DJs regularly take to Twitter to express their feelings — to promote an upcoming release or show, vent or share thoughts or be a little silly with their followers. With Forbes (a business new and financial publication that’s become obsessed with DJ culture) recently publishing its list of highest-paid DJs (see below), we thought Twitter would be awash with commentary — both positive, negative and indifferent — from DJs.
Well, we scoured Twitter looking for opinions on the aforementioned topic and came up empty.
Aside from a congratulatory tweet from Dillon Francis and retweets of the article by Addison Groove and Funkmaster Flex, even the most opinionated jocks were silent on Forbes‘ list. Even more curious was that not one DJ had a word to say about DJ Pauly D of MTV’s Jersey Shore fame earning an estimated $11 million.
Perhaps the old proverb is true after all: when money speaks, the truth is silent.
Forbes’ List of Top-Paid DJs
1. Tiësto: $22 million
2. Skrillex: $15 million
3. Swedish House Mafia: $14 million
4. David Guetta: $13.5 million
5. Steve Aoki: $12 million
6. Deadmau5: $11.5 million
7. DJ Pauly D: $11 million
8. Kaskade: $10 million
9. Afrojack: $9 million
10. Avicii: $7 million
We recently took Deadmau5 to task for the negative comments he made in his recent Rolling Stone cover story. In the article, Joel “Deadmau5” Zimmerman called Madonna a “grandma” and mocked David Guetta and Skrillex’s mixing skills. Legendary DJ/producer A Guy Called Gerald, who is perhaps best known for his classic “Voodoo Ray,” decided he had enough of Zimmerman’s comments and put a firey post on his blog today. “I agree there are loads of people like you who do fake it,” Gerald wrote. “It is easy with the software you are using. Don’t worry we are going to find ways of stopping you. You greedy rat head fuck.”
Recently DJ Sneak called out Swedish House Mafia (RIP) and entered into a Twitter war with Steve Angello over his distaste for their allegedly playing mix CDs during their DJ sets. Could we be seeing more of dance music’s old guard going after younger, more commercially successful young guns? Read Gerald’s full blog post below.
I know who you are. You are some record company or failed journalist asshole left over from the last century who is jealous of the way electronic music is working in this brave fast new century. The only button you and people like you are interested in pushing is a nuke for the Palestinians. You come into our system that we have nurtured for the last 25 years, trick hardworking people into giving you their money, con honest promoters, take large sums of money out of the system and then spit back into our faces that YOU are tricking everyone.
I agree there are loads of people like you who do fake it. It is easy with the software you are using. Don’t worry we are going to find ways of stopping you. You greedy rat head fuck.
With a small coterie of electronic music artists breaking through into the mainstream in the past two years, it’s interesting to observe how the media is scrambling to wrap their heads around and capitalize on the gargantuan global fan base of a few select acts. Try as they might, often times their coverage isn’t on target. In March, for example, Forbes launched a DJ column about the best DJs in the world written by an expert in “workplace trends and culture shifts.” The problem is that some of the DJs interviewed weren’t exactly the best in the world, and the questions were, well, lame.
Now Rolling Stone bellies up to the trough with their Dance Madness! (their exclamation mark, not ours) issue, featuring Joel “deadmau5” Zimmerman on the cover and interviews with Skrillex and Swedish House Mafia. In a genre where big personalities and bold opinions are rare among its artists, putting Zimmerman, a live wire who is infamous for his online rants about pop collaborations and his distaste for Ultra Music Festival, on the cover was a no-brainer for RS‘s editors.
But at what cost did Zimmerman pay for this career milestone?
Today we’re reading about how Zimmerman attacked Madonna (again) in the cover story over the silly drug innuendos she made at Ultra Music Festival.
Zimmerman told RS: “You want to be ‘hip’ and ‘cool’ and ‘funky grandma.’ Fine. It’s not my place to say you’re irrelevant. [But] if you’re gonna come into my world, at least do it with a little more dignity. I understand she has millions more fans, and is way more successful than I’ll ever be. But it’s like talking about slavery at a [bleeping] blues concert. It’s inappropriate.”
David Guetta‘s DJ sets were also in Zimmerman’s crosshairs in the article. “David Guetta has two iPods and a mixer and he just plays tracks,” Zimmerman said in the article. “Like, ‘Here’s one with Akon, check it out!’”
Zimmerman even scrutinized Skrillex’s mixing abilities: “Even Skrillex isn’t doing anything too technical. He has a laptop and a MIDI recorder, and he’s just playing his [bleep].”
“There’s… button-pushers getting paid half a million [per show],” Zimmerman said. “And not to say I’m not a button-pusher. I’m just pushing a lot more buttons.”
For someone who uses his blog to present himself as a pragmatist on the side of what’s right, was it really necessary for Zimmerman to be negative, criticize his peers and an aging pop star whose influence will go on forever? Didn’t he see that he was put on the cover because of his penchant for spewing venom, which RS seems to gleefully relish. Ask yourself why Swedish House Mafia, an equally popular global phenomenon, weren’t on the magazine’s cover. Well, could you imagine Axwell taking another DJ to task in an interview? If you know anything about Axwell, you’ll know that’s a rhetorical question.
