Deadmau5: “I sold out on that one dubstep track”

Electronic superstar Deadmau5 doesn’t do many interviews, but his 45-minute chat on Q Uncut this week is a recommended listen for fans. The interview finds Joel Zimmerman in a relaxed and expansive mood, touching on his technology obsession, close connection with fans, attitudes to drug use and EDM’s march into the mainstream.

When asked about pop stars hijacking dance music, Zimmerman mentions his own brief jump onto the dubstep bandwagon. “I’ve only ever made one dubstep track, and I’ll admit I did it ‘cause that was cool at the time,” he remarks. “I’m not a fan of dubstep, but I figured I can engineer something that’s at least palatable or on par with the whole Skrillex thing that everyone’s into. I sold out on that one dubstep track, ‘cause I did it for that popularity factor. A lot of pop acts are going to use the whole dance, rave thing that died in ‘92 and got revived as mainstream music. They’ll sell it out and oversaturate it.”

When it comes to “Madonna’s “molly clanger at Ultra Music Festival in Miami, the producer elaborates on his Facebook flare-up. “I’m not stupid,” he says on the topic of drugs. “I know what’s going on at my own shows. I’m wearing this mouse head and I’m watching kids get carried out my paramedics over the front rail while I’m playing. Sometimes I just want to stop the show. It’s not cool to me. It upsets me.

“So for her to go out with it like, ‘Have a great time’, I’m like, ‘Nah, fuck it, it’s fucked up.’ I’d advocate responsibility. Be responsible, for fuck’s sake. I’m not a voice on that subject. I’m not a dictator, so I don’t want to preach anything. People are like, ‘If you’re so against this, then why do you play electronic music?’ What kind of stupid statement is that?”

Overnight, Zimmerman uploaded an impromptu remix of the Nine Inch Nails track Survivalism from the band’s 2007 album Year Zero. Sharing the remix with his followers first is typical of Deadmau5’s approach, and he also touches on that close connection with fans in the Q Uncut interview.

“I come from a low-income family. And now all of a sudden I’m worth millions and I feel I have to justify that, always. I would hate to think that someone out there would believe I’m making millions of dollars and just going out bottle-popping and flying on jets. Literally, money in, money out is my big thing right now. I would feel bad about hording all of that, having this mountain-top estate that no-one has access to. So I feel my work is owed back to those people.”

Nine Inch Nails – Survivalism (Deadmau5 remix thing)