One of the highlights of the iHeartRadio festival in Las Vegas this weekend was a stirring set from Deadmau5. Situated in the middle of the building, the EDM superstar had the entire MGM Arena on their feet, dancing and photographing his glowing mouse head and green laser lights. The set wrapped with My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way coming out on the main stage to sing "Professional Griefers," their collaboration on Deadmau5's new disc, Album Title Goes Here, out this week.
Way is just one of several collaborators on the new album, joining Wolfgang Gartner and Chris James. The album closes with appearances by Cypress Hill on "Failbait" and Imogen Heap on "Telemiscommunications." Before dazzling the iHeart crowd, Deadmau5 sat down with Rolling Stone to talk about the collaborators.
"I love her voice. She's so out there with her melodies and videos," he says of Heap. He's giving her free reign to do a video for the song. "I'm like, 'Let her go batshit fucking crazy, because that's what I like about her stuff.'"
Working with Cypress Hill brought Deadmau5 back to his youth: "Holy shit, my high school upbringing right there. That's really cool to meet the dudes and get a bro fist," he says.
"Failbait" actually dates back a few years, but Deadmau5 wanted to make sure he had something worthy of Cypress Hill. "I was like, 'Man, I did this one track, I think you guys'll dig it 'cause it's in your tempo. So if you guys want to spit on it . . . ' Insert white-kid term here. I let them take it in their little world and they did, and it was awesome."
If Deadmau5 has his way, live collaborations like he did with Way will become the normal rather than a special event. "It's not saying that's what I'm going for, but that's what it lends itself to," he says. "So in case I work with other awesome fucking artists, we can come in and weave in and out of each others' lives," he says. "It's really cool because I like being a whore like that – a very selective, high-class hooker."
At the show he was sandwiched between Linkin Park and Aerosmith and sharing a bill with Taylor Swift, Pitbull and more. There isn't quite that kind of eclecticism on Album Title Goes Here, but the record does encapsulate a few years of Deadmau5's life.
"It's like a yearbook to me – where I was, what I was doing, because the album seems more to me like a compilation of projects rather than something that was done like The Wall. Which is what I'm aiming for next time – to have an album produced from opening to closing."