John Maus (born February 23, 1980) is an American avant-garde musician, composer, and a philosopher. A keyboard player for Panda Bear and Ariel Pink, he has released three albums of his own music to acclaim. He grew up in Austin, 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."
Maus performing in 2012. He is known for his energetic performances. Reviewers and critics frequently cite his uninhibited personality. He is often jumping across the stage, screaming, tearing at his clothes and punching himself.
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."