I used to like Zomby. Back then, I was willing to cut him some slack for always showing up late to his shows (or not showing up at all), for his tendency to play grime tracks off iTunes to prove that he doesn't care about DJing, and for his erratic and rude tweets. But those days are over, because over time Zomby's pungent, obnoxious persona killed any interest I had in listening to his records. I'm told that responsible listeners should "focus on the music" when judging a body of work so that their opinions are pure and fair. But to ignore Zomby's poisonous ego is to tolerate nasty, obnoxious behavior just because the asshole responsible for it is an artist. I don't want to support this masked man-child financially or or socially, and I don't have enough time or money to spend listening to and/or buying his records when I could pay attention to interesting musicians who don't incessantly piss me off.
And yet... here I am, feeding the troll.
I probably just earned myself a few unpleasant tweets from the man himself about how much he hates music writers and how I'm a bitch who doesn't matter or something, but I won't see it because we blocked each other months ago. Maybe I'll be responsible for another one of his notorious rants and beefs that fuel his social relevance, but at least I'll be in good company. Over the past few years, Zomby has lobbed insults at SBTRKT, Ben UFO, the Needle Drop, and, more recently, Pitchfork's Larry Fitzmaurice. Although most of the evidence has been deleted, we managed to track down some screenshots to compose the Zomby Twitter Beef Hall of Fame. (If you're really into it, someone has created an entire Tumblr around trolling the troll.)
Drop the Lime, June 19, 2009
Four years ago, Zomby pissed off New York DJ Drop the Lime by failing to show up to a gig he was supposed to play for Scion's dance series. (This after he failed to show on two shows Trouble & Bass had planned with him some months earlier... after they bought his plane ticket and made flyers.) His response to Drop the Lime's frustration ("Mind your own business") suggested that maybe something was going on with Zomby that had prevented his arrival. Maybe he had a rough night and some personal issues flared up. Although the tone of his response was biting, so was his adversary's, so we initially forgave Zomby and hope he worked it out.
Roska, July 2010
According to Dubstepforum threads from 2010, Roska got pissed at Zomby for pulling another no-show, and then Zomby threatened to come to his house and shoot him. It became pretty apparent that Zomby doesn't care about his commitments and that he's an Internet troll.
Ben UFO, September 2011
Not sure what this beef was about, but literally who has a problem with sweet, talented, babyfaced Ben UFO? Whatever happened, his stress dream about the feud probably went something like this.
Zomboy, March 2013
Zomby gets pissed at Zomboy for, presumably, copying his name, since Zomboy's big-room dubstep and electro-house sounds have basically zero in common with Zomby's 8-bit old-school rave flavors. Maybe he's mad becasue they have a similar name? Last time we checked, the word zombie is pretty common.
Larry Fitzmaurice, July 1, 2013
Earlier this month Pitchfork posted a rare interview with Zomby in which editor Larry Fitzmaurice described the difficult, tenuous process of tracking the producer down. Zomby responded by complaining that Pitchfork had mixed up which designer brand he was wearing and complaining about the website's ethics and tastes, which is so 2007.
Scuba, July 22, 2013
To be fair, Paul Rose is probably the second douchiest DJ on Twitter. He goes on political rants, complains about his flights, ridicules people who ask him to play dubstep, and goes out of his way to start Twitter beefs with no-name DJs, but he seems to have a sense of humor. Zomby and Scuba got into it in November 2012, and a few days ago re-ignited the fight. We'll see if Scuba "goes pale" when they play together at the Manchester Warehouse Project in October—if Zomby shows up, that is. #TeamPaul