DJ wearing a mouse mask


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Deadmau5 is the stage name of Canadian electronic musician Joel Thomas Zimmerman, who is most well-known for producing several Grammy-nominated tracks and albums, as well as his signature “mau5head” mask which he wears during live performances on stage. In addition, the celebrity DJ has gained a significant online following for his stunts that border on trolling and a penchant for internet memes in general.

Musical Career

Zimmerman began his musical career in 1995 but did not release his first studio album Get Scraped until mid 2005.[1] In 2007, Joel formed his own label Mau5trap, which subsequently released the album Random Album Title in 2008 featuring the singles "I Remember" and "Faxing Berlin."[3] In the coming years, Zimmerman released the albums For Lack of a Better Name (2009), 4×4=12 (2010), Album Title Goes Here (2012) and while (1<2) (2014).

Online History

Social Media Presence

On October 19th, 2006, Zimmerman launched a channel on YouTube, which garnered more than 100 million video views and 700,000 subscribers in nine years.[9] On January 31st, 2008, the deadmau5 Facebook page was launched, gathering over 9.3 million likes in the next seven years.[5] In March 2009, the @deadmau5 Twitter account was created, which gained more than 3 million followers in six years.[6] In June 2010, the /r/deadmau5 sub-reddit was launched for discussions about the artist, accumulating upwards of 9,000 subscribers in five years.[7] The artist also previously had a SoundCloud account with over a half million followers and 33 million plays,[11] but removed all but one of the tracks on January 11, 2014. Zimmerman also maintains an Instagram account[12] with 1.1 million followers, a Tumblr[13] and a Google + account with 2.6 million followers.[14]

Epic Meal Time

On May 3rd, 2011, Zimmerman and his cat Meowingtons made a guest appearance in an episode of the YouTube series Epic Meal Time titled "Cheesy Grilled Cheese Tower" (below left). In four years, the video gained over 6.8 million views and 74,000 upvotes. On October 27th, 2011, Zimmerman's song "Cthulhu Sleeps" was featured in the Epic Meal Time episode titled "Meat Cthulhu" and featured footage of a Deadmau5 concert (shown below, right). As of October 2014, the video has received nearly 4.7 million views and 53,000 upvotes.

Grammys T-Shirt Stunt

In 2012, Zimmerman was nominated for Best Remixed Recording (Non-Classical), Best Dance/Electronica Album, and Best Dance Recording at the 54th Grammy Awards show. Upon arrival at the ceremony in Los Angeles, California, Zimmerman was seen wearing a black shirt with a phone number and the words "U mad bro?" printed on the front.

WARDS u mad bro?

It was later revealed[8] that the phone number belonged to fellow electronic music producer Skrillex. This later prompted a reply from Skrillex via his Twitter account. (seen below)

"The Veldt" Vocals Collaboration

On March 20th, 2012, Zimmerman announced in a livestream that "some guy on Twitter" made a vocal track for his song "The Veldt," and proceeded to play the edited song during the webcast (shown below, left). Zimmerman subsequently used the vocals in the official release of the song (shown below, right).

Mau5head Trademark Dispute

In June of 2013,[17] Zimmerman filed with the US Patient and Trademark Office to trademark his signature “mau5head” headgear. Upon the filing of the application, Disney's legal team immediately took interest in the case and filed a counter-motion to block the granting of the trademark, which had been already granted in more than 30 other countries at the time,[17] on account of its alleged resemblance to Mickey Mouse. Zimmerman responded to the legal action on Twitter saying “Lawyer Up Mickey”.[18]

The following day it was brought to Zimmerman's attention that Disney had been using his hit song "Ghost 'N Stuff" for an episode of their short "Re-Micks" (a play on the word remix). Zimmerman again took to Twitter to announce that his lawyers had issued a cease and desist for the video since no license had been issued.[19]

In October 2014, Zimmerman officially released an over 1,000 page document in response to Disney's opposition.[20] Among other things, the document contained evidence that Disney had approached him to “re-imagine” the classic musical Fantasia for its 75th anniversary.


