Deadmau5 performs for a private crowd at the Sonos Studios in L.A. (Photo: Danny Mahoney)
Last Friday, electronic music fans lined up outside of Hollywood's Sonos Studio for an intimate gig featuring Deadmau5. Bouncers held tightly to the guest list, letting the 200-person crowd composed of industry, guests of KCRW, and a small group of diehard Deadmau5 fans trickle in. Upon entering, guests were asked to refrain from disclosing the location of the event and were told not to post photos on social media sites. To get into the Deadmau5 spirit, attendees were handed neon mouse ears to place upon their heads.
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The evening kicked off with a bar full of Deadmau5-inspired cocktails, including the Patron-infused "Dead Maus Martini." KCRW Music Director Jason Bentley took the stage and introduced the guest of honor, Joel Zimmerman, immediately commenting on his relationship with LA Ink's Kat Von D, saying, "I understand you're in love..." which Zimmerman confirmed to an applauding crowd. Among the conversation topics were Deadmau5's latest album, Album Title Goes Here, and his decision to feature collaborations on the album. "I didn't want to be that "Ghost & Stuff" guy anymore," said Zimmerman, explaining that he can definitely see himself doing more collaborations in the future but with different people. "I like to keep things fresh and new all the time instead of being that guy associated with this other person for life."
KCRW music director Jason Bentley interviews Joel Zimmerman (Deadmau5). (Photo: Danny Mahoney)
Following the interview, Deadmau5 took the podium, bringing with him what he referred to as "a mini version of his touring set up" -- LED screens, lights, and an array of creative visuals, such as old school "Deadmau5 Nintendo," which enhanced his 90-minute set.
Nic Adler, owner of the Sunset Strip's Roxy Theater attended the event with his 13-year-old DJ brother Oscar who considers himself to be "the biggest Deadmau5 ever." Adler told us that he's been into the EDM scene since The Roxy partnered with Scion several years ago to bring in acts like Skrillex, Scream, and La Roux. "Those early shows actually ruined the foundation of The Roxy. It actually shifted some of our major things inside because the bass was so heavy. We had to reconnect lights afterwards; things were falling from the sky. It wasn't rocked like that normally. It's like digital punk rock," said Adler, adding that there were lines down the street for those DJ shows at The Roxy that were longer than ones he's seen for A-list rock bands.
(L to R): Oscar Adler & Nic Adler, Owner The Roxy Theater in West Hollywood. (Photo: Danny Mahoney)
Eric Nielsen, Senior PR Manager at Sonos, Inc. was spotted chatting with fellow Deadmau5 fans. He told Billboard.biz that in addition to the new Deadmau5 disc, the Sonos staff has been cranking albums by Alabama Shakes, The Lumineers, and Skrillex throughout the office.
We ran into newly appointed Senior Director of Marketing for Live Nation's electronic division, David Ireland, who told us he's still easing into his new position. "I'm working with James Barton and Gary Richards and reporting to James. I'm brand new there but I used to be with BPM Magazine so I have a lot of DNA in electronic music. I'm a natural fit," he explained. Ireland also added that the best part of his new position so far is that the CEO is fairly hands off, and gives employees their own creative freedom. "Right now I'm working on HARD Day of The Dead, which is coming up next week, Sensation in New York, and then we have a lot of big stuff next year." Ireland confirmed that the Live Nation's new electronic music website should be up sometime in March.
Deadmau5 pleasing the crowd at Sonos. (Photo: Danny Mahoney)
Angelo Scrobe (Director of Radio Promotion and Marketing) attended the gig with fellow EMI colleague, Brent Briggs (Product Manager at EMI Music Marketing). The duo was thrilled to have the chance to see Deadmau5 perform in such an intimate environment, commenting on how impressed they were that the event was conceived and planned on very short notice. "In less then two weeks, KCRW, Sonos, and Three Six Zero Group had produced a kick ass exclusive event for close to 200 people ...with Deadmau5 live for an hour!" Scrobe told Billboard, explaining that "seeing Joel take his full production show and massive speakers into such a small space was "such a rare opportunity."
Also in attendance for Deadmau5's private set were KCRW DJs Anne Litt and Travis Holcombe, musician/producer Carmen Rizzo, Dennis White ( The Static Revenger), Three Six Zero's Mark Gillespie (manages Chris Lake and Calvin Harris), Chris Lake, Raymond Roker ( Red Bull/URB Magazine) and William Morris Entertainment's Marc Geiger (Head of Music) and Joel Zimmerman (Deadmau5's agent who ironically shares the same name as his client).
KCRW is set to broadcast the full Deadmau5 performance as well as the Q&A on the station's Morning Becomes Eclectic on November 1st.