Deadmau5 Wiki
Deadmau5 Wiki

Joel Zimmerman, better known by his stage name deadmau5, is a Canadian electronic music producer from Niagara Falls, Ontario. Zimmerman produces a myriad of styles within the house genre and other forms of electronic music. He is widely credited for pushing electronic music towards its current-day notoriety in North America.

Early life[]

Zimmerman was born in Niagara Falls, Ontario, on January 5th, 1981, to Rodney and Nancy Zimmerman. His mother was a visual artist, while his father worked at a General Motors plant. He was a middle child, with an older sister named Jennifer and a younger brother named Chris. Zimmerman hailed from a lower middle-class upbringing, with ancestry tracing back to German, Swiss, and English heritage.

When Zimmerman was five years old, his grandmother gifted him an Atari, sparking his lifelong love for video games. However, her influence extended beyond gaming; as she would gather old TVs and toasters from Goodwill for Zimmerman to take apart and reassemble, nurturing his fascination with technology. Additionally, Zimmerman's interest in computers deepened when his mother introduced her business computer into their home. Inspired by his uncle, who regularly repaired the family's computer, Zimmerman developed a desire to pursue a career involving computers as an adult.

By age eight, Zimmerman began to take piano lessons after school while his parents were at work, which is where he learned the basics of music theory. When Zimmerman was a teenager, his parents had a divorce which left him developing his infamous rebellious attitude.[1] He was later introduced to electronic music by friends, but it wasn't until high school, when he worked as a barback at a nightclub, that he began attending raves, adopting the typical raver's attire. Despite Rod Zimmerman's disapproval of his son's new appearance, Nancy, who appreciated nurturing creativity in her children, was more accepting.

When Zimmerman was in middle school, he was placed in a special education class because he didn't take his Grade 6 studies seriously. He felt the pace was too slow and chose not to participate as a result. It was during this period that he began teaching himself production[2], using Impulse Tracker as his primary software. His early productions were inspired by various genres, including chiptune, trance, and IDM.[3]

With limited resources for electronic music production, Zimmerman had to put extra effort into learning about the subject. He sought guidance from a local computer repair shop called Cyberdyne Systems. The store's owner, Adam Delaire, who was also a DJ, invited Zimmerman to observe him host his radio show, The Party Revolution. This experience helped Zimmerman grasp the process, and Delaire eventually trusted him to co-produce the show when he was busy at the store.[4] Later, one of the DJs from the show opened a record shop with a studio where Zimmerman would often skip school to improve his production skills. Eventually this store went out of business, which left Zimmerman in need of a job.

After working at a T-shirt printing shop and a cannery, Zimmerman saved enough money to buy a powerful CPU for his music production at home. At the same time, he taught himself web development for extra income. After graduating from Westlane Secondary School, Zimmerman briefly worked as a programmer and composer for an online music licensing company named Killer Sound. Wanting to invest in professional studio equipment, he started shadowing a local audio engineer. While assisting the engineer one day, Zimmerman met the band Revenge of the Egg People, who were intrigued by his music. They asked him to remix a song for their upcoming album, "I'm Electric," which Zimmerman did under the alias Karma K.

Afterwards, he honed his skills and experimented with new software. He actively participated in music forums, notably the Image-Line forums, where he provided feedback to developers to enhance FruityLoops. Impressed by his contributions, the developers invited him to work at their headquarters in Belgium for a year. Despite lacking a visa, he stayed in an apartment with one of the developers. However, he had leave Belgium early due to illness and returned to Canada for hospital treatment.

On the Image-Line forums, Zimmerman met Steve Duda, a friend with whom he later collaborated on several music projects. Through Duda, Zimmerman got connected with Jay Gordon from the American band Orgy, who was interested in hiring him . Despite efforts with an employment contract, Zimmerman was denied entry to the United States. Months later, when Duda wanted to meet in Los Angeles, Zimmerman faced suspicion from Customs and was subsequently banned from visiting the United States for seven years.

Despite his dedication to production, Zimmerman hadn't yet released music under his own name. As a result, he teamed up with Derek Caesar, a DJ from The Party Revolution, to form Dred And Karma. Together, they released their debut single "I Don't Want No Other" on vinyl between 1999 and 2000.

