By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Anime Expo at the L.A. Convention Center pulls in 40,000 people every Fourth of July weekend, while Comic-Con in San Diego draws attendance in the six figures. In addition to their superfan obsessiveness, these kids can party hard, and Moore fits right in. Don't even get him started on anime; Neon Genesis Evangelion, Blood: The Last Vampire and Final Fantasy: Advent Children are just a few of the Japanese animated films and programs he loves.
With his unkempt style, he even looks like these self-proclaimed geeks. Or perhaps they look like him. In fact, with the rise of cosplay — the art of dressing as pop culture figures — admirers have begun to imitate Moore and send him their photos through Facebook. There's even a Tumblr site, "Girls Who Look Like Skrillex," and many of them are dead ringers. ("A guy really thought I was him for a minute," brags the caption from an unnamed woman, clad in Moore's trademark black-and-gray plaid shirt.)
It gets weirder. Somehow, Moore and Deadmau5 have become the Spock and Kirk of electronic music fan fiction. Like the Star Trek heroes, they're frequent subjects of "slash fiction," where straight characters, and sometimes celebrities, are depicted in homosexual relationships. (The authors are frequently female.) Tumblr site Skrillmau5 — an aggregator of Skrillex and Deadmau5 stories and art — frequently shows the two hooking up. Illustrating one of the more explicit stories, a pencil drawing shows a full-frontal glimpse of Moore as the two coil together, a sex toy off to one side.
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None of this bothers Moore. In fact, he sounds oddly awed by much of it. "It's very flattering because they have these really in-depth stories," he insists.
He understands well the connection between the music and comics scenes, and hopes to play both Anime Expo and Comic-Con next year. "He doesn't separate himself from his audience," says L.A. club promoter Keith Wilson, a longtime friend of Moore's who booked his earliest DJ gigs. "He is his audience."
Moore grew up primarily in Highland Park and Mount Washington, though his family spent several years in San Francisco when he was a child. At 6, his parents enrolled him in piano lessons, where his teacher discovered he could play by ear. When Moore's father gave him a guitar for Christmas three years later, he had a new obsession. This was a bit unexpected, since music didn't really run in the family.
"I'm in insurance claims," his father, Dave Moore, a good-humored man who is clearly very proud of his son, says with a laugh. "What's the opposite of a rock musician?"
His parents nonetheless delighted in bringing him to a Guitar Center in San Francisco, where impressed employees permitted the tween to jam on high-end instruments. By his teenage years he was playing in bands with names like At Risk, and soon ventured into experimental music. "He had a big board of pedals, so the music came out sounding really electronic, even though it was guitars," Dave Moore says.
Influenced by boundary-pushing techno artists like Aphex Twin, at 14 Moore was producing his own tracks on basic digital editing software. Because of his obsession, his schoolwork suffered, and on his 16th birthday he left high school to join From First to Last on the touring circuit. Somehow, his parents took it all in stride. "I had a lot of education — it just leads you to insurance claims," quips Moore's pops.
Moore was the band's vocalist for two albums on Epitaph Records, the label responsible for some of the biggest punk bands in recent decades. From First to Last gigged with giant acts like Fall Out Boy and played Warped Tour, and their second album, Heroine, hit the Billboard charts. Their sound? Lightning-fast guitars, bombastic drums and Moore's powerful, soaring screams.
He doesn't like to talk about his time with the group; in fact, his publicist advises reporters not to ask about them. The reason for this isn't entirely clear; perhaps it owes to the fact that, in the DJ world, connections to the rock scene aren't always looked upon favorably. After all, electronic music's refined skill set isn't thought of as one interlopers can pick up quickly. (Moore has been accused in online forums of using "ghost producers," which he denies.) If he wants to avoid snap judgments from dance-music fans, perhaps distancing himself from his previous endeavor makes sense.
Not that he's a Johnny-come-lately. By age 15 he was already mesmerized by Los Angeles parties like one called 82, at the Echo. "Everyone would be on the stage dancing," Moore recalls. "There was nothing like that for me back then."
"He was a club kid," says promoter and friend Wilson, who also goes by DJ Keith2.0 and ran the party. "He went almost every week."
When Wilson says "club kid," he's not referring to the ketamine-addled, '90s-era New Yorkers made famous in movies like Party Monster. Rather, he means hip youth who hopped from Britpop parties and '80s nights to goth/industrial events, the face of young L.A. nightlife from the mid-'90s until recently. By the early aughts the various scenes were overlapping, featuring cold-sounding synths, robotic vocals and denizens dressed in garish thrift-store clothing — or in all black. Out of this particular nightlife moment came a new generation of clubgoers, and Moore was its poster boy.
Curated Halloween events from Night Tap:
you totally forgot to mention how the "my name is skrillex ep" was released before "scary monsters." actually you forgot to mention it completely. or how lady gaga and mainstream artists commission him to do official remixes for them.
This is the most comprehensive article I've read so far about Skrillex and his rise to fame. Whether his music is praised or criticized, it can hardly be denied that he's at the helm of the present EDM scene.
I like his conduct. He maintains steady exchange with his fans. He isn't a standoffish bitch, and that deserves some appreciation. Earlier tonight he even let a girl wear his jacket for a short while, and she took off with it (although she did end up returning it). He's just nice.
This sums up the Skrillex phenomenon succinctly:
"@mikebeee It is me or does Skrillex look like Corey Feldman fucked Sinead O'Connor?"
This sums up Skrillex completely:
Just thought I would say this! I am not an unnamed woman! I'm fairly certain I put my name in the post on the Girls That Look Like Skrillex web page, but I'm Sherillex! Aura Slavit! I'm not anonymous XD Please for the love of god take a twin picture with me. And that isn't the full quote, what they leave out is the fact that I was actually playing a show in my Skrillex costume and a guy flipped out thinking I was him for real there as a special guest xD and I also had the same reaction at an anime convention I went to in August <3
"Me dressed up in my Skrillex costume for a set of mine last week. A guy really thought I was him for a minute when I was sitting next to the dj booth waiting to go up. But..you know, I’m just a girl who looks like Skrillex~" is the full comment and here is the link to my photo, hair was parted kinda weird and my bald was disappearing, but believe me, I do try XD
Jesus Christ, they're talking about MY skrillmau5 drawing in Page 3, paragraph 3. I'M THE WEIRD ARTIST! HAHAHAHA
best article on Skrillex and the electronic scene that I've ever read! :D u need to do this more often =)
Boy King??? Dig a little deeper... Skrillex is a one-hit wonder. His sound is limited, unlike Joel Zimmerman, aka Deamau5... who constantly develops his sound which is mostly derived from analog signals. Deadmau5 is still far from King. Electronic music has so many genres, but for progressive house or dubstep, Skrillex is still a baby.