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Mau5heads

Deadmau5 surrounded by his collection.

Mau5heads are the iconic trademark of deadmau5, appearing on album covers, merchandise, live show visuals, and most notably, his headgear.

History[]

Zimmerman originally designed the mau5head while learning 3D modeling with 3D Studio Max.[1]. The concept of incorporating helmets into his brand came from his friend Jay Gordon of Orgy[2], and had been considered since mau5trap was established in 2007.

The earliest recorded performance featuring the mau5head took place at The Mighty in San Francisco on December 14th, 2007.[3] Shortly after, the mau5head was officially showcased on the deadmau5 YouTube channel in a video titled "deadmau5 in the house." In this video, Zimmerman is seen wearing a red mau5head while working on "Chicken" for WTF?.[4]

Zimmerman would later perform with the mau5head on January 18th, 2008, at Reflections Cabaret in Halifax, which he considered his debut with the helmet.[5]

Initially, the headgear consisted of an inner plastic frame covered in colored fabrics with a transparent mesh mouth. Over time, the design evolved to include LED lights, cameras, and internal fans. Some helmets were even plated with metal, which put strain on Zimmerman's neck. Later, lighter carbon fiber helmets were used to address this issue, although Zimmerman still removes and wears the helmet during performances due to its weight.

The mau5head is featured on all of his albums, except for his second studio album, Vexillology, and his first mix album, At Play, which were re-released to include it.

Disney Trademark Dispute[]

In March 2014, it was reported The Walt Disney Company launched an investigation regarding the mau5head as a trademark. Disney formally filed their opposition in September 2014, arguing that its resemblance to the Mickey Mouse image would lead to public confusion. In response to Disney's opposition, Zimmerman criticized Disney on Twitter, suggesting they underestimated people's intelligence.[6] Zimmerman also suggested that Disney's actions were motivated by their desire to capitalize on the EDM market, citing the release of Dconstructed, an album featuring remixes of Disney music by prominent electronic musicians.[7]

On September 4, 2014, Disney used "Ghosts 'n' Stuff" in a Mickey Mouse Re-Micks video without Zimmerman's permission. He shared images of a takedown notice sent to Disney by his legal team, which also included an accusation of trademark infringement. They argued that using the deadmau5 name in connection with the video falsely implied his endorsement.[8] Disney countered by asserting that they had properly licensed the song and dismissed Zimmerman's claims.

In an October 2014 filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Zimmerman asserted that Disney had sought to maintain a positive relationship with him. He provided evidence of Disney's outreach, which included discussions about potential joint projects. Among these discussions was an offer for Zimmerman to take part in a "re-imagining" of Fantasia as a live concert tour commemorating the film's 75th anniversary.[9]

In June 2015, Zimmerman's attorney announced that he and Disney had "amicably resolved their dispute." Zimmerman subsequently made an appearance in an episode of the Disney+ series The Muppets Mayhem in 2023, where the Muppets wear their own customized mau5heads.

Trivia[]

  • In 2008, Zimmerman would wear suits and ties to match his mau5heads.
  • In an 2008 interview with Louie La Vella, it was revealed that Zimmerman lost his blue mau5head while boarding a flight.
  • The Cheesehead was designed by Lance Thackeray, winner of the Talenthouse "Design The Next Mau5head" competition.
  • In 2011, Zimmerman auctioned his diamanté-plated Disco mau5head on eBay in order to raise funds for Japanese earthquake relief, with it selling for $19,293.
  • Some mau5heads were made in collaboration with other brands, such as Microsoft, Gumball 3000, and Sea Doo.
  • On occasion, Zimmerman will wear fan-made helmets at concerts.
    • Sometimes he will even accept fan-made mau5heads as gifts, such as the Wild African mau5head and the mecha mau5head seen in the "Let Go" video.
  • In an interview with Billboard, Zimmerman stated he would like to retire the helmet concept by his fifties.

Gallery[]

Logo Gallery[]

Helmet Gallery[]

References[]

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