Origin of "Deadmau5"[]

In his teens, Zimmerman found a dead mouse in his computer while trying to replace his graphics card. After recounting the incident on the EFnet IRC channel he frequented, he became known as "that dead mouse guy." In response, he decided to change his username to "deadmouse" as a nod to the incident. Due to the character 8-character limit for usernames on the IRC server, he omitted the "e," substituted the "o" with an "a" for clarity in pronunciation, and replaced the "s" with "5" to incorporate Leetspeak into his nickname.

In 2002, Zimmerman launched "" for his web development business.[5] He also started sharing music on SectionZ under the name deadmau5. That year, his tracks "My Opinion" and "Superlover" were featured on the compilation CD Section Z Vol. 1, credited to deadmau5 and Halcyon441 respectively. The official debut of the deadmau5 project came in 2005 with the release of his first studio album.

Later on, Zimmerman created the iconic mau5head while learning how to use 3D Studio Max.[6] The idea to wear a helmet based on the logo came from his friend Jay Gordon. Gordon sent Zimmerman a picture of himself drunk, and as a joke, Zimmerman responded by editing the deadmau5 logo on top of Gordon's head. Gordon found it funny and suggested that Zimmerman incorporate it into his liveshows. Initially, Zimmerman dismissed the idea, as it was suggested to him before he was famous. However, Gordon's idea stuck with him for years while developing the deadmau5 brand. Eventually, Zimmerman commissioned the prop maker Warren Keeler in 2007 to create the first mau5head, doing it for fun even though he originally felt embarrassed about it.


Get Scraped


Zimmerman released his debut studio album, Get Scraped, on March 12th, 2005 under the independent record label SectionZ Records. Only 500 copies of a physical demo were produced. The album was later digitally released on June 12th, 2006 under ZOOLOOK Records.

Sometime during 2005, Zimmerman was finally able to meet with Steve Duda and together they formed BSOD. The project was started as a joke to poke fun at how formulaic dance music had become. They made eight tracks in eight days, all of which became popular on Beatport, appearing on the site's charts. Years later, during Miami Music Week, they encountered Benny Benassi who praised their single "This Is The Hook." However, the positive reception inadvertently led to the project's hiatus, as audiences saw BSOD as a legitimate project when neither of them intended on making more music in this style.

Additonally, in 2005, Zimmerman was signed onto Play Records when Melleefresh approached him to update the label's website. Since Zimmerman was also interested in music, he was given the opportunity to remix songs by Melleefresh, and their collaboration on singles began in late 2006.

Three self-released compilation albums, Project 56Deadmau5 Circa 1998-2002, and A Little Oblique, were simultaneously uploaded to SectionZ on April 5th, 2006. Project 56  later received an official release on the deadmau5 website on February 19th, 2008.

On October 25th, 2006, the single "Faxing Berlin" was released, which is considered to be Zimmerman's breakout hit, as it gained international recognition with the help of Chris Lake and Pete Tong.

On November 6th, 2006, Zimmerman released his second studio album Vexillology under Play Records. This album was notable for being the first to include Zimmerman's signature house and techno influenced sound he is typically associated with.

On November 25th, 2006, Zimmerman played his earliest known gig as deadmau5 at the Traffik Nightclub in Montreal, Québec.


Random Album Title

Zimmerman began to gain recognition in February 2007 when "Faxing Berlin" was aired on Pete Tong's radio show. Despite his growing popularity in England, Zimmerman remained relatively unknown in North America.

In 2007, Zimmerman established his own record label called Mau5trap Recordings, which held "Faxing Berlin" as its first release. Ever since its inception, the label has been an influential force within the EDM scene, launching artists such as Skrillex, REZZ, Getter, i_o, ATTLAS, No Mana, Matt Lange, and more to fame.

In December 2007, Zimmerman introduced the iconic mau5head helmet to his audience, making his first recorded performance with it at The Mighty in San Francisco on December 14th, 2007.

On April 4th, 2008, Zimmerman became embroiled in one of his first controversies when he effectively prohibited Marcus Schössow from performing at the same venue as him because Schössow was a member of the parody group deadrat6.

