The Line Break: Shaun Neff On New Deadmau5 Collaboration

Toronto-based house and electronic music producer and performer Joel Zimmerman, otherwise known as Deadmau5, is extending his cult following of trance/dance music followers into the action sports arena. Neff announced last month that it’s creating a signature collection called NeffMau5, an exclusive collaboration between Zimmerman and the headwear and apparel brand, topped off with a logo that Neff and Deadmau5 say was an absolute “no brainer.”

"The people involved are the people I see at my shows, so it made sense to hook up with a cool company like Neff to work on a collaboration,” says Zimmerman. “Plus it was easy to put ears on the Neff face for an instantly legit logo, right?”

DeadMau5 is gaining momentum and international recognition, gracing the cover of Rolling Stone magazine's Summer Issue in June.

Playing for sold-out crowds across the globe, including major venues like the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the artist’s music reaches a broad audience—and one that easily relates and appeals to the action sports demographic,  says Neff Founder Shaun Neff.

“I have been watching the electronic music movement for a couple of years now and felt that it would be the next wave of music to make a huge global impact on youth,” says Neff. ” I am a big fan of Deadmau5 and felt that we should do what it takes to team up with someone who is not only leading the movement, but puts out amazing music and has created a very strong brand.”

We caught up with Neff for more details on the new collection:

How long has this collaboration been in the works?

I first met Joel at the beginning of the year and we finally inked the deal about a month ago. We have been working on the deal for over 5 months and I'm hyped to be up and rocking.

Is this an ongoing partnership, or will it be a limited run of product?

We will be coming out with several collections over the next 2 years, so this is not just a quick collab with a few tee's. We plan on coming out with more product and more designs, so keep your eyes open.

In your words, how does Deadmau5 and Neff fit and appeal to similar audiences?

Our surf, skate, snow roots match perfectly with the music of Deadmau5. When you're hopping in the car to go surf or have your headphones on the chairlift, the energy and sound of Deadmau5 is a perfect complement to our culture and enhances the experience. Music has always been a focus for the Neff brand and this is a great way to merge the Neff and Mau5 fans.

Will this partnership open the brand up to a different demographic?

I feel that this will be another great vehicle to put our brand in front of Deadmau5 fans and also the electronic music movement. This is also rad for Joel, since he snowboards and likes to skate, he is showing support to our industry in an authentic way and it gives him a different outlet to connect with our fans.

What shops will carry the product?

We are selling Neffmau5 to all our current retailers and will keep the distribution to our channels. This will hopefully bring a huge movement to our local shops.

What was Deadmau5’s role in creating the product?

Joel was very involved in the project. He is a very creative person and it has been awesome getting to know him and work with him on the line. You can look at all our designs and see his influence throughout it. You will see a lot of designs rooted from video games since Joel loves video games. Also, every shirt and color is approved by Joel, which is super rad because it shows he really cares about the collection.

How did you develop the particular design of this product?

The logo was a no-brainer. The Deadmau5 head and the Neff suckerface came together perfectly – all we had to do was throw the suckerface on the mau5 head and it was a perfect representation of both of our logos. From there we just sat in a room with Joel and he gave me a bunch of ideas he was into. Then we created graphics and went back and forth for approval.

Does Neff plan to work with other musical artists in the future and make this a part of its overall brand identity? What else can we expect in the next 6 to 12 months from the brand? 

We are always looking to team up with the right artist that is rad and can represent our brand in a way we want to be represented. We have a few things up our sleeve that will be coming out in the next year but unfortunately that will have to remain a surprise for now.