My short bio: I'm Astronautalis, I'm currently on tour and my new album Cut The Body Loose hits stores worldwide on Friday May 13. Listen to the whole thing here:

And grab it on iTunes:

My Proof:

Comments: 412 • Responses: 91  • Date: 

astronautalis140 karma

Hi Andy

Apologies for squatting on your reddit username. I had your AMA on my calendar and thought "Hey I'll ask him a question and offer to give him this username that I haven't used in a while!" I just logged in and saw 3 people had sent me messages pointing me to your Facebook post asking for it in February. I follow you on Facebook - I can't believe I missed that post! Shoot me a PM and I'd transfer it to you if you still want it.

I'm coming out to see you on this tour for the second time. Will I ever get to see you tour with a live band? How often does that happen?

AstronautalisYo120 karma

hahaha! YOU!
hahaha! i love that it was my AMA that connected us! and i needed your username for my AMA! it is like the opposite of the "The Gift Of The Magi"! amazing.

i tour with a band probably 75% of the time. keep coming to will happen.

flagamuffin29 karma

this is amazing

AstronautalisYo34 karma

right!? i can't stop laughing about it!

flagamuffin7 karma

by the way thanks for a tight show in madison the other day. missed seeing mo and oskr but hey. also ceschi killed it, just fucking killed it

AstronautalisYo9 karma

they'll be back in the fall.

5323423423423421232146 karma

Whats the deal with the poster in Charle's apartment? Also what do you use to style your hair?

AstronautalisYo94 karma

charlie day, and his wife are very old friends. actually the first verse of "running away from god" is written about going to their wedding in new orleans. when it's always sunny came out, at first, NO ONE would watch it. Charlie gave us DVDs of the first season (while the first season was still airing), and we would play it for people while on tour, trying to get people to pay attention. We rode hard for that show early on, and he rides hard for us.

i use Mitch Clean Cut pomade.

Dirtnut32 karma

Hey Andy,

I've been a big fan since Pomegranate was released. Each release has been amazing in its own right - with Attila Ambrus possibly eclipsing Thomas Jefferson as my favorite track you've done.

Anyway -

What's it like working with POS? When are we going to get more Four Fists? The verse on Sleepdrone/Superstition was fantastic. Four Fists might be my most anticipated album ever.

What's the most awesome thing a fan has done for you, and what's your worst experience with a fan?

Thanks for being awesome; see you when stop in my town.

AstronautalisYo33 karma

Stef is one of my dearest friends, working with him is as easy as can be. there isn't a lot of talking, we almost work nonverbally. just a lot of, "yeah! dope!" or "nah, man, let's try this..." I know four fists has been delayed a lot, but we are working on stuff. just had to get stef healthy, and then finish our own projects.

most awesome thing...that is tough to pick from... you guys have done a lot of great things for me. my day is always made when folks tell me about times my music has guided them through something. i also love videos of little kids singing my shit.

worst? ugh...A LOT of drunk dudes wanting to battle me, right after i get off stage.

blakewilliam28 karma

I don't know if you'll remember this, but back in 2011 or 2012, in Victoria BC, I got kicked out of Lucky bar right before your set started... Somehow during the opening act I had misplaced my shoes (and the bouncer would not let me locate them). My night could've ended there, as it would've for any other drunk asshole, but you came out afterward and actually had a conversation with me - it was so delightful. You are a genuinely fantastic human being and I've been so excited to see you have so much success over the past few years.

I guess I don't really have a question, I just wanted to say thanks and let you know how much of a gift your existence is!

Actually maybe I do have a question: are you and Ben Cooper still good friends? Your projects with him were always my favorite.

AstronautalisYo19 karma

ben and i have drifted apart. but not for any other reason than, that is the way life works. we chat online from time to time, and we are always excited to see each other, but our paths cross less than they used to.

did you ever get your shoes back?

blakewilliam14 karma

That's understandable! And yes, luckily I had some friends on the inside on the prowl for my shoes. Those same friends alerted you about my predicament. Bless them. Never saw them again.