On April 5th, 2008, his single "All U Ever Want," a collaboration with Billy Newton-Davis, won a Juno Award in the Dance category.

On May 2nd, 2008, Zimmerman became the most awarded DJ-producer-remixer at the 2008 Beatport Music Awards. He was described as "the most influential, avant-garde, and relevant person in electronic music." He won several awards, including Best Electro House and Progressive House Artist and Best Singles of the year. He also became the top-selling artist on the site, with over 30,000 downloads for the singles "Not Exactly," "Faxing Berlin," and "Ghosts 'n' Stuff."

In mid-May 2008, Zimmerman formed another group with Steve Duda, along with DJ Aero and Tommy Lee, called WTF? It was a one-off project created for fun, only releasing four tracks. Following their singles, the group did not reunite until 2016, where they played a liveshow in Atlanta, Georgia.

On August 19th, 2008, Zimmerman had a narrow escape from death. While departing from Madrid, he and his team rushed to catch their flight but missed it. As they explored other travel options, the plane they were originally scheduled to board crashed, tragically claiming the lives of 154 passengers.

On September 2nd, 2008, Zimmerman released his third studio album Random Album Title under mau5trap alongside Ultra Records and Ministry of Sound. This remains as one of his most popular and critically acclaimed albums.

Throughout the year, Zimmerman released several hit singles including "I Remember", "Move For Me", and "Ghosts 'n' Stuff". His success allowed him to play at prestigious festivals such as Coachella, Ultra, and Creamfields.

During 2008, Zimmerman left Play Records. However, due to his contract agreement, Play Records was able to claim ownership of tracks he made during the time he was signed to the label. This led to the release of the At Play series and future controversy.



On February 10th, 2009, in collaboration with Future Audio Workshop, he released an iPhone/iPod Touch application called Touch Mix, allowing users to mix around ten of his tracks using a mobile-friendly interface.

On February 8th, 2009, deadmau5 was nominated for a Grammy Award for his remix of Morgan Page and Lissie's "The Longest Road." He again dominated the Beatport Music Awards that year, winning the same categories as in 2008 and earning the title of "Top DJ" for two consecutive years on April 17th, 2009

On September 22nd, 2009, Zimmerman released his fourth studio album For Lack of a Better Name  in the United States, and on October 5th internationally. The album contains two of Zimmerman's greatest hits: "Ghosts 'n' Stuff" and "Strobe".

By 2009, Zimmerman had become more of a public figure, which lead to a cameo appearance in a 2010 episode of Gossip Girl. In an interview, he admitted he wasn't ready for it and mentioned makeup artists came to his trailer even though he planned to wear his mau5head.

In 2009, Zimmerman began livestreaming on Ustream, although streaming wasn't as popular then as it is today. On his appearance on the H3H3 Podcast in 2018, Zimmerman shared that his motive behind streaming was to showcase his music production process, hoping to inspire others to learn production. Nonetheless, streaming has now become another hallmark of the deadmau5 brand, as he continues to stream to this day on modern platforms such as Twitch.

In April 2010, Zimmerman unveiled the Cube stage during his performance at Coachella, a setup that would stick around for the rest of his career. The Coachella performance also marked the debut of his LED mau5head. However, this turned out to be his final appearance at Coachella under the name deadmau5. He arrived at the festival via helicopter alongside Tommy Lee, an act that resulted in both artists being banned from the event.

Deadmau5 4x4=12

During a performance on July 30th, 2010, he collapsed on stage due to exhaustion and vomiting, leading to hospitalization and the cancellation of nine shows.

Zimmerman was the house DJ for the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards and MTV PUSH artist of the week on August 16th, 2010. He won three awards that night, one of which was presented to him by Tommy Lee. Zimmerman also expressed his gratitude towards Lady Gaga and David Guetta for bringing house music into the pop scene and paving the way for him to the mainstream.

On December 6th, 2010, his fifth studio album 4x4=12, was released in the United Kingdom and on December 7th, 2010 in the United States. The singles "Some Chords", "Animal Rights", "Sofi Needs a Ladder" had been released and featured on the album, along with "Raise Your Weapon", which was released in 2011 as a single.

On March 16th, 2011, the single "HR 8938 Cephei" was released solely under mau5trap.

