- OrginToronto, CA
“There are no CDs involved. It’s a technological orgy up there and I try and keep it more my music than anyone else’s. If people come out to see deadmau5 I want them to hear deadmau5 music.”
Joel Thomas Zimmerman (born January 5, 1981), better known by his stage name deadmau5 (pronounced “dead mouse”), is a Canadian progressive-house music producer and performer from Toronto, Ontario.
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”).
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.
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.
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.
In November 2013, Zimmerman deleted three years worth of music from his Soundcloud account, replacing them with an EP of seven melancholy piano sonatas (simply called 7), named after the Latin translations for the Seven Deadly Sins: “Acedia”, “Avaritia”, “Gula”, “Invidia”, “Ira”, “Luxuria”, and “Superbia”.
Also in November 2013, Zimmerman signed with record label Astralwerks, the famed NYC-based imprint that house artists such as Swedish House Mafia, David Guetta, and The Chemical Brothers. Speaking on the partnership, Zimmerman admitted, “I found a place that knows what to do with my music.”
On January 7, 2014, Zimmerman announced via his Twitter account that his much-anticipated new album is complete.
“In other news…i finished my album today,” the tweet read. “2 discs. 2 continuous mixes. 25 tracks. and something im proud of.”
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