On Kat: FALGUNI & SHANE Peacock Dress; THE GREAT FROG Rings; M. COHEN Bracelet; BLOODMILK Necklace. On Joel: BROKEN GALLERY T-shirt; KILL CITY Jeans; VANS Sneakers.
There’s a new power couple in the inked community: tattoo artist Kat Von D and DJ and producer Deadmau5 (Joel Zimmerman). Kat Von Deadmau5’s relationship is one of talent, art, and, of course, ink. He said, she said, I love you.
“It is kind of corny, but we met online,” says Joel Zimmerman (better known as Deadmau5) of his girlfriend, Kat Von D. He knew about the artist’s work, and after seeing one of her tweets, he inquired about getting a tattoo. It wasn’t online dating per se, but the couple certainly made an internet connection before meeting.
Now they are an inked version of Brangelina—Kat Von Deadmau5, if you will—and like other high-profile couples, they’re the subject of TMZ footage, US Weekly pages, and Perez Hilton’s Microsoft Paint doodling.
“We just let them get their shots and get on with our day,” Deadmau5 says of the paparazzi. “I don’t give a fuck about them. We don’t go out in public naked. We don’t really have any fucked up shit, and we are not assholes, so it isn’t crippling.” But he doesn’t suffer fools gladly. He recalls a recent question from the paps, who asked, “‘If you guys have a baby will it have tattoos?’ Is that the best you can fucking do? This is your life and that’s the best you can come up with? Troll me properly.”
Underneath the mau5head (the musician’s trademark mouse-shaped helmet) is someone who has been called a musical genius—one who doesn’t compromise his standards and whose work has been widely hailed. While this genius also has a reputation as a hothead, during his second photo shoot with INKED, Deadmau5’s tenor was notably lightened thanks to his sweeter half.
Sharing control of a relationship—and the spotlight in general—is new to the DJ. “I used to run the show and abide by one alpha schedule, but we make both schedules work,” he says of Von D. As creative people, the duo seem to feed off of each other’s art. “We create and play the music,” he says. “We both have workstations in her house, so we can take a break from each other, but it is refreshing.”
While he’s kept his renowned cat, Professor Meowingtons (who put out the first headphones designed specifically for cats with Sol Republic), and his res- idence in Toronto, Deadmau5 is making himself comfortable at Von D’s castle in Los Angeles. “I have deer heads and skeletons in my place, but you get to hers and it’s like a 16th-century castle, with candles, way more taxidermy, and this hairless cat,” he says.
Another area where the couple’s tastes may differ slightly is music. Von D has dated Nikki Sixx of Mo?tley Cru?e and has tattoos from bands HIM, The Misfits, and Slayer, while Deadmau5 is king of the electronic food chain. “I was pleasantly surprised to see she has MSTRKRFT on her iPod,” Deadmau5 says. “I don’t impose on her too too much of my music, because she is working on her own album and I don’t want to put electro in her head. But she knows of electronic music. ... I was worried she was going to ask, ‘What’s this womp, womp, womp shit?’”
Trying to break away from the genre that has become more one-note in the past year, Deadmau5 featured numbers with Cypress Hill and Imogen Heap on his latest release, Album Title Goes Here. “The Cypress Hill track was done over- night, but I was sitting on it for over two years because I wasn’t sure how to put it out—it would be like Slayer doing a fucking ballad,” he says. “I got into dance music when it was stagnating to hell, and I think that a lot [of] my involvement— and a few others, of course—turned around the styling, the production, and the sound. But now it is stuck on that turnaround and we have to turn it around again. I am sick of making all my songs sound like my one mainstream fucking hit.”