In May 2011, Zimmerman partnered with Talenthouse to host a contest where fans could design a new mau5head for him. The winning design, dubbed the "Cheesehead" and created by Lance Thackeray, would be featured at liveshows and other promotional events. It debuted during a performance of "The Reward is Cheese" at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City on October 4th. This helmet was later featured on the cover of the Rolling Stone magazine in 2012.

On November 4th, 2011, Zimmerman released the single "Aural Psynapse", a contemporary remake of a song previously released on deadmau5 Circa 1998-2002.


Album Title Goes Here

Album Title Goes Here

On February 12th, 2012, Zimmerman attended the 54th Annual Grammy Awards with three separate nominations. At the ceremony, he wore a T-shirt bearing Skrillex's phone number. Knowing his management would disapprove of the stunt, Zimmerman quickly swapped shirts before stepping onto the red carpet. Ironically, although Zimmerman's prank successfully flooded Skrillex's phone with calls, Skrillex went on to win three awards that night, while Zimmerman did not secure any.

On March 7th, 2012, Zimmerman announced mau5hax, a collaborative studio session that would take place during Miami Music Week. The event allowed budding producers to work with Zimmerman and Steve Duda for 12 hours to create music together. On March 23rd, artists such as Buddygirl, Feed Me, Foreign Beggars, The Frederik, Heat Maxwell, Henry Gould, Jim Stout, Kill the Noise, Madeaux, Moguai, Patryk Borko, and River Accorsi participated in the event. The following day, the group released their first and only single "Miami".

On August 9th, 2012, Zimmerman announced his upcoming sixth studio album,  > album Title goes here <, which was released on September 24th of the same year. Multiple singles were released to promote the album, including "Maths", "The Veldt", "Professional Griefers", "Channel 42", and "Telemiscommunications".

On March 12th, 2013 Zimmerman performed at South by Southwest alongside Richie Hawtin, marking the start of his new Testpilot alias. His debut single, "Sunspot," was released a year later on March 31th, 2014, under Plus 8 Records. Although he occasionally uses the alias for live sets, no new music has been released since this single.


In November of 2013, Zimmerman deleted three years worth of music from his Soundcloud account, replacing them with the 7 EP. These tracks were named after the Latin translations for the Seven Deadly Sins: "Acedia", "Avaritia", "Gula", "Invidia", "Ira", "Luxuria", and "Superbia".

The same month, Zimmerman departed from his long-time label Ultra Records and signed a deal with Astralwerks, a prestigious NYC-based label known for artists like Swedish House Mafia, David Guetta, and The Chemical Brothers. Zimmerman expressed his satisfaction with the move, stating, "I found a place that knows what to do with my music."

On December 20th, 2013, Zimmerman launched, a service offering livestreams, exclusive music, merchandise, and direct interaction with the producer. The platform aimed to give fans a closer connection to Zimmerman's music and creative process.

On January 7th, 2014, Zimmerman announced on Twitter that his highly anticipated seventh studio album was completed. On May 10th, he revealed it would be called while(1<2) and that it would be released on June 17th. The album was preceded by the weekly release of four singles: "Avaritia", "Seeya", "Infra Turbo Pigcart Racer" and "Phantoms Can't Hang".



On July 23rd, 2015, Valve announced that Zimmerman would be creating a series of sound clips for their video game Dota 2, which ultimately became the Dieback Music Pack. Later, on August 8th, 2015, Zimmerman performed live at the KeyArena in Seattle to conclude the Dota 2 competition dubbed The International 5.

In October 2015, Zimmerman filed a multi million-dollar lawsuit against Play Records for breach of contract regarding tracks he had previously transferred ownership of. Play Records started releasing unauthorized remixes of his early music and unfinished work, contrary to their contract which required Zimmerman's prior consent for such actions. By May 2016, Play Records and Zimmerman reached an agreement, allowing the label to retain rights to over 100 early deadmau5 tracks. However, the agreement stated that the label could not create any new remixes or mashups based on these tracks.

On October 7th, 2015, Zimmerman made a formal announcement stating his departure from Astralwerks. He declared his intention to become fully independent and focus on his own label, mau5trap.

