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DEADMAU5: END OF THE OPINIONATED ERA?

DEADMAU5: END OF THE OPINIONATED ERA?

Is it the end of an era?

As the days and weeks pass, there has been more and more evidence that supports the claim that the outspoken one, Deadmau5, may hang up the mau5 head and depart for new pastures.

It started with a series of tweets discussing his mindset on his entire identity, one of which blatantly reveals a desire to “kill off the Deadmau5 b***s*** and just start something new”. Clearly the mau5 is in some stages of a yearning to do something different with his music career, and it appears to be a completely serious claim. 

He talks about how it’s difficult to be as opinionated as he is while also trying to maintain his musical identity. Under his current pseudonym he has unleashed a bevy of opinions that have simultaneously cleansed the clean-cut mind-your-manners façade pallet of the music industry and outraged a vast majority of music fans worldwide.

The checklist for his tirades is well documented, well publicized, and quite lengthy. Today we are all aware he has fired shots at the likes of Justin Bieber, Skrillex, Krewella, and his mau5 foe Disney. But for those just entering the realm of electronic music his outspoken nature precedes these recent squabbles. There was the infamous Avicii/Martin Garrix troll job at Ultra 2014, his legality battle with DirtyCircuit, his social media bout with Rusko, and his back-and-forth affair with Afrojack.

Needless to say, Deadmau5 has endured quite the controversial career and has racked up an impressive tab of enemies through his fearless nature of speaking his mind no matter who he offends. He has become one of the top trolls in all of music and it has gotten to a point where it is almost a perfected craft beyond his brilliant music career.

So, the question here is simple: is it really time for Joel Zimmerman to retire the mau5?

His reasoning is quite understandable. We can only imagine what it’s like to be so opinionated and to never have the fear of expressing those opinions while being seated at or near the head of the electronic music table. It is surely an exhausting role being one of the sole antagonists in a musical universe that is primarily surface-level good-guys who don’t shake the boat for fear of backlash and eventual career repercussions.

However, one thing Joel has done, despite its sometimes annoying nature, is bring a refreshing taste of honesty and transparency to an industry that prides itself on false personas and perceptions. His brutal honesty tends to shed light onto topics that many in the industry want to keep hidden in the shadows, and the fact he is willing to stand up and call people out for it can be considered commendable. And the fact he is willing to go toe-to-toe with some of the biggest names in the world without trepidation or hesitation is remarkable since no one else is brave enough to do it.

And through all of his profanity-woven rants and unpopular ideals, Joel does bring valid points to the forefront; the fact that many want to ignore them and live in a false reality is the true problem at hand. It really is a shame to live in a world where we villainize someone for speaking up and opening our eyes to various shams. The fact he is willing to do so without fear for jeopardizing his own career is an uplifting trait in today’s world.

Does he go too far sometimes? More than likely. But in the present day sometimes you need to push the boundaries further than normal to get a point across and get one to pay attention to the message at hand. Does this make him a bad person? Absolutely not. In the past I have indeed disagreed with some of the mau5 man’s opinions, that’s part of the beauty and frustration of opinions, but I respect the hell out of someone who was also an electronic pioneer for never backing down and always standing up for what he believes.

My wish is that nobody ever forgets the legend Deadmau5 is in not only the electronic music world but in the music industry in general. Well before anyone was screaming to “wake me up when it’s all over” or clicking their tongues following a line claiming we are all animals, well before flower bras, fluffies, and tutus became the norm, and well before massive volcano stages and $500 tickets, one man was helping to create the very foundation you jump and shuffle all over. Joel Zimmerman was, is, and forever will be one of the greatest producers of our generation. Whether it be as Joel, Deadmau5, or now a new identity, he deserves respect and praise for everything he has accomplished and set up for what we know as EDM today (even if he hates what it has become).

I hope Deadmau5 never vanquishes, but if this is indeed his final ride, then I’ll say job well done and thank you for everything you have done. Maybe he comes back in a whole new form and blows everyone out of the water, who knows, but I hope he never changes who he is and what he stands for.

That’s what makes him special. That’s what makes him captivating. That, is what makes Joel Zimmerman legendary.


Derek Lavezzo
From my first festival experience at Buku 2013 I have been a nonstop part of the EDM community and love every aspect of it. I have been writing for as long as I can remember and it's what I love to do, so music + writing is the perfect combination for me.

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