During a SXSW discussion called “Deadmau5 & Richie Hawtin: Talk. Techno. Technology,” the producer (real name: Joel Zimmerman) said mainstream success and the ease of making EDM records today are actually killing the rising genre, according to a recap by The Wall Street Journal.
“The songs sound the same,” said Zimmerman, who added the scene is filled with “cookie-cutter stuff.” Harsh!
He added, “I’m shocked the record companies that sign these people aren’t just going home and making the music themselves. Cut out the middleman.” Perhaps his reaction is inspired by EDM's proliferation to albums by R&B artists (see Usher, Chris Brown), rappers (Flo Rida, Pitbull) and pop stars (Rihanna, Justin Bieber).
The producer also spoke about how he and other EDM veterans experimented to create their earliest records on old-school recording equipment. He said today's widespread accessibility to music-making technology is also adding to the genre's blandness.
Deadmau5 did show a softer side when talking about fiancé Kat Von D’s influence on his music. “She’s a very organic musician,” Zimmerman said. “No technology of any kind. It was nice to get my head out of the over-complication of the studio. It’s nice to know I can break out of a mousehead.”
Should we expect an “organic” album full of live instruments and nature sounds for his next record? Doubtful. But why is Deadmau5 biting the hand that feeds him?