Stuff I Used To Do

Stuff I Used to Do

On December 17th, 2015, Zimmerman seemingly took a hiatus or considered ending his career by deleting his Twitter and Facebook accounts. However, his Instagram account remained active. Four days later, he reopened his Twitter account and issued an apology on his Tumblr account, revealing that he had been battling depression. Zimmerman assured fans that he would return to making music after the new year.

On May 24th, 2016, the deadmau5 SoundCloud account was hacked by a group called OurMine, leading to a breach of Zimmerman's personal information. Just two days later, he deleted the account. Following this incident, Zimmerman released "Snowcone," his first single in over two years. This marked the first deadmau5 single to be independently released on mau5trap, and was later revealed to be the first single from his next album.

On November 10th, 2016, it was revealed that Zimmerman would collaborate with MasterClass to teach electronic music production. His lesson plan wasn't tailored for beginners, as it covered advanced techniques and strategies he personally used. Additionally, the commercial for his class gave rise to one of the biggest memes in his fandom: "this is a cardinal sin of EDM.".

On December 2nd, 2016, Zimmerman released his eighth studio album, W:/2016ALBUM/, which referred to the location of the album on his computer. The album consists of tracks produced with a de'deluxe, and includes tracks he had been working on since 2015.


On March 25th, 2017, Zimmerman began a tour called "Lots of Shows in a Row" with his new Cube 2.1 stage to promote W:/2016ALBUM/. He began touring in North America for two months and then toured the rest of the world until October 31st.

On August 25, 2017, Zimmerman released a stand-alone single entitled Legendary, featuring guest vocals from rapper Shotty Horroh. A music video for the song was released on Mau5trap's YouTube channel on September 11, 2017. In September 2017, Zimmerman confirmed his next studio album is "on the way".

Where's the Drop

Where's the Drop?

In March 2018, Zimmerman announced a compilation album comprising orchestral performances of previously released music, titled Where's the Drop?. On March 30, 2018, the album was initially released exclusively on the music streaming service Tidal for a period of three months. On June 29, 2018, the album was officially released on other digital download and streaming services, as well as vinyl. On July 3, 2018, Zimmerman announced an EP and compilation album titled Mau5ville: Level 1, featuring "Monophobia", a collaboration with Rob Swire, as well as tracks from Getter and GTA. It was released on July 13, 2018, through Mau5trap. On September 18, 2018, Zimmerman announced that he was in the process of producing his first ever original film score for the Netflix film Polar directed by Jonas Åkerlund. In October 2018, the track listing of a follow-up EP, Mau5ville: Level 2, was leaked, showing featured collaborations with Lights and Mr. Bill, with no release date confirmed at the time. The EP was released officially on November 16, 2018, through Mau5trap.


Polar (Music from the Netflix Film)

On January 25, 2019, Polar premiered on Netflix, with Zimmerman releasing the soundtrack album, Polar (Music from the Netflix Film), through Mau5trap. On February 1, 2019, the third installment in the Mau5ville series, Mau5ville: Level 3 was released through Mau5trap. The compilation EP featured collaborations with Shotty Horroh, Scene of Action as well as tracks from No Mana and C.O.Z. In November 2019, Zimmerman released three new singles, entitled "SATRN", "COASTED" and "FALL", released on the 16th, 22nd and 29th, respectively.


On May 20, 2020, Zimmerman released the single "Pomegranate", featuring The Neptunes. Later in November that year, he worked with Kiesza on the track "Bridged by a Lightwave". Both singles are expected to appear on Zimmerman's next album.

On March 29, 2021, Zimmerman released the single "Nextra" on his new "Hau5trap" label. In 2021, REZZ and Deadmau5 collaborated to release a single named "Hypnocurrency" on Mau5trap. He also released a new single with singer Lights titled "When the Summer Dies" on July 16.

Kx5 Album


In 2022, Zimmerman and Kaskade announced a collaboration project named Kx5 (pronounced "kay-five"), marking the fourth time the producers have worked together. The first single from the project, "Escape", was released on March 11. In December, the duo headlined a performance in Los Angeles at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. The concert broke records with a crowd of 50,000 and netted $3.7 million dollars. In January 2023, the release date for the duo's first album, eponymously titled Kx5, was announced. It was promptly released on that date.

