On Joel: BROKEN GALLERY T-shirt; KILL CITY Jeans; VANS Sneakers.
Contemplating electronic music’s audience, Deadmau5 channels his inner David Wooderson from Dazed and Confused: “We get older, they get younger.” He’s not complaining or lauding, he’s just speaking honestly—something he’s well known for on Twitter. “It is really cool to break out of the shell once in a while, but not too much to alienate the people who put you where you are today.” He saw an opportunity in the ever-replenishing fan base, and he seized it. “[My prior albums] were continual fucking techno mixed. This one was with cool fuckers who aren’t in electronic music.”
His collaborations are injecting diverse talent into electronic music. And while he hasn’t worked with Von D on her sound, he has collaborated with her on matching tattoos. In addition to placing a star on his cheekbone, Von D inked the sequence 289m3d22h on her beau’s skin. “She did it in her styling on my arm, and I designed hers for her collarbone,” he says. As for what the meaning of Kat Von Deadmau5’s shared tattoo is? This high-profile couple wants to keep at least one thing between just the two of them.
“I guess like a majority of the most important people in my life that I’ve encountered, art has, without fail, been the initial connection,” Kat Von D says of her boyfriend, Deadmau5, whose real name is Joel Zimmerman. “Joel had responded to a tweet I had posted, and we began chatting about the possibility of him getting tattooed. So I guess you could say it was via Twitter, but for some reason that sounds kind of silly.”
The word choice silly is perfect. Cool people in love do things that seem to oppose their hipness, and silly is an admission that Kat Von Deadmau5 has broken character. But they are only slightly apologizing for it, because, fuck it, they are in love. “Joel makes me feel connected,” she says. “He makes me feel like I’m not alone—and not in the physical sense, because I appreciate my solitude at times—but he makes me feel not alone in a world that oftentimes I feel alien in. He makes me feel love.”
This isn’t Von D’s first time dating under the watchful eye of the paparazzi, and while it hasn’t always been all sugar skulls and unicorns in the celebrity press for America’s tattooed sweetheart, she’s unaffected. “When you think about the dynamics of a relationship, you will always have outside voices that, for whatever reason, feel entitled to an opinion—your family, your friends, your peers at work—and for me it’s just on an amplified level,” she says.