In the latest Rolling Stone cover story, Canadian DJ-producer Deadmau5 had some pointed words for his fellow EDM musicians and their live performances, criticizing others for simply pressing a few buttons for their live show and calling out successful electronic artists like David Guetta and Skrillex. Now, after reactions from fans and musicians like Swedish House Mafia’s Sebastian Ingrosso, Deadmau5 has posted on Tumblr to clarify his statements and to give some insight into his own live shows.
“We all hit play,” begins the entry. “It’s no secret. When it comes to ‘live’ performance of EDM . . . that’s about the most it seems you can do anyway.” Deadmau5 continues to say that given one hour of instruction and basic knowledge of the music production program Ableton, anyone could do what he does on stage. He further explains his live setup, revealing the heavy data transfers in sync with the light show only allow him a certain limited flexibility. “There’s a good chunk of MIDI [Musical Instrument Digital Interface] data spitting out as well to a handful of synths and crap that are / were used in the actual produciton . . . which i can tweak *live* and whatnot . . . but doesnt give me a lot of ‘lookit me im Jimi Hendrix check out this solo’ stuff, because I’m constrained to work on a set timeline because of the SMPTE [Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers timestamp].”
Deadmau5 also stressed the importance of production and studio releases. “My ‘skills’ and other PRODUCERS skills shine where it needs to shine . . . in the goddamned studio, and on the fucking releases. That’s what counts . . . because this whole big ‘EDM’ is taking over fad,” he says. “I’m not going to let it go thinking that people assume theres a guy on a laptop up there producing new original tracks on the fly. Because none of the ‘top DJs in the world’ to my knowledge have. Myself included.”
Despite the controversy, Deadmau5 was clear to thank fans for fueling EDM. But he stopped short of an outright apology for his comments, adding, “To stand up and say youre doing something special outside of a studio environment, when youre not, just plain fuckin annoys me.”