SirShakes6 karma

Does the bouncer follow you around to keep you from finding your friends too?

blakewilliam4 karma

Oh yeah. That guy was no nonsense. Pushed me straight out the door.

AstronautalisYo6 karma

what a dick!


Has someone ever stumped you on a freestyle topic? what was it?

AstronautalisYo31 karma

not, REALLY. not in a long time. i would say that i haven't been stumped in a while because free styling has basically become a second language for me. so, i can always make something rhyme and, does that mean it was INTERESTING or CLEVER?!

that is another thing entirely.

sammort7 karma

Just throw a 'child' after it, right?

AstronautalisYo13 karma

haha! sometimes, you gotta rock internal rhyme.

CowboyEli17 karma

Yo dude, it's Eli. You probably don't remember me at all, but I remember you. I was fortunate enough to attend your confession booth at the Eaux Claires fest and it was life changing. Your advice and guidance really helped me sort things out in my life and I am eternally grateful.

My question is what inspired you to do the Mouth of the River event at the festival and what was your experience dealing out guidance in a hot confession booth? did you learn anything?

AstronautalisYo20 karma

the why, is answered above.

what i learned...jesus. that was such a learning experience. i could go on for days about it. but the big lesson was, everyone needs to talk. everyone needs someone to listen. and being able to talk, to someone who will really listen, is SO valuable. the catholic church got that right. not so much after that though.

j-phenow14 karma

Hey! Quick back story; my brother helped me assimilate into Minneapolis a little over 4 years ago and we saw you at Cause (playing a benefit show for a local producer who got hit on his bike IIRC?). I've been a fan and resident ever since. I try to get to as many shows as I can and love seeing what you're doing with other locals, branching out, playing Target (and other awesome appearances like your sneaky Eaux Claires appearance) - awesome stuff man!! Well done.

Anyways, couple questions:

  • What's your favorite town to play?
  • Who is your favorite to collaborate with?
  • Will we see more of the live band on this tour?
  • What did you end up getting tattooed today?
  • Favorite tattoo shop in Minneapolis/worldwide?
  • When will you appear on Always Sunny in Philadelphia? ;)

AstronautalisYo14 karma

  1. Minneapolis and Prague are in a tie
  2. Jason Feathers.
  3. not this tour, but in the fall.
  4. not today, trying to get tattooed on the day of my release in Boston! in MPLS: leviticus Best in the world: Staring Without Caring in Tucson 6.whenever they ask me.

hoopstick12 karma

Just saw you on Friday. You killed it as usual, but what made you decide to leave the band at home? It was weird seeing just you and DJ iTunes up there.

AstronautalisYo24 karma

to be honest, anytime i leave the band behind, it is primarily a financial choice, or logistical choice. this was both.

it had to be a short run because of some logistical issues, and it is impossible for an artist like me, to be able to afford bringing a band on a run like this. especially to Europe. I work in some pretty narrow margins, and the band, and my team, always gets paid before me. If i brought the band on this, no one could have gotten paid, or eaten. it is the way it goes sometimes.

good news is, they'll be back in the fall for a big ole tour!

hoopstick19 karma

Wait. So you're not a millionaire yet? What the fuck man, are you even trying?

AstronautalisYo34 karma


Solivaga12 karma

Hey Andy, a few years ago you released or linked to a trailer/short taken from a documentary that was being filmed of you on the road (iirc) - think it was set to Thomas Jefferson - whatever happened with that?

AstronautalisYo12 karma

still in the works. they meet up and film whenever they can/have money or flyer miles to do so. someday, they'll decide it is done, and then it will be.

Shewhoshallnotbnamed11 karma

I'm going to be a little cliche here but your music has helped me through some of my darkest times. There's something so soothing about singing your music at the top of your lungs. Anyways, let's cut to the question... How has your family inspired your music? Also, how did you meet that pretty lady that you have been posting photos of? Thanks!

