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Need a gift for a gifted musician?
The event that most might recall involving Joel Zimmerman, aka Deadmau5, this year happened on 30th July, in Washington DC's 9:30 Club. About 50 minutes into his set, the music stopped without warning, leaving a packed club cheering for more, but slightly baffled. What they couldn't see was that Zimmerman had collapsed on stage behind his equipment. He was taken to hospital where he was reportedly treated for exhaustion and vomiting. It was all over YouTube in no time.
His next nine shows, taking in places like Osaka, Budapest, Tokyo, Barcelona and Ibiza, were all cancelled, while he recuperated. It said much of his meteoric rise and the kind of heavy schedule that must go with it. Or maybe it just gets a bit hot under that giant mouse head.
And it's the mouse head, though obviously the most dominant aspect of his contrived image, that perhaps holds the brightest light up to his guarded persona. Communicating with DJmag through a third party, and only by email - he has become profoundly media shy, it's claimed - he says only this of the incident.
"I had an epiphany... Cthulhu called. Nobody was home, completely flayed my mind... couldn't take it. Passed out." The 'Cthulhu' he mentions is a fictional creation of horror legend HP Lovecraft, a cosmic entity capable of evoking abject terror.
As well as acting as a fine gimmick, marketing tool, source of logo etc., the headgear also hides Zimmerman, for the varying length he decides to wear it, from his audience. That he has become so resistant to media attention too would compound the notion that behind the veneer of being a huge show-off, maybe he's actually rather shy. (Though odd, arguably, that such a shrinking violet should choose a profession which demands such a level of flamboyance.) It's contradictory. But still, the head is the perfect cover.
Of the few other things he does say, he mentions that he had a great show at the Metro in Sydney this year, and that he visited Puerto Rico. When asked if he's still getting used to dealing with his notoriety, he simply says: "No, not really. I'll never get used to that... especially when I'm completely surrounded by so many of my ultra-talented peers." He also bemoans not spending as much time as he would have liked this year in the studio. "Haven't had much time for that this year. Boo," he says.
It has been a big year for him, however, of that there's little ambiguity. He's held a residency in Ibiza for Cream at Amnesia for the latter part of the summer, and was named 'best house artist' at the MTV Video Music Awards, which saw him serving as a kind of 'musical director' for the stage show - a huge profile boost. He also won himself two gongs at the Ibiza Club Awards, for Best Electro House DJ and Best International DJ. And though he didn't have as much time behind the mixing desk as he might have liked, he recently scored a big fat hit with Austin, Texas producer Wolfgang Gartner, crafting the wobbly dancefloor destroyer 'Animal Rights'.
Looking forward, his biggest UK tour to date will find him hitting six cities in December: Bournemouth, Leeds, Manchester, Coventry, Glasgow and London. He will headline a show at London's Earl's Court, while support will come courtesy of Radio 1's Zane Lowe, dubstep trio Magnetic Man, Stanton Warriors and Calvin Harris. The tour is in support of a new compilation album, 4x4=12, also due in December.
But best of all, perhaps, he's doing a Tron. That is, he's set to enter the world of the video game, as a playable character in the second instalment of DJ Hero, with his track 'Ghosts N' Stuff' from last album 'For Lack Of A Better Name', featuring on the soundtrack. Surely for a self-confessed techno geek, that is a little slice of heaven.