Musical Style[]


As deadmau5, Zimmerman creates progressive and electro house music, and as Testpilot, he focuses on techno. His music is known for its atmospheric soundscapes with simple melodies and intricate rhythms. However, while he mainly produces dance-oriented tracks, Zimmerman is particularly fond of IDM, stating "I don't have to worry about downs and build ups and where the crowd is supposed to go nuts. I can pretty much have my whole artistic freedom and do what I feel like cos it's like an exercise to keep myself from going crazy with all the repetitive beats."[7] As a result, he has found ways to incorporate elements of IDM, ambient, and even orchestral music into his work. He has also explored genres outside of electronic music, such as pop, rock, hip-hop, and funk.

With his diverse production style and distinctive branding, Zimmerman is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in contemporary EDM. However, over time, he came to the conclusion that he had played a role in what he perceived as the genre's decline. In a 2016 interview with Rolling Stone, Zimmerman lamented, "It’s fucked. It’s out of the innovators’ hands; it’s not really grassroots anymore. I’m partially responsible – I’ve done my part to commercialize shit. Oversaturation."[8]

When it comes to naming songs, Zimmerman is quite spontaneous. For instrumental tracks, he often comes up with names on the spot, with this casual naming style extending to several of his albums. However, there are instances where he puts more thought into naming tracks, as seen in the 7 EP where each track is named after one of the seven deadly sins. When a song includes vocals, he typically selects a lyric from the song as the title.

Some representative songs from his discography include "Raise Your Weapon," "Ghosts 'n' Stuff," "I Remember," "Strobe," "The Veldt," "Sofi Needs a Ladder," "Let Go," "Professional Griefers," "Some Chords," "Channel 42," and more. Meanwhile, Zimmerman's personal favorite productions include "Creep", "Snowcone", "ASDFGHJKL", and "Secondary Complications".


Over the years, Zimmerman has openly shared the artists who inspire him through livestreams, interviews, and curated playlists. Some of these influential artists are Boards of Canada, Aphex Twin, Radiohead, Tycho, Phil Kieran, Pig & Dan, Nine Inch Nails, John Hopkins, Enrico Sangiuilano, The Prodigy, Jean-Michel Jarre, Amon Tobin, Depeche Mode, Radiohead, Stimming, and Flying Lotus.

Interestingly, despite being known for his house music, Zimmerman seldom mentions any house producers as inspirations for his work.


On the technical side of things, Zimmerman is renowned for his impressive sound engineering skills, evident from glimpses of his studio setup which includes an extensive array of equipment. He places such importance on this aspect that in 2015, he purchased a new house and renovated a bedroom specifically to create a studio space for his gear.

Zimmerman has a strong preference for analog synthesizers, particularly custom-made modules from companies like Doepfer and Modcan, as well as Eurorack systems. These high-end modules can be quite costly, ranging from $300 to $800 each, and assembling a system with 20 to 30 modules can cost as much as a small car. In his studio, he has constructed multiple racks of these synthesizers, lining them on the walls. Working with such complex analog setups requires a deep understanding of electronics due to the large number of patch cables and parameters to manage. Despite the complexity, he handles all this equipment himself during music production. Additionally, his studio features Moog modules, Sequential Circuits' Prophet series, ARP 2500, various racks, high-quality monitoring speakers, and mixers. He often showcases his equipment on social media.

For composition, Zimmerman primarily uses two synthesizers: a Moog Little Phatty and a Prophet '08 from Dave Smith Instruments. He previously used a Roland Juno-106. For expanders, Zimmerman utilizes a Clavia Nord Rack 2x, a Minimoog Voyager Rack Mount Edition, a Korg Kaossilator, and a Doepfer A-100 analog modular system for bass. For controllers, he uses Moog brand controllers, including the CP-2 and several MoogerFoogers (MF-101, MF-102, MF-103, MF-104Z, MF-105), especially the MF-107, of which he owns three copies.

The software he uses on his various computers (a MacBook, a MacBook Pro, and a dual-screen desktop) is also numerous, although he mainly uses Ableton Live for composition and delivery. Others include FL Studio, Reason, Reaktor, Cubase, and Nuendo. At one point, he was involved with FL Studio development, but around 2010 to 2011, he switched to using Ableton Live and has continued to use it ever since. According to him, Ableton Live offers better organization compared to FL Studio, which he appreciates.

