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"It's a conduit now for previously mainstream pop acts to use," Zimmerman said in a rather wide-ranging, hour-long interview with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC's Q radio show this morning. "I've only ever made one dubstep track and I will admit I only did it because it was cool at the time, you know what I mean, and that's why I did it. I'm not a fan of dubstep but I figured 'Okay, well I'm sure I can engineer something that's palatable or on par with the whole Skrillex thing that everyone is into.''
"I sold out on that one track -- that would be me admitting yes, I absolutely sold out because I did it for the popularity factor and that kind of thing, you know what I mean," he added. "But now a lot of pop acts like she who shall not be named and a whole bunch of other people are going to use the whole dance/rave thing that died in 1992 that somehow got revived as mainstream dance music and they're going to use that and sell it out and over-saturate it."
Deadmau5 also took pride that he's steering his musical ship the way he wants, not placating the whims of labels or executives. He also doesn't mind being excluded from today's group of current pop stars like Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen. "I want to be able to say, 'This sucks!' without getting gang-banged on all sides by the media," he said.
"I'm really running my own show here all the way from management to label to merch and all that stuff. Whereas I would imagine, I can't say this for a fact, but they come across to me as the kind of acts that just do the one thing and then the whole machine is just running them."
When Ghomeshi asked he considered Drake part of that realm, Zimmerman said he wasn't sure.
"I don't know about Drake but I know about the 16-year-olds," he said. "[Bieber's] not exactly a business tycoon, I'm sure he doesn't understand the nature of how these things are working or how involved he gets with the production of his music or how involved any of those guys get in the production of their music."
- Arcade Fire's Politics
- Leonard Cohen's Endurance
- Feist's Rainbow Connections
- Deadmau5's Honesty
- Drake's Crew Love
- Justin Bieber's Potential
- Maestro Fresh Wes' Backbone
- Metric's Independence
- Michael Buble's Attitude
- Neil Young's Influence
- Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap
- Couer De Pirate's Split-Popularity
- Rufus Wainwright's Flair
- Spirit of the West's "Home For a Rest"
- Stompin' Tom Connors' Existence
- The Tragically Hip's American Obscurity
The artist also described his spat with Madonna earlier this year more as a "forth" than a back and forth war of words. At Miami's Ultra Music Festival Madonna asked the crowd if they had seen "Molly" which is slang for MDMA or ecstasy. Deadmau5 said Madonna's comments touched a nerve because "the message just really upset me."
"I'm not stupid, I know what's going on with this whole thing. I'm wearing this mouse head and I'm watching kids get carried out by paramedics over the front railing and I'm playing. Sometimes I just want to stop the show, it's not cool and I really don't like it and it upsets me. So for her to just go with it and have a great time. I just thought, fuck it and give her a blast because it's fucked up."
But he says the vitriol from Madonna fans were tamer compared to Britney Spears fans who came to her defence.
"Things have ramped up and I've been on little tirades before and I've gotten doses of certain pop star's fan bases and stuff like that, so I can actually measure this, I can quantify it. And I gotta say that Britney's fans put up a way bigger fight than Madonna's fans, which is kind of cool."
Deadmau5 said he feels obligated to keep touring and recording.
"I really come from like a sort of low income family, right, and now all of a sudden I'm worth millions. I feel like I need to justify that always because I would hate to think that someone out there would believe that I'm making millions of dollars and just going out and bottle poppin' and flying on jets and just doing crazy amounts of shit. Like I'm not, literally money in, money out is my big thing right now.
"It's that feeling of being committed or obligated to keep doing what I'm doing because of the success I've had. And kids have got tattoos of me and shit, so it's like I couldn't shut it down if I tried. And I have tried to ruin my career a couple of times. It didn't work."
Deadmau5 is headlining the Veld Festival at Toronto's Downsview Park on Aug. 4. Bassnectar, Knife Party, Steve Aoki and AVICII are also slated to perform over the two-day festival.