On June 22, 2015, it was announced by one of Joel's attorneys that the dispute between Disney and Joel has been resolved. [26]

Coffee Run

In May 2014, Zimmerman launched a YouTube web series[10] titled "Coffee Run," in which he interviews various celebrities while driving in his car to get coffee (shown below). Notable people who have appeared include fellow DJ/producer Skrillex, former Toronto mayor Rob Ford, and actor/DJ Kristian Nairn, who played the role of Hodor in the show Game of Thrones.

Nyan Cat Ferrari

On July 8th, 2014, YouTuber The Stradman uploaded a video of Zimmerman driving a Ferrari 458 Spider with a car wrap featuring Nyan Cat on the side of the vehicle (shown below). Nicknamed the "Purrari", the car was used in the Gumball 3000 race where Joel and co-driver Tory Bellici won.[21][22]

Uber Experience

On September 4, 2014,[16] Zimmerman took to Twitter to announce he had joined the ride sharing service Uber. On September 10th, he posted a tweet announcing he was taking cab fares that evening. Twitter user @tuckerschreiber later posted a selfie with Zimmerman during a ride.

Follow deadmau5 @deadmau5 in toronto? need a lift? I'm working for @uber tonight, toronto. get lucky 9:18 PM-10 Sep 2014 1,237 RETWEETS 2,389 FAVORITES Tucker Schreiber @tuckerschreiber Follow Got a ride to Chipotle @deadmau5! Thanks for the ride. 940 PM-10 Sep 2014 438 RETWEETS 1,336 FAVORITES with my personal @Uber.T OR driver

mau5 Speak / Other Meme References

In addition to "U Mad Bro?", Nyan Cat and interactions with Epic Meal Time, Zimmerman has commonly used internet memes and other references in his work and daily life. The stage name "Deadmau5" was coined while chatting with a friend online when his computer abruptly shut off. Upon opening the case, Zimmerman discovered a dead mouse had chewed through the wires, leading friends to refer to him as the "dead mouse guy." Zimmerman then used leet speak to shorten his nickname to "Deadmau5" as an online handle.[23] On the 2012 album album title goes here, Zimmerman released a song titled "Professional Griefers,"[24] referencing the gaming term griefing. Zimmerman has also been seen wearing a My Little Pony Fluttershy shirt at concerts and in web videos. On June 2012, he answered fan questions which lead to him denying accusations that he was a brony.[25]

ters deadmau5 @deadmau5 30m rainbow dash is better anyway. Expand deadmau5 @deadmau5 32m @zarbicore i didnt! hahaha i had to look it up after everyone kept saying it. i was like. wtf did i do. Ilol View conversation deadmau5 @deadmau5 34m okay, about the brony stuff. since a slot of people asked about the fluttershy. in all honesty, i just wore it to fuck with your heads. Expand

Twitch Ban

Search Interest

External References

[1] Wikipedia – Deadmau5

[2] Wikipedia – Mau5trap

[3] Billboard (via Wayback Machine) – Deadmau5 on Dance/Mix Show Airplay

[4] Junkee (formerly InTheMix) – In other Deadmau5 news…

[5] Facebook – Deadmau5

[6] Twitter – @deadmau5

[7] Reddit – /r/deadmau5

[8] US Weekly – Deadmau5 wears Skrillex's Phone Number

[9] YouTube – Deadmau5 – About

[10] YouTube – Deadmau5 Playlist – Coffee Run

[11] SoundCloud – fuckmylife

[12] Instagram – Deadmau5

[13] Tumblr (via Wayback Machine) – Deadmau5 First Post

[14] Google+ – +Deadmau5

[15] Tumblr – What was it like filming with the guys from Epic Meal Time?

[16] Twitter – Sept. 4th Status/Uber

[17] Radar Online – Deadmau5 Will Not Be Bullied By Disney

[18] Twitter – Sept. 2nd Status/Lawyer Up

[19] Twitter – Sept. 3rd Status/C&D

[20] YourEDM – Deadmau5 Reveals Disney Asked Him…

[21] Mashable – Ferrari Sends Deadmau5 C&D

[22] Mashable – Nissan Pimps Out a Nyan Cat GTR

[23] Niagrafalls Review (via Wayback Machine) – Deadmau5 Recalls…

[24] YouTube – Ultra Music – Professional Griefers

[25] Equestria Daily – Deadmau5 kinda exits herd, Andrew W.K. enters

[26] Hollywood Reporter – Deadmau5, Disney Settle Dispute Over "Mouse Head" Logo

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