A while back, we brought to you a collection of EDM artists who choose to remain anonymous and their music do the talking. Today we bring forth some little known information about the biggest names in dance music, who perform with a different face. Also, we have included the theories of how their masks came to be and the reasons behind the same.
UK-based recording artist and DJ Squarepusher is instantly recognisable across any dancefloor due to his unique wrap-around LED helmet.
⦁ DJs From Mars
These Humans (obvious) are an Italian duo famous for wearing cardboard boxes on their heads. When questioned about their masquerade in an interview they explained, “It was from one of our first videos called “Who Gives a F**k about Deejays”…. a boxhead man was the main character of the video concept…when we started doing our first gigs we tried this weird idea, and it worked immediately! Everyone wanted to take pictures with us, everyone wanted to stay in the front of the two box head weirdo’s, it was very different from usual DJ sets when everyone dances like no one’s spinning….so we kept it going on.”
Yeah exactly! Who’d want to take photos with normal people when you can get one with someone from Mars?
Rezz is the only female DJ who makes it in to our list – we’re not being sexist – there just isn’t that many female DJs who wear masks (maybe they don’t need to hehe).
Rezz’s mask isn’t really even a mask, the Canadian DJ wears a pair of illuminated goggles when she’s on stage.
⦁ Mike Candys
Oh, so now you know who the smiley faced dance guy is! Mike, who wears a giant ball of happiness over his head, believes “everybody who sees it automatically gets a positive feeling.” He sees himself more of a musician than a DJ and discusses his use of the mask is to differentiate his show from others along with a visual for his fans to remember in addition to his music. Before coming up with his current identification mark he tested a lot of prototypes of dragons, aliens and animals but nothing suited his personality and his type of music. He ended with the giant yellow thing when he watched an old video he created for one of his remixes where the DJ and the crowd were all smileys! Interestingly, he built his mask himself with “a jigsaw and a lot of glue” as he couldn’t find any on the internet. Oh, by the way, if you wish to get your hands on one, it’s near to impossible as according to his official Facebook page, “It’s NOT for sale anywhere cause I created it myself and won’t sell it.”
⦁ The Bloody Beetroots
The name is primarily used as a pseudonym for the solo projects of Italian, Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo and is easily recognisable because of the black mask he wears while performing onstage. The mask resembles Marvel comics alien “Venom” and the eyes there on glow. According to his official Facebook profile he sports the disguise as “a declaration of ominous anonymity that defers the spotlight to his long list of productions, projects, films, art, manifestos and musical incarnations emanating from his Bloody Beetroots production epicentre.” The formation with Tommy Tea, an Indie producer is also known as The Bloody Beetroots DJ Set which burst onto the scene in 2006. Both combined forces to release their EP “Cornelius” in collaboration with French label “Sixpack France,” which released a limited edition T-shirt. In the early 2008, the two went on short United States tour with Steve Aoki and even released their collaboration “Warp 1.9” with the Dim Mak founder! They have been featured in video games like FIFA ’09 and NBA 2K9. After introducing a third member, Edward Grinch, who plays drums during their live shows, they changed their name to “The Bloody Beetroots – Death Crew 77.”
Known for hardstyle music, the psycho believes, wearing a mask is “so much more awesome than just plain old me onstage” and hence wears a weird hockey mask. Angerfist explains about his choice of facade, was because of his lack of confidence and inbuilt hesitation, “I also was really just a studio mouse and not a stage animal, so this was the perfect way for me to go onstage without any issues. A way to still play the music I love in front of a crowd, but in the comfort of anonymity.” He admits this cover-up, helps him get away when he’s drunk after his set and most people don’t recognise him!
⦁ Jaguar Skills
This decknician as he describes got his name from a Ninja sample and drew a mercenary wearing a pair of headphones as his logo himself. He narrates his experience at BBC Radio 1Xtra gig where he first wore his mask, “They asked me to DJ and said, ‘And you’re gonna wear your mask, right? Your logo, the ninja, you look like that, don’t you?’” Jag just found a mask and wore it without knowing that it would change his life! Now, a time has come when he can’t actually go on the stage without it! He further explains the mask’s positives, “It almost gives you a complete excuse to act however you want. You get more into the music and you don’t really give a shit what your face looks like if they’re going to take a photo of you, or you don’t care what your hair looks like. Imagine going to a gig thinking about what your hair looks like what a fucking nightmare!”
⦁ Nicky Romero
Nicky Romero became synonymous to the ‘Guy Fawkes’ mask shortly after he released the official video for “Toulouse” on his YouTube channel which went viral in 2012. Most of us associate the mask with the 2005 movie ‘V for Vendetta’ starring Natalie Portman alongside Hugo Weaving and graphic novel with the same name, where the protagonist V is an anarchist who wears the trademark Guy Fawkes mask. But the actual history behind the mask comes from a stylized depiction of the leader of the 1605 Gunpowder Plot against the British Parliament. Well, now we know how the mask originated, but it’s still unclear clear how and why the ‘Lighthouse’ artist started off wearing the mask in the first place!
According to the mysterious deep house producer “We all wear masks. When people interact with each other they play different roles. You could also describe these roles as masks, masks we’re all wearing. But these masks do not just translate what seems to be inside of us. They are part of our identity. You can’t take these masks off, because there is no ‘real me’ behind the mask.” When asked about his particular ‘Venetian-style Carnival mask’ he tells “I did not chose the mask. The mask chose me.”
A by-product of Avicii’s manager Ash, the duo can be recognised through their giant cassette masks with LED tickers. In an interview, Alexander Björklund and Sebastian Furrer spoke about their masks and told “That was Ash, he came up with it. It was really inspired by Daft Punk, of course.” They added, “The cassette is pretty cool as a theme. That’s what’s cool about Cazzette as a name you can take it and build things around it.” The retro inspired heads are just for the initial part of the show as it gets difficult for them to wear after a prolonged use.
In line with Wikipedia’s story behind his unique name: Zimmerman found a dead mouse inside his computer after he dismantled it. Soon he came to be known as the “dead mouse guy” among friends and when he tried to change his alias to ‘Deadmouse’ in an online chat room, he was unable to fit it in, as the name was too long, so he shortened it to ‘Deadmau5.’ His friend Jay Gordon suggested he should wear a headdress based on the logo designed by him.
Weird but, Deadmau5 doesn’t like being called a DJ! According to him, the term is highly antiquated and an improper description of his approach to music.
⦁ Daft Punk
Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter better known as Daft Punk have not allowed their faces to be photographed since 2006 and started wearing their infamous LED robotic helmets shortly thereafter. The duo rarely makes public appearances or grants permission for interviews, but in a 2013 interview with Rolling Stone magazine Thomas Bangalter opened up a bit and said, “We’re interested in the line between fiction and reality, creating these fictional personas that exist in real life.” While their other half mentioned, “We’re not performers, we’re not models, it would not be enjoyable for humanity to see our features…but the robots are exciting to people.”
The Grammy winning act has also disclosed the initial reason for their anonymity was due to shyness and in order to conceal their identities in an effort to avoid compromising their personal lives and to keep the attention focused on the music.
Bangalter once stated, “We did not choose to become robots. There was an accident in our studio. We were working on our sampler, and at exactly 9:09 a.m. on September 9, 1999, it exploded. When we regained consciousness, we discovered that we had become robots.”
P.S. their robot masks, technically helmets are rumoured to cost around, a staggering $65,000!