsta has spent the last decade wreaking havoc in the bass music scene with his unique sound and heavyweight basslines. With each release, Cookie continues to push the boundaries and contribute to the progression of the genre, though he remains humble in regards to how his prodigious output has shaped the scene.
As he looks ahead to 2018, Cookie Monsta returns to Circus Records with an all original track aptly titled “Xterminate” set to obliterate anything in its tracks wherever it’s played out! With rumors of even heavier bits in the pipeline, we thought it was a good time to lock in a Q&A with the bass monsta himself so check the exclusive interview below.
Tell us about “Xterminate.” There is a heavy sci-fi influence here, how did that come into play?
I was just in the studio playing with organs and choirs when something pretty cool came along and quickly evolved to a B-movie style with laser guns and screaming. Oh, and that funny-ass UFO lead on the breakdown—I still laugh when I hear that in a club!
What do you hope to bring the table with this particular release?
Most tracks all have the same style intros and the same buildups, and I got bored of the same old shit, so I wanted to make something that didn’t conform to today’s generation of dubstep.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a Circus release from you. How does it feel to be back?
Yeah, I’ve been doing remixes and touring around like a mad man! It’s been extremely hard to find time to make anything fresh and get decent time in my studio. I hate trying to make music on planes or in hotels because I just can’t get hype like I can in my studio, so it’s good to be back.
You’re one of the pioneers for Circus Records; how does it feel to be part of the success of such a staple in bass music today?
It’s strange because we’re just a bunch of mates making music. I still feel humble as fuck and I’m always surprised when people say that a certain song of mine was what got them into EDM. I was making dubstep 10 years ago and making a name for myself; the times were a lot different then in comparison to 2018!
Speaking of which, how did your relationship with Circus Records begin? It’s been quite a journey.
I was making music and not really focused on any releases when I started to speak to Flux online over AIM and we started sending music and ideas to each other, along with Dr. P. I first met Flux when he had a show up north and I went with him and told him how shit it’s going to be. I counted about 11 people including myself and the beat boxer. Right around then, Flux started to tell me about how he was going to start a record label with Dr. P and FuntCase and it appealed to me because it was just a group of mates making music without needing to go to record labels who would be a pain to release with. I made a name of myself by making my own mixes, my own music, and putting it out for free online so I didn’t care about vinyl releases or digital ones either. The idea of Circus Records was the only appeal around for me.
How did you first get into producing? Why bass music?
My brother had “Music 2000” on the PlayStation when I was around 9 or 10 years old and was genuinely mesmerized by the game because you were able to move around samples or use MIDI for simple sounds. I started to sneak into my brother’s room when he was out and I would play. My brother is about seven years older than me, so we were arch enemies and when he’d find me in his room, he’d beat the shit outta me. Nonetheless, I never lost focus on that game.
A few years passed and I was still trying to find games that were similar to “Music 2000.” I think I had more music games than I did actual games! I would spend hours and hours making shitty loops and beats for years until I turned 18 and a friend told me his mate was going to college (US high school) for Music Technology. I found the course and instantly registered, even though everyone was against my decision, which is understandable because I needed a job since I was poor as fuck, but I didn’t give a shit. I went for two years and my music evolved, which was absolutely amazing because I would try to create sounds that no one had ever heard before.
We're just a bunch of mates making music. I still feel humble as fuck and I'm always surprised when people say that a certain song of mine was what got them into EDM.
Over the years you’ve stayed unique and matured your sound. Given your place in the industry, how do you think your sound influences bass music as a whole?
I’m not really sure, to be honest. I’m so naive when it comes to thinking about how my music has affected other producers and listeners alike. I’ve never really thought about how any of my releases my impact industry, because I still really don’t even think they have a big influence. That’s a hard question to answer!
Tell us a little bit about your creative process.
There’s really no set way of making a new track for me. I might be inspired from watching a movie and it’s film score or listening to some new music that has a few sounds I want to try to make in the studio with my own style. I sit in my studio and imagine standing infront of a huge sound system and think of how I’d like to hear the drums or bass synths, and that’s pretty much the basics of music making.
Over the past couple of years, you’ve been pretty vocal about the fact that you’ve wanted to “bring back the wobble.” Can you explain?
I was just so bored of the same old shit being recycled and missed the “good ol’ days” when simplistic sounds were surrounded by personality and energy. Everything had huge kicks, loud snares and side chained everything! I wanted to make something that goes back to the time of not spending weeks on mix downs or different versions. I think people need to make that but everyone is different, I’ve got no right to tell someone how to make music, but it would be nice to hear some nice wobs.
Where do you see the current state of bass music stands as of now, and where do you hope it goes from here?
Bass music in amazing place! There is so much great music and different sounds that are crossing over from the sub genres within bass music. I’m excited and I want to keep hearing great tunes!
How do you see the bass music scene in the US compared to the UK?
There’s a huge difference in where things are at the moment because the UK and Europe have gone more underground. There are amazing parties over there, but they tend to be more of an intimate thing. That being said, Rampage is one of the biggest shows on the planet. It’s absolutely crazy.
Is there anything in the works you can share with fans as of now?
I’ve got another single coming soon after this one that I can’t say much about it, but trust, it’s RUFF.
Any last minute shouts before we go?
Big up to the Bassrush fam! Love you guys, keep doing what you’re doing and can’t wait to see you soon!