Deadmau5 lays into dance music’s overpaid “button-pushers”

This Friday 22 June, the new issue of Rolling Stone will hit newsstands in the U.S., with none other than dance music renegade Deadmau5 on the cover. While the full feature is yet to emerge, the magazine has posted some quotes from the ever-acerbic and entertaining mouth of Joel Zimmerman. One of his targets is the fleet of ‘button-pusher’ DJs in dance music – including David Guetta and, to a degree, America’s darling Skrillex.

“David Guetta has two iPods and a mixer and he just plays tracks – like, ‘Here’s one with Akon, check it out!’,” Zimmerman tells Rolling Stone. “Even Skrillex isn’t doing anything too technical. He has a laptop and a MIDI recorder, and he’s just playing his shit. People are, thank God, smartening up about who does what – but there’s still button-pushers getting paid half a million. And not to say I’m not a button-pusher. I’m just pushing a lot more buttons.”

He also reserves some cutting remarks for Madonna’s ‘molly’ reference at Ultra Music Festival – “It’s like talking about slavery at a fucking blues concert. It’s inappropriate” – and the current gold-rush in ‘EDM’. “Everyone’s up on the EDM bandwagon now because it’s another viable conduit for traditional pop music to ride for a bit, so they can get out of their little stagnant pool and make a dance hit,” he says. “I’m not really in it for that.”

You can see why we went with the title, Mouthing Off, for our 2011 interview with the mau5: he’s not afraid to speak his mind. That refusal to play the game is one of the qualities techno guru Richie Hawtin singled out in a recent panel. With his new EP The Veldt out here Friday 22 June, Deadmau5 is in the thick of the Northern festival season, with a tour that winds through to Creamfields in the UK at the end of August.