April 23, 2014

News: Deadmau5's Beats, MTV's Meat

The buzz surrounding Lady Gaga and her meat dress at last night’s MTV VMA Awards has yet to subside–and we’re frankly surprised that no one has made a fuss about our blazer made of whole wheat pizza–but we have taken a shine to the fact that Deadmau5 rocked the show. As the event’s official DJ, the Toronto native reworked tracks for live performances by Travie McCoy, Jason Derülo, and Robyn, and also remixed songs by the Black Keys and La Roux, among others, to play out of commercial breaks. He impressed MTV execs, the crowd, and, we assume, any marsupials in attendance at the Nokia Theater.

His remix of Robyn’s performance for “Dancing on My Own” caught our attention. “It’s a departure from the original,” he told MTV News. “The original is more of a dance kind of feel. I wanted to take the syncopation right out of it.”

Deadmau5, aka Joel Zimmerman, also admitted to MTV News that he was clueless about how big the house DJ job would be when he signed on in August.

“I had no idea [who I'd be working with],” he said. “They were just like, ‘Do you want to do this?’ And I said, ‘Yep,’ and I didn’t know what it was. And my management had sent me off to Spain … and I was like, ‘Well, whatever it is, it’s probably going to be, like, a five-second cameo, so if they need me to do something, send my computer over.’

“And so I get to Spain … and they’re like, ‘Uh, yeah, you have to do eight remixes and three performances,’ ” he continued. “So what I had to do was take the cover off the hot tub and a mattress off one of the beds and, like, surround my computer. I had to make a little fort, because I didn’t think that I would need a studio, but I really did.”

It wasn’t the first massive brand-extension undertaken by Zimmerman, who reveled in his characteristic Mau5 Trap backstage mischief, offering Justin Bieber a haircut for $100 and tweeting during commercial breaks. “Dude,” he Tweeted when it was over, “that was crazy fun.”

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