When an artist goes on a rant about the music industry, we tend to sit up an take notice. They have years of experience on a subject that most of us can only dream of. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree. But usually…
They have a point.
Deadmau5 (Joel Zimmerman) has long since been outspoken against the term EDM, saying many things about it, but this time, he’s telling producers to stop ruining it.
I definitely have to agree.
There are superstar DJs, yes I could name them but you know who they are, that have the same formulaic sound and the same onstage persona wherever they go. As Deadmau5 writes so eloquently
“WOULD IT FUCKING KILL YOU, to be able to add some sort of modularity, performance, showmanship, BEYOND putting a fist in the air, telling people to make noise, and or playing the top line on an invisible keyboard in the air to show the crowd “HEY! EVERYONE! THIS LEAD GOES HERE! WATCH MY HAND. IT GOES DOOT DOOT DOOT DOOT”
In case you don’t speak Deadmau5, he’s politely asking you to learn to do something beyond putting the stems of a track together and calling it a day. I’m absolutely sick of hearing “MAKE SOME NOISE (insert city name)”, completely just done. I don’t want to make noise so that the empty void is filled, I want your MUSIC to fill the void. Yes the crowd will scream and yell for certain tracks or when an artist comes on, and that’s fine.
But there is no possible reason I need to make more noise just because your set is boring and you don’t know what to do next. That’s ridiculous. I am paying you to entertain me, not me entertain you by yelling and screaming. At least be creative when you get on the microphone.
As Deadmau5 points out, he doesn’t know how to play the keyboard, but MIDI has been around since the 80’s and it is still one of the best ways of live performance. I personally love seeing someone on stage with drumsticks in their hand or they are actually using a controller to time their songs rather than fade something in and out, only to grab the mic and tell us they can’t hear me.
Shut up, and learn to do something worth all the money I’m paying you.
As Martin Garrix showed us, you can make music with pirated software and a couple of weeks in your bedroom, the real trick is continuing your legacy by becoming a performer and putting on a show that isn’t planned before-hand. Ever seen Porter live? He plays the electronic drums (I’m sure there is a proper name for this) to a few of his songs and if he misses the timing, we all know it. But he has practiced for hours on end to get it right. I saw Illenium doing the same type of thing at Global a few weekends ago and it warmed my heart.
Mix music on stage, create something brand-spanking new before our eyes and I promise your fan base will be more loyal than ever. Incorporate live instruments, you can see from the success of Big G, GRiZ and others that this is insanely cool and the audiences love it. Jeremy and Dominic are too busy PLAYING REAL-LIFE INSTRUMENTS to get on the mic every 16 bars and yell at the crowd to be louder, they simply play louder for us.
So when Deadmau5 calls you out and says you should learn to do something more than play a simple CD, take it from one of the BEST in the game, that’s what people want to see and earns you the respect of your colleagues. That dream collab of you and Deadmau5 will never come true if you can only hit play and spin a few knobs. Sorry, the truth hurts, but your fans and colleagues respecting you and your music is worth all those hours of practicing.
You can read the full Deadmau5 Tumblr post here! And always, leave a comment or start a discussion on twitter with me (@NickPesavento or @EDMAssassin) and I’d be happy to discuss my views and yours.