Deadmau5: EDM Has Gone the Way of Disco

"Event-Driven Marketing, I think, is the acronym there."

Deadmau5 EDM Interview Disco Event Driven Marketing
Deadmau5 / Photo by Getty Images
Chris Martins WRITTEN BY
Chris Martins

The loudest voice in the room isn't always the truest, but for all of his bluster, EDM godhead Deadmau5 often proves pretty astute in his public indictments of all things related to electronic dance music. In his October interview with SPIN, an unmasked Joel Zimmerman aptly explained the music industry's obsession with the type of music that he makes, and in a new on-camera chat with Billboard, he expounds further on the business of beats.

"The way I see EDM right now, it's a healthy industry for sure — minimal work for maximum profit," said Zimmerman at the publication's recent FutureSound Conference. "EDM is, like... Event-Driven Marketing, I think, is the acronym there. It reminds me a lot of disco. That had some hang-time, like 10, 15, 17 years tops... Not too many people are forward thinking about electronic music, they're just kinda like, 'now now now do it do it.'"

While he said he wasn't there "to slag anyone... today," he expressed concern that EDM music had plateaued creatively and that "everyone's kind of doing the same thing." He did, however, pardon artists, like "the Beetroots or the SBTRKT," who've also incorporated masks into their stage show: "I can't have any hatred for anyone doing that, but I can understand how hard it must be to have a unifying brand identity with your art."

Deadmau5 also returned to the topic of Forbes' "The World's Highest Paid DJs" list, which outed him as pulling down $11.5 million annually. In our interview, he explained "that's gone back into the studio, into tours — they cost up to $10 million alone. It's money in, money out." In speaking to Billboard, he adds, "If I got gross we'd all own countries... If we go through the figures, nobody is making that kind of money."

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