As someone who is intimate with dance culture, Joel Zimmerman must know the ’90s rave term PLUR (Peace Love Unity Respect). He ought to practice it more often.
The third and final of the Ultra Music Festival featured an eclectic group of artists all across the Bayfront Park grounds. For trance lovers, it was the grand finale and the ultimate UMF experience.
As in recent tradition, four-time number one DJ in the world, Armin van Buuren, presented A State Of Trance (ASOT) as an Ultra mega tent extravaganza hosting some of the hottest trance acts in the world.
Relative newcomers, Austin-based duo Tritonal joined the ranks this year still celebrating the fruits of their labor on last year’s highly successful artist release, Piercing The Quiet. They fully indulged in their esteemed ASOT spot and won the crowd with hits like “Slave.”
A State Of Trance repeats and Cosmic Gate entertained with some classics “Fire Wire” and “Exploration Of Space,” as familiar sing alongs to dedicated tranceheads.
Dutch great Sander van Doorn veered toward house with “Sweet Disposition,” as the screen backdrop announced, “This is A State Of Trance and this is Sander van Doorn.” Then on the backdrop came, “Make some noise,” followed by, “I can’t hear you.” Van Doorn exercised perfect timing dropping his heavy rotation track from last year’s festival, the still popular “Koko.” There was no longer the need for, “I can’t hear you,” at this point. As the crowd was enthralled in moments of trance ecstasy Sander played what seems to be a favorite of his own and his fans alike, Ivan Gough & Feenixpawl “In My Mind” featuring Georgi Kay (Axwell Mix.)
This year Dash Berlin also held a cherished spot on ASOT entering with Above & Beyond’s “Thing Called Love.” He continued to favor a love song theme with “Till The Sky Falls Down” and “I’m Coming Home.”
Far from ASOT either voyaging over the grassy hills of the bumper-to-bumper lounging fans or navigating through the herding cattle of crowds on Biscayne Boulevard it was worth the effort to catch even just a glimpse of the magic that is the duo of Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen also now known as the Pendulum side project Knife Party. They set the main stage on fire, some might say literally. (It was rumored that the main stage caught fire, a legitimate concern although that was not the case.) In reality it was the visual effect flames on the screens framing the stage in addition to rooftop pipes blasting spurts of real flames from the stage top. Fans could feel the heat of the pipe flames all the way to the back of the crowd by Biscayne Boulevard. Everyone who’s everyone in the scene has been captivated by the crowd response from Knife Party’s “Internet Friends,” and Knife Party was no exception giving this gem the airplay it deserves during their set. They brought their remixes of both Nero “Crush On You” and Porter Robinson “Unison.” In fact, everything this Australian team spewed out was a party, and thousands of their best friends were invited. Knife Party is definitely one to watch, as if fans and producers haven’t already taken notice for quite some time.
Dash Berlin was wrapping up back at ASOT with Coldplay’s “Clocks,” and ending with another Above & Beyond dynamo “Sun and Moon,” but not before singer Emma Hewitt joined him on stage for some reciprocal, complimenting bows to each other and some synched hand swaying in the air to inspire the crowd.
The camaraderie continued when Armin van Buuren prematurely appeared at the decks only long enough to give an embracing send off to ASOT mainstay buddy, Ferry Corsten, and intentionally or unintentionally tease the crowd with his presence. In a friendly gesture van Buuren lifted Corsten up off the ground to present him to the adoring fans below before vanishing backstage until it was his turn at the decks. Corsten dropped numerous crowd pleasers including “Check It Out” and the archived treasure “Adagio For Strings.”
Host Armin van Buuren manned the decks at 8:00pm and the magic and magnificence of this moment stretched throughout the packed tent and beyond. He was on a series of high moments like when he dropped “Burned With Desire” featuring Justine Suissa and the magic didn’t stop there. He was double billed also closing out the main stage at 10:00pm.
Gareth Emery and Kaskade helped round out the ASOT bill with Emery dropping Heatbeat “Rocker Monster” and Coldplay “Paradise,” and Kaskade driving the crowd crazy with Tiesto “Maximal Crazy.”
The main stage went dim close to 9:00pm as a voice boomed over the sound system with, “This is the man who means more to EDM than anyone else in the world. This is David Guetta.” The current number one DJ in the world blasted hit after hit like, Afrojack “Can’t Stop Me Now” featuring Shermanology, an electro version of “Sexy Bitch” that included the added lyric, “David Guetta bitch,” and “When Love Takes Over.” He introduced Afrojack who joined him on stage surrounded by uproarious applause, then out came Steve Aoki, then Benny Benassi to pure crowd pandemonium.
All too soon the party had to end and the world for so many festival fans would have to return to normal whatever “normal” may be.