Deadmau5 Says EDM Is Dying, Swears Off Music Festivals

By Chris DeVille / June 16, 2014

Deadmau5 recently called out Arcade Fire for anti-DJ remarks at Coachella, but the man in the mask has always been refreshingly candid about the realities of the EDM scene. That candor continued in an interview with The London Evening Standard in which the DJ born Joel Zimmerman shows off his Nyan-Cat-emblazoned “Purrari” at an English racetrack and unloads on the festival system. Zimmerman thinks the festival system renders fests as a bigger deal than the artists in the popular imagination, and he’s had enough. One choice quote:

It’s another thing I can’t fuckin’ stand, you know? Festivals are being branded bigger than the acts, which is totally backwards in my head. It’s ’cause of those acts that you’re a festival! Who wins? The promoter. The guy who’s throwing this festival that’s branded bigger than you, that you think you’re awesome for headlining. It’s a shame, so that’s why I’m pulling out.

The plan instead is to launch his own stadium tour with a setup far too elaborate for festivals so that he can maintain control and monopolize attention. His new stage show sounds intense:

The show is gonna be a whole lot better than all eyes on you in some confined cube. It’s gonna be way more immersive. It’s in the round. We have Hollywood screenwriters coming up with a script. We have Chris Ha over at Blizzard [the video game developer] doing storyboards for it. We’re producing it like you’d produce a film. I’m really excited about it because it’s a sink-or-swim thing. Even the accountant’s freaking out.

He also thinks the entire EDM boom is bound to go bust sooner or later:

As they say, the rat is the first one to jump off the boat when it starts going down, and that’s kind of what’s happening. It’s already been going down the last couple of years, for me. Maybe not in the industry. Maybe there’ll be a whole new herd of sheep following that shit, and fucking good luck. Disco had a longer run than EDM has, to be honest about it, and that died in a fucking hurry. EDM is way more susceptible because that was in a time when they didn’t have mass social media and all that shit. It’s not gonna be me saying, “OK, EDM’s done,” and the whole thing falls apart, but I think it’ll eventually fuck itself so hard.

The story also suggests that, like fellow EDM superstar Porter Robinson, Deadmau5 has developed contempt for the build-drop model he helped pioneer and is moving away from the genre on his new album while(1<2). Read the full interview (and see the “Purrari”) here, and tell us how long you think the EDM craze will last in the comments.

[Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images.]