AstronautalisYo10 karma

  1. my family is the foundation of my music! all of the genre hoping came from all of the wild influences they played on me. the folk from my mother, the soul music from my dad, the rap, dance, and punk from my older brother, and the indie/brit pop from my younger brother. they are all there, in ever song.

  2. her friends dragged her to my show. she didn't want to be there. i am really glad she was.

chaoticweevil10 karma

My entry point into your music was hearing you featured on the Welcome to Nightvale podcast. How did you get their attention? Did they seek you out? I'm totally thankful they did play you because I've been pouring into your work ever since.

Your style has a fervor of a revival preacher at times. Did you grow up religious or was preaching some influence to you when you were growing up?

AstronautalisYo11 karma

  1. they found me! which was SO EXCITING and flattering! glad you found me too!

  2. my family is not religious AT ALL. but i enjoy the power of the spoke word, and some of the masters of this craft, are preachers. Learn from the best.

ated-bah-hozhoni10 karma

I know you studied theatre before becoming a professional musician. Is that what you'd be doing if you hadn't been able to make a living at rapping?

AstronautalisYo16 karma

yeah, i would probably be a lighting designer? i was already working as lighting tech and had a good resume. even started getting some design work. then i got asked to go on the warped tour in 2003 for no money.

never looked back.

Donutsrcommunism9 karma

So, I drew a comic strip illustration of your alleged doughnut eating with Mr. Tupac Shakur, this is pretty much the only time I've made fan art for someone and gotten recognized for it (on instagram). What is the strangest/coolest fan art that you've ever received, or maybe even other than fan art, what odd things have fans done to show their appreciation of your music?

AstronautalisYo5 karma

i have a Ouija Board that someone made me. i hung it in my apt.

Someone gave me an untanned bison pelt. i wish i could've kept that.

phlegmbelly9 karma

How is tour going?

Will more Four Fists stuff ever be released?

Any plans on repressing Pomegranate or YAYGI?

If you had to cover one of Ceschi's songs what would it be?

Which song of yours would you want him to cover?

sammort9 karma

I would murder for a copy of Pomegranate in vinyl. I even bit the bullet and ordered a used copy for a small fortune on a record trading website which never showed up, and the seller disappeared when I started trying to get in touch. So I guess a repressing is the only way it will happen.

Ball's in his court I guess. I hope he doesn't make me a murderer.

AstronautalisYo13 karma

Tour is going great! Cecchi is honestly, one of the best live shows you will ever see. i get goosebumps almost ever night.

ALL of the back catalogue is getting repressed very soon!

I would cover "black and whit and red all over" it is one of the best songs i have ever heard.

i'd love to hear him cover, "my old man's badge"

AbusiveProstate9 karma

Holy shit, Andy! I've never been early to an AMA before but I've been making sure to keep a reminder on my phone for this. I've been listening to you religiously since 2011. I first heard The River, The Woods from a YouTube recommendation while I was watching a lyric video for a Radical Face song that I can't remember. I have the line "my home is where my hat is hung" tattoo'd on my ribs ( Alright, I'm done fanboying for the time being.

Favorite song to make off the new album?

How was it working with Tegan and Sarah?

Do you plan to record more songs with Ben Cooper?

Dream motorcycle?

Barrel Jumping is one of my all time favorite songs, is the story as dark as the song portrays, or is it a metaphor for something else.

Gaston Ave is another one of my favorites, but what is it about?

You and your retweets crack me the fuck up on Twitter, is there any chance you could follow me back (my name is the same as my Reddit name) if not I understand! I like to consider myself a pretty funny dude though, just a heads up.

Is it true that you make a blood sacrifice before every show that gives you the inhumane ability to go insane on stage for hours?

Did Lil B ever acknowledge the TYBG shout out in Sike! ?

Thank you!

AstronautalisYo10 karma

Favorite song to make off the new album? i am the most proud of "SIKE!"it scared the hell out of me to make that, and was so out of my usual wheelhouse, that i was sweating bullets when i finished it. looking back, i am even more glad i made it, and went full in on it.

