When deadmau5 started adding little interludes to his own live sets during ‘Seeya’, a lot of people apparently believed it was some veiled commentary on the ‘press play’ attitude of some top DJs. Well … they were kind of right.
Mostly, though, deadmau5 just didn’t have anything better to do.
“So all of my show is more or less live, right?” Zimmerman explains. “So I’m banking out all these stems (the bits and pieces that make up deadmau5’s tracks on the computer) and I’m playing synths and I have MIDI going, recreating the original production as the show goes.
“So I was working on that segment of the show and I lost all the stems for it. So I was like, ‘F—, man!’ I gotta play that track because it’s a good little break. But I didn’t have any of the parts or the MIDI files — anything. I can’t do a harmonica solo on top of it. So I said, ‘F— it. I’ll play the two-track (album version) back.’ But then what can I do? I could just sit there and fist-pump and at that point, then yes, I’m a DJ.”
He also admits, “No, it was just me being unprepared.”
In all fairness, Joel was able to take a moment of unpreparedness and turn it into a degree of showmanship, paralleling typical live performances which are smattered with moments of the performer speaking to the audience for extended periods – something wholly unheard of in dance music (though it does happen rarely).
Still, it wouldn’t be Joel if he didn’t leave with some commentary on the 1% of DJs.
“The way I see it: If you’re going to pay a guy upwards of $500,000 to a million f—ing dollars to stand on a stage in front of however many people at ‘X’ EDM event, if you’re not putting at least 200 grand into your stage show other than an LED wall and some backline stuff, it’s just the biggest ripoff.”