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The Stories Behind Your Favorite DJs' Names

Deadmau5

Deadmau5

One night, Joel Thomas Zimmerman was chatting with friends on his computer when it suddenly shut off. Although it smelled like a burnt wire, it was actually a dead mouse that caused the short. From there, he became “dead mouse guy” which he shortened to “deadmouse.” Unfortunately, this was too long for chatrooms. So, he became “deadmau5.”

(Image via deadmau5)

Skrillex

Skrillex

Sonny John Moore originally went by the name "Sonny," but when he was signed onto Atlantic Records, he wanted to change his alias. The “Skrillex” handle unfortunately has no meaning. It’s another dinosaur, but not of the lizard variety. Skrillex was an old AOL messenger screen name. 

(Image via skrillex)

Diplo

Diplo

Thomas Wesley Pentz, born in Tupelo, Mississippi, had a fascination with dinosaurs as a child. In fact, he liked one specifically called a Diplodocus, which is similar to a Brontosaurs. Diplodocus - docus = Diplo.

(Image via diplo)

Zedd

Zedd

In Germany, Anton Zaslavski was in class with another friend with the name Anton. Since they sat together, it was hard to call on one or the other. So, the two Antons began to respond to each other using the first letter of their last name, which in Europe sounds like "zed." The extra “d” was added onto “Zedd” to make his stage name stand out.

(Image via zedd)

Disclosure

Disclosure

Disclosure originally got their name in 2010 when two brothers, Guy and Howard Lawrence, sat down to fill out car insurance forms. When they got to “terms of disclosure,” Howard stated, “That’ll do.” Disclosure – a pretty easy moniker for this amazing group.

(Image via disclosure)

Knife Party

Knife Party

Although they’ve been criticized for their name, the origin of the name “Knife Party” is hardly offensive. Nearly everyone has heard of the Deftones, and as it turns out, Rob Swine and Gareth McGrillen enjoyed the song “Knife Party” by Deftones so much that they named themselves after it. 

(Image via Knife Party)

Swedish House Mafia

Swedish House Mafia

Swedish House Mafia originates from word-of-mouth as a way for people to describe the group. The trio toured their home country and was asked if they were “some kind of house mafia” by several people. Eventually, their meeting with Pete Tong of BBC Radio 1 made the stage name stick when he stated, “I’ve heard you’re the Swedish House Mafia.”

(Image via swedishhousemafia)

Daft Punk

Daft Punk

When Daft Punk first began to produce music under the group name "Darlin’," a negative review in Melody Maker stated that their music was “a bunch of daft punk.” After a member of Darlin’ left, the two remaining members formed Daft Punk.

(Image via daftpunk)

Avicii

Avicii

Tim Bergling, better known as Avicii, is a Swedish DJ. This name gets its origin from Buddhism. Avici is the lowest level of Naraka, or Buddhist “hell.” This is where those who have committed grave offenses are reborn. Why the extra “I”? Avici with a single “I” was already taken on MySpace. Thus, Avicii was born. 

(Image via avicii)

Bassnectar

Bassnectar

Back in the 1990s, Lorin, aka Bassnectar, found himself listening to a small guy with the moniker “Brother.” This little guy has been an influence for Lorin and easily his favorite DJ. The name “Bassnectar” comes from a sticker Brother gave Lorin that said “Butterfly Beings Drink Bass Nectar.” Lorin immediately thought he’d use that name if he ever had a band.

(Image via bassnectar)