How was it working with Tegan and Sarah? THEY. ARE. ANGELS. i owe a huge chunk of my career to their kindness and support. They are the some of the hardest working, smartest people i know.

Do you plan to record more songs with Ben Cooper? No plans right now...but i would assume the answer is, "yeah, someday"

Dream motorcycle? i really want a shitty yama 150 to turn into an Ice bike.

Barrel Jumping is one of my all time favorite songs, is the story as dark as the song portrays, or is it a metaphor for something else.

I think that one was about working through my own problems and neurosis in allegory. i am sure there was a lot more specific connections in there, but it was a long time ago. One of the weird things about writing songs, is that your relationship changes with them. Sometimes they are like great friends, and no matter how long you are apart, you pick up right where you left off. Sometimes they are like old friends, and when you reconnect, you can't see WHAT you saw in them. And sometimes they are like an ex-girlfriend who you know you should stay away from, but can't help yourself.

Gaston Ave is another one of my favorites, but what is it about? About being very sad, after my first big heart break, and how that coincided with finally being able to drink legally, and living down the block from some bars, on gaston ave in Dallas, TX

You and your retweets crack me the fuck up on Twitter, is there any chance you could follow me back (my name is the same as my Reddit name) if not I understand! I like to consider myself a pretty funny dude though, just a heads up.

we'll see how the night goes.

Is it true that you make a blood sacrifice before every show that gives you the inhumane ability to go insane on stage for hours?

no, i just drink jim beam

Did Lil B ever acknowledge the TYBG shout out in Sike! ?

not. yet.

Slobe_Global8 karma

Thanks for doing this! I’ve been a huge fan of yours since I saw you in Chicago about three years back! I’m really digging Cut the Body Loose. It grows on me more and more each time I play it.

  1. The language used in your most recent two albums (both of which I love) seems to be more informal and loose than in your previous stuff. Do you consider your most recent two records departures from your previous work or just the product of your gradual evolution as a songwriter?

  2. Your albums tend to stick pretty closely to a central theme. Do you ever feel creating music within a specific concept can hinder the writing process?

  3. Who are your most contemporary influences?

AstronautalisYo8 karma

The language used in your most recent two albums (both of which I love) seems to be more informal and loose than in your previous stuff. Do you consider your most recent two records departures from your previous work or just the product of your gradual evolution as a songwriter?

Language is the most important lynchpin of every album. i work actively to change it from each album, and it is always the most important part of the process. when i finally get the language, the rest of the album starts to come easier. the language on this one, though the least formal, was the hardest to get. it came when i wrote "sugarface" for Bird Peterson.

Your albums tend to stick pretty closely to a central theme. Do you ever feel creating music within a specific concept can hinder the writing process?

No. i need it. If i don't have a thesis, i am crippled as a writer. it is impossible for me to just rap about nothing.

Who are your most contemporary influences?

Differs from album to album. but i am constantly amazed by Kendrick, Sims, Rachel Grimes, John Congleton, god...that list could get long.


You take a lot of great photos on tour and all over. Are they mostly with your phone, or do you have another camera you keep with you? If so, what kind?

AstronautalisYo8 karma

90% iPhone i just started bringing out my old Nikon FM2 and i just got a Lomo'Instant. those are getting worked in more and more. i always tag them if they are from a camera other than my iPhone. no tag = iPhone.

OmnivorousMechaKitty8 karma

How many marshmallows can you fit in your mouth? And by how many, I mean like, regular campfire sized AND mini? Also, what is the best and worst parts about touring?

AstronautalisYo12 karma

i feel like i could have accurately answered those marshmallow questions in college. but if were to guess? 8-10 large 30ish minis

the best part of touring is the free travel. getting to see the world, and never have to be a tourist. there are always nice people who want to show me the best parts of their home town. that is an incredible gift, that i try to take full advantage of, because i think i would be total asshole to waste that gift.

worst part, bad shows. a bad show can kill you. it haunts you nonstop, puts everyone in a bad mood, and crushes you...till your next good show.

