Last Friday, electronic music phenom deadmau5 played a secret show for 200 fans at Sonos Studio in Hollywood. The show was so secret, in fact, we were using code words throughout the two-week planning process, hoping word wouldn’t spread to his notably large and devoted fanbase.
It was truly something to behold. Not just because of the size (they squeezed a mini version of his famous “cube” into the space), but because it gave us an opportunity to see what he actually does behind those decks, up close and personal.
When deadmau5 aka Joel Zimmerman first started spinning, I was overwhelmed by the visuals. Then, I just started watching him, with his laser-like focus and intense concentration. It was hard to keep up with all he was doing but he was executing it like a champ. Then, before I knew it, I had closed my eyes and was taken back to my early raver girl days, when I used to sneak out of the house and go to underground dance parties in downtown Miami in the mid-90’s. I remembered that feeling of letting it all wash over you and take you away and never wanting it to stop.
It was my first deadmau5 show and I was pretty floored by his talent. He’s one of the biggest DJs in the world for good reason and in his chat with Jason Bentley before the set, I learned a lot about how he got there—and where he’s going.
He seems to distinguish two sides of his talent – as a performer and a producer. He proclaimed that he didn’t want to be known as “the ‘Ghosts N Stuff’ guy” anymore, and took the opportunity to come out of his shell and display his skills as a producer on his new album. That meant collaborating with a wide range of people – including hip hop heroes Cypress Hill and singer Imogen Heap — to showcase would he could do beyond dance music.
He started music school at the age 6 and was classically trained on piano until age 16. He left the instrument behind, but took with him a fundamental melodic knowledge that he uses to this day. In fact, he says when he starts writing a song, it all starts with the melody and the beat comes later.
As far as what’s in store on his upcoming tour, he called his new stage show “insane” and “bloody amazing”. He seemed bursting with excitement, but not wanting to spill the beans before people can actually see it.
The live DJ set and interview were recorded and will air on Morning Becomes Eclectic on November 1 and will be available streaming on demand HERE.
In the meantime, check out this clip of “The Veldt” (feat. Chris James) [Tommy Trash Remix].