John Maus’s biography, net worth, fact, career, awards and life story

American musician


Musician Composer Record producer


United States of America


Business Music



23 February 1980, Austin

40 years

John Maus (born February 23, 1980) is an American avant-garde musician, singer-songwriter and composer. A keyboard player for Panda Bear and Ariel Pink, he has released three albums of his own music to acclaim. He grew up in Minnesota. He is known for his eclectic samples when composing, “an almost absurd mix – a stand-off between taut, bass-driven post-punk, whooshing electro-pop and, thanks to the chants and bleak intoning, Medieval and Gregorian disco.”

Table of Contents

BiographyStyleDiscographyAlbumsCompilationsSelf-ReleasedCompilation appearancesWith Ariel Pink
Maus was born in February 1980 in Austin, Minnesota. Experimenting with music from an early age, his first efforts were strongly influenced by Nirvana and film scores of the 1980s. He later studied music at the California Institute of the Arts. As a college student he was interested in experimental music, such as the work of Michael Pisaro, as well as Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music. When he befriended and began to work alongside Ariel Pink, he took a greater interest in pop music. While continuing to make music, Maus went on to study philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas Fee, Switzerland, where he earned his master’s degree. He was awarded a doctorate in political philosophy from the University of Hawai’i, where his thesis advisor was Michael J. Shapiro.

Maus is known for the energy of his performances, and the intellectually advanced nature of his composition. A 2012 review of a London performance in The Guardian noted him to be a “ferocious theoretician” in particular given his quoting of Alain Badiou in the title of his album We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves. The review also remarked on the physical nature of his live shows, “Prowling the stage alone like a patient who has given his care nurse the slip, Maus pogos, head-bangs and gives vent to a succession of feral howls as he jack-knifes at the waist, singing over pre-recorded tapes in what he self-effacingly describes as his “karaoke show”.” Charles Ubaghs 2012 review for the BBC also took notice of the philosophical undertones of Maus’ works: “…behind these retro overtones is a desire to explore our modern relationships with pop, and its impact on our wider philosophical and cultural lives.” The review also remarked that on Maus’ self-referential tendencies: “Couple this with lyrics like The Fear’s surprisingly frank “What’s wrong with me, ‘cause I’ve tried everything,” and you’ve an accessibly rich portrait of Maus’ ever-questioning mind.” Likewise a 2011 BBC review noted that Maus was ” as much a professional existentialist as he is a synth-pop musician” and that “reading his interviews can make your cerebral cortex pulse with befuddlement.”


2006: Songs

2007: Love Is Real

2011: We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves


2012: A Collection of Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material (Ribbon Music)


ca. 1999: Snowless Winters

2000: Love Letters from Hell

2003: I Want to Live

Compilation appearances

2006: From U.S. to I (Ballbearings Pinatas)
2006: The Human Ear Vol.1 (Human Ear Music)
2007: Mistletonia Xmas compilation (Mistletone)
2012: Rough Trade Shops: Counter Culture 11 (Rough Trade Records)

With Ariel Pink

1999: Underground (Vinyl International)
2002: Loverboy (Ballbearings Pinatas)

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