OmnivorousMechaKitty2 karma

Where is your favorite place to have been? That when you left, you thought, "I wish I had had more time here?"

AstronautalisYo5 karma

i always want more time in Eastern Europe. it is my favorite part of the world. I really wish i had more time in Bucharest.

pullaro7 karma

I'm going to waste a creative question and ask a selfish one - will you be eventually coming to Toronto as a part of this album tour? I never understand how a lot of indie rappers (from murica) tour the world but always seem to miss Canada (is it that big of a pain to come up here)?

AstronautalisYo9 karma

the canadian/american border is the WORST BORDER CROSSING EVER. honestly, it has been easier for me to get into the following countries than canada: russia, china, the U.A.E, Romania, Mexico...all of them.

but, i'll be in toronto this fall.

sammort7 karma

Hey, Andy. I'm a huge fan and have been following your career since I heard Pomegranate when it came out.

Your new album is a departure in a lot of ways from your usual folk/rap combo - did you decide to stop straddling the fence and choose a side, or was it something that just happened naturally?

If you could go back in time 10 years and tell yourself one thing, what would it be?

Any plans to bring the beard back full time?

AstronautalisYo9 karma

  1. i fell back in love with rap music. i think we are living in the most exciting time in the history of rap. and maybe i wanted to be apart of it? or maybe i just can't quit it? i really love rap.

  2. i would tell myself, what i am doing watch the look on my face. 24 year old andy wouldn't believe me.

  3. no. that was fun...but i am done.


How did the whole confessional idea at Eaux Claires last year get started?

AstronautalisYo14 karma

i wanted to think of a way to make freestyling more interesting, more powerful, and less of a parlor trick. i love entertaining with my freestyles, but i am constantly on the hunt to find ways to push the boundary on that craft, find ways to make it more of an art, and not just a magic trick, you know?

i thought up the confessional idea years ago, and never thought it would happen. one night i was out to dinner with Justin, and he told me his idea for the festival, and that he was looking for ideas for non-musical pieces...i told him my idea, and it went from there.

it is one of the things i am the most proud of. i hope i get do it again someday.

tehmlem6 karma

Is there a dance number called cut the booty loose? If not, why?

AstronautalisYo5 karma

make it happen!

freeflowfreeshow6 karma

I really loved "Thrift Store." Was that made as a joke, or do you really love thrifting? Also where are your favorite places to thrift?

AstronautalisYo12 karma


i truly love you for this.

Papayachunks6 karma

Hey man,

I had three questions for you. Where in Baltimore did you live? What is 1515 Washington? How do you feel about Ryan Flaherty?

Thanks for being one of my favorite musicians!

AstronautalisYo5 karma

didn't live in Bmore, lived in Howard County. Dayton, MD.

1515 Washington is the address of my house in MPLS which burned down.

flaherty needs to get the average up.

TMS27876 karma

Is Kiosk still going to change the world?

AstronautalisYo9 karma


whitemithrandir6 karma

HELLO, I am glad this is up, yo. What is the inspiration for "Two Years Before the Mast"? Is it based eponymously on the old book by Richard Henry Dana?

AstronautalisYo15 karma

only in title.

i found a collection of old adventure books, from like, a book of the month club from the 50's or so. i wrote down all the titles, and used them for the album titles on Pomegranate. all of them are book titles...books i have never read. i am sorta scared to.

i found the collection in an antique shop in Camden, Arkansas. it was a huge place, and a little old lady was working there alone. She was smartly dressed, and like a beautiful little bird. one of my tour mates got to talking to her, and come to find out, it was her husband's store. and he husband had just died. she didn't know anything about running it, didn't know the costs of some stuff, didn't know where anything was, but she said, it just didn't feel right for it to not be open. she she got all dressed up, and opened the doors...out of