For his concerts, Zimmerman does not perform as a DJ, a practice he consistently criticizes. Instead, Zimmerman performs much freer mixes, moving away from the simple DJ activities using CD or vinyl graphics. For this, he uses the Allen & Heath Xone: 4D mixer, previously the Xone: 3D connected to a MacBook. He uses the JazzMutant Lemur, which he also uses in composition, then other instruments like the Monome 2 and the Pioneer EFX-1000 multi-effects. He has also used a Pioneer DJM-800 mixer at one point. He conducted an interview for Future-Music magazine, showcasing his recording studio and all the techniques and tools he uses in his creations and concerts. In 2009, he started using the Native Instruments Maschine instrument controller and two iPads using TouchOSC connected to OSCulator and Live.

Personal life[]



Contrary to the stage name deadmau5, Zimmerman is a cat lover. He had a cat named Charlie before he became famous. In 2009, he adopted a cat named Meowingtons, who became famous alongside him, appearing in his livestreams, albums, and videos. Three years later, he adopted a gray kitten named Miss Nyan Cat in 2012. In March 2018, he adopted another cat, a female bengal named Noob. However, around the age of 5 months, she struggled to survive while connected to life support, eventually passing away on August 20th. In September 2018, he adopted another bengal cat named Copycat. Meowingtons sadly passed away on August 8, 2023 at the age of 16 due to medical complications. On September 22nd of the same year, feeling the emptiness without Meowingtons, he adopted two more kittens, naming them Dizzy and Dolly.


In September of 2010, Zimmerman began dating Lindsey Evans shortly after meeting her at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. Evans eventually moved to Toronto to live with him. However, one year later Zimmerman announced that the two had broken up.

In September 2012, Zimmerman disclosed his relationship with Kat Von D. After a brief split in November 2012, they were able to reconcile. On December 15, 2012, Zimmerman proposed to Von D via Twitter, and they planned an aquatic-themed wedding for August 2013. They both got matching tattoos, including the numerals "289m3d22h" on their arms and a star beneath their eyes. Zimmerman even moved to Los Angeles to reside with Von D. However, in June 2013, Von D announced that they had called off their engagement

On August 12th, 2017, Zimmerman got married to his longtime girlfriend and fiancée Kelly Fedoni. However, by June 2021, he and Fedoni had separated and planned to divorce, although they stated that their relationship had ended amicably.


Zimmerman didn't get his driver's license until 2013. Once he did, he became intrigued by supercars. His first was a white McLaren, and he briefly tried driving for Uber in Toronto. Later, he bought a Ferrari 458 Italia, which he dubbed the "Purrari". He customized it with Neon Cat-themed wrapping and replaced the prancing horse logo with a leaping cat for the Gumball 3000. Ferrari sent him a cease and desist letter upon learning of the changes to protect their brand. Lamborghini then offered Zimmerman a chance to customize a Huracan however he pleased. He accepted, decorating it similarly, naming it the "Nyanborghini Purracan". Since then, Zimmerman has been steadily growing his collection of luxury cars.

Additionally, once Zimmerman obtained his driver's license, he launched the Coffee Run series on his YouTube Channel. Similar to an informal podcast, these videos showcased Zimmerman and his friends chatting in his car while grabbing coffee. Notable guests included Skrillex, Dillon Francis, Pharrell Williams, Steve Duda, Zimmerman's lawyer, among others.


  • According to Zimmerman in a 2009 interview, his mother named him after Billy Joel.
  • Growing up, Zimmerman listened to artists like U2, Tears for Fears, War, Steely Dan, Skinny Puppy, and Metallica, as his father subscribed to Columbia House.
  • Some of Zimmerman's favorite video games include Final Fantasy X, Minecraft, and The Legend of Zelda.
  • Zimmerman used to maintain a personal blog., but it has been inactive since 2011.
  • January 2nd, 2012 was proclaimed “deadmau5 Day” in Las Vegas by Mayor Carolyn Goodman.[9]
  • Zimmerman shares his name with a prominent agent in the EDM industry who once worked for deadmau5.[10]