deadmau5 out of costume, in 2008.
|Birth name||Joel Thomas Zimmerman|
|Also known as||Halcyon441, BSOD, Dred and Karma|
January 5, 1981 |
Niagara Falls, Ontario
|Origin||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Genres||Progressive House, Electro House, Trance, EDM, Electronica|
|Labels||mau5trap, Ultra, Ministry of Sound, SongBird, Play, Virgin/EMI|
|Associated acts||Chris Lake, Kaskade, Tommy Lee, Rob Swire, Melleefresh, Skrillex, Wolfgang Gartner, Gerard Way, Imogen Heap|
Zimmerman produces a variety of styles within the house genre and sometimes other forms of electronic dance music. His tracks have been included in numerous compilation albums such as the 2007 In Search of Sunrise 6: Ibiza CD. The February 2008 issue of MixMag's music magazine included a free CD which was titled MixMag Presents: The Hottest New Name In Dance! DEADMAU5 Tech-Trance-Electro-Madness, mixed by Zimmerman. Tracks have also been included and presented on Armin van Buuren's A State of Trance radio show. His debut album, Get Scraped, was released in 2005, followed by others in the next few years.
As well as his own solo releases, Zimmerman has worked alongside other DJs and producers, such as Kaskade, MC Flipside, Rob Swire of Knife Party and Pendulum, Wolfgang Gartner, Bighorse, and on a number of releases, Zimmerman has partnered with Melleefresh. The release date is currently unknown, but an early 12" single produced on vinyl titled "I Don't Want No Other" was released by Joel Zimmerman under the alias "Dred And Karma". The 2006 album titled Deadmau5 Circa 1998–2002 was released using the alias "Halcyon441" and the collaboration with Joel Zimmerman and Steve Duda was under the alias "BSOD" (which stands for "Blue Screen of Death").
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Video game appearances
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Origin of "deadmau5"
- 6 Controversies
- 7 Discography
- 8 Awards and nominations
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Zimmerman was born in Niagara Falls, Ontario. His mother, Nancy (née Johnson), is a visual artist, and his father, Rodney Thomas "Rod" Zimmerman, is a General Motors plant worker. He has two siblings, Jennifer (older) and Chris (younger). His ancestry includes German, Swiss, and English. He received his first keyboard for Christmas when he was a teenager. His career began in the late 1990s, with a chiptune and demoscene movements-influenced sound.
2005-2006: Get Scraped and self-released compilations
Zimmerman released his debut studio album, titled Get Scraped on July 26, 2005. It features tracks of a variety of genres, including IDM, ambient/downtempo, noise pop and trip hop. The tracks "Just Before 8bit", "Nice Try, Kiddo" and "Uploading and Downloading" from Project 56 were edited and expanded upon in Get Scraped under the names "8bit", "Try Again", and "Unspecial Effects", respectively. Tracks "Bored of Canada", "Intelstat" and "I Forget" reappear on this album as is, as well as "The Oshawa Connection" from deadmau5 Circa 1998–2002.
2007-2008: Mau5trap label and Random Album Title
In 2007, Zimmerman began his own record label "mau5trap", which, along with Ultra Records and Ministry of Sound, released the 2008 album Random Album Title, which saw the collaboration of Zimmerman and San Francisco producer Kaskade with "I Remember". Random Album Title, saw a digital release in September 2008 via Ultra Records in the United States and Ministry of Sound in the United Kingdom and Europe. Physical copies of the album were released in November 2008.
In the United States, Zimmerman's collaboration with Kaskade, "Move for Me", reached number one on Billboard magazine's Dance/Mix Show Airplay chart in its September 6, 2008 issue. Since then, Zimmerman has seen two more tracks, also collaborations ("I Remember" with Kaskade; "Ghosts 'n' Stuff" with Rob Swire), reach number one on Billboard's Dance/Mix Show Airplay chart, making him the only Canadian to have three number-one tracks on that chart. He is also the fifth Canadian to top that chart, following Deborah Cox, Nelly Furtado, Dragonette, and Justin Bieber, each with one apiece.
2009-2010: For Lack of a Better Name and 4x4=12
On September 22, 2009, Ultra Records released his album For Lack of a Better Name in the United States, and October 5 internationally. On a subsequent tour in the fall of 2009, Zimmerman's performances were recorded and made available for sale immediately following the concerts on USB wristband flash drives. For Lack of a Better Name includes two of Zimmerman's most popular songs, "Ghosts 'n' Stuff" (featuring Rob Swire) and "Strobe".
MTV named Zimmerman as the house DJ for the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards and MTV PUSH artist of the week on August 16, 2010. He expressed gratitude towards Lady Gaga and David Guetta for bringing dance into the pop music scene and paving the way for him to the mainstream. At the awards, Zimmerman performed with Jason Derulo and Travie McCoy. His song "Ghosts 'n' Stuff" had been featured on the soundtrack for the MTV reality series Jersey Shore earlier.
His fifth studio album, titled 4×4=12, was released on December 6, 2010 in the United Kingdom and December 7, 2010 in the United States. Singles "Some Chords", "Animal Rights", "Sofi Needs a Ladder" have been released and have been featured on the album, with "Raise Your Weapon" released in 2011. "Some Chords" was featured on an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation where Zimmerman made a cameo appearance, and an instrumental version of "Sofi Needs a Ladder" was featured in the film The Hangover Part II.
2011-present: Album Title Goes Here
On August 9, 2012, Zimmerman announced his upcoming sixth studio album, Album Title Goes Here, which was released on September 24 of that year. Singles from this album include "Maths", "The Veldt" (featuring Chris James) and "Professional Griefers" featuring My Chemical Romance singer Gerard Way. This collaboration was announced on Facebook prior to release. In December 2012, FUSE TV named "Professional Griefers" one of the top 40 songs of 2012
Video game appearances
Zimmerman is a playable avatar in DJ Hero 2, a video game released in October 2010. The game featured several tracks by the artist, including a mix of Ghosts 'N Stuff with Lady Gaga's Just Dance.
His music has been included in more video game titles, including Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, Saints Row: The Third, FIFA 13, Grand Theft Auto IV, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Midnight Club: Los Angeles, GoldenEye 007, Wipeout 2048, The Sims 3, and Sound Shapes.
On July 30, 2010, at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., Zimmerman collapsed on stage, suffering from exhaustion and vomiting, resulting in the cancellation of the rest of the show, as well as nine shows following the event.
Zimmerman began dating Playboy Playmate of the Month Lindsey Evans shortly after meeting her at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards in September 2010. Evans eventually moved to Toronto, Canada to live with him. Zimmerman announced in September 2011 that the two had broken up.
In September of 2012, Zimmerman began dating American tattoo artist and TV personality Kat Von D. After breaking up in November 2012, they shortly rekindled their relationship. On December 15, 2012, Zimmerman proposed to Von D via Twitter, and they announced they would marry in August 2013 with an aquatic themed wedding. They both have several matching tattoos, including the numbers "289m3d22h" on both of their arms, which is sentimental to the day that they met, as well as two black stars underneath their eyes. Zimmerman moved from his Toronto home to Los Angeles, California in the United States to live with Von D. In June 2013, Von D announced that they had ended their engagement.
Origin of "deadmau5"
Zimmerman's father claims that when his son was in his early teens, he was chatting with a friend on his computer, which then abruptly shut off. According to Zimmerman's father, he said that it smelled like burnt wire and had a strange odor. Zimmerman started to dismantle his computer and happened to find a dead mouse. Zimmerman then became known as the "dead mouse guy" among friends. Joel tried to change his name to "Deadmouse" in the chat room, but it was too long, so he shortened it to "deadmau5", which is a form of leet. In an interview with CBC Television, he mentioned that when he started making music, he went by the name "deadmau5". Joel created the original logo while learning how to use some 3D modelling software. The "mau5head" appears in many different colors and designs, and has been shown on the cover of most of Zimmerman's albums, with the exceptions of At Play and Vexillology. He was given the idea to wear a headdress based on the logo by one of his friends, Jay Gordon of the industrial metal band Orgy. In an interview with CBC Television, Zimmerman said that he wants his logo to be an "icon". Fans often attend Deadmau5 concerts sporting their own copy of the mau5head.
In December 2007, Marcus Schössow, Maor Levi and DJ Eco created a project named Deadrat6 as a joke on Zimmerman, claiming his tracks sound alike. A similar faux project was also created under the name of Sinterklaa5.
In 2008, an artist called DirtyCircuit claimed to have been threatened with legal action after using a sample called "LP_Faxing Berlin C_128bpm" that came bundled with FL Studio, and to which Zimmerman claimed copyright. The sample was a direct clip of a full bar of the song. Zimmerman provided a "Demo Track" which came bundled with FL Studio, along with several loop samples. The case caused a slight discomfort among the users of FL Studio, and some have pointed out potential inconsistencies in the EULA of the software.
- Get Scraped (2005)
- Vexillology (2006)
- Random Album Title (2008)
- For Lack of a Better Name (2009)
- 4x4=12 (2010)
- Album Title Goes Here (2012)
Awards and nominations
Beatport Music Awards
On May 1, 2008, Zimmerman became the most awarded artist of the Beatport Music Awards. He was named "Best Progressive House Artist" by Beatport. (In 2009, Beatport also awarded Zimmerman the most awards that year, winning first place in both of his nominations, as well as being given the "Greatest House DJ Ever" award, two years in a row). In June 2010, Beatport announced the winners of their annual Beatport Music Awards, awarding Zimmerman Best Electro House Artist, Best Progressive House Artist, and as the "most influential, relevant and forward-thinking person in electronic music over the past 12 months".
|2008||deadmau5||Best Electro House Artist||Won|
|Best Progressive House Artist||Won|
|"Not Exactly"||Best Single||Won|
|"Community Funk" (deadmau5 remix) by Burufunk vs. Carbon Community||Best Remix||Nominated|
|2009||deadmau5||Best Electro House Artist||Won|
|Best Progressive House Artist||Won|
|2009||"The Longest Road" (feat.Lissie) – Morgan Page (deadmau5 Remix)||Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical||Nominated|
|2012||"Raise Your Weapon" (ft. Greta Svabo Bech)||Best Dance Recording||Nominated|
|4x4=12||Best Dance/Electronica Album||Nominated|
|"Rope" – Foo Fighters (deadmau5 Mix)||Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical||Nominated|
|2013||Album Title Goes Here||Best Dance/Electronica Album||Nominated|
International Dance Music Awards
In March 2010, Zimmerman was nominated for four International Dance Music Awards, and won a further three, including Best Artist (Solo) and Best Canadian DJ (see complete list below).
|2010||deadmau5||Best Canadian DJ||Won|
|Best Global DJ||Nominated|
|"Ghosts 'n' Stuff" (feat. Rob Swire)||Best Electro Track||Won|
|"Strobe"||Best Progressive/Tech Track||Nominated|
Zimmerman received two nominations for the Juno Award for Dance Recording of the Year at the Juno Awards of 2008 for a track with Billy Newton-Davis and Melleefresh. He did not win an award for Melleefresh's "After Hours" song, but he won the award for Newton-Davis' "All U Ever Want".
|2008||"After Hours" (with Melleefresh)||Dance Recording of the Year||Nominated|
|"All U Ever Want" (with Billy Newton-Davies)||Dance Recording of the Year||Won|
|2009||Random Album Title||Dance Recording of the Year||Won|
|"Move for Me" (with Kaskade)||Dance Recording of the Year||Nominated|
|2010||For Lack of a Better Name||Dance Recording of the Year||Won|
|2013||deadmau5||Artist of the Year||Nominated|
DJ Magazine awards
Zimmerman was also named "Producer of 2007" by DJ Magazine's 2007 Top 100 winner Armin van Buuren, and by runner up Tiësto. In 2008, he placed No. 11 in the DJ Magazine Top 100 poll, the highest new entry in the poll's history, showing Zimmerman's fast rise to prominence.
|2008||Music||Top 100 DJs||11th place|
|2009||Music||Top 100 DJs||6th place|
|2010||Music||Top 100 DJs||4th place|
|2011||Music||Top 100 DJs||4th place|
|2012||Music||Top 100 DJs||5th place|
|2013||Music||Top 100 DJs||12th place|
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