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"The beauty of making music these days is Apple-Z," he says, referring the Apple computer shortcut command for undoing an action. "You can try whatever you want, and if you're just like, 'Wow, that sounds terrible!' you can just undo it with Apple-Z and try something new."
Mostly, he says, his desire to experiment and explore is what inspired both This Is Our Science and Pomegranate. Each album's theme was the direct result of an interesting fact he'd heard fast becoming an obsession.
"When I make a record, I look at it as a big cork board in my mind," Bothwell says. "I read all these books, I check Wikipedia pages. Something registers with me in a book and I go look it up online and I read about it and I listen to radio shows and watch television and listen to audiobooks — I just immerse myself in it. When I'm making a record, I don't read other things. I just get so excited."
"Now, I'm excited not to read science books anymore."
So what's next then? What's his obsession now?
"Pretty much after drilling myself with science books for the last couple of years, as soon as it was done, I started diving into fantasy novels," Bothwell says. "I'm halfway through Book Four of A Song of Ice and Fire, which is the book that the TV show Game of Thrones is based off of. It's called A Feast For Crows. And, man, it's good."
It'd be an interesting direction for Astronautalis to take, perhaps. Just another wrinkle in his already tough-to-describe ways.
And, hey, it might happen.
Or maybe not: "Oh, heaven help me if I make a fantasy novel record," Bothwell says with a laugh.
What's the big worry? Worst case scenario, if it sucks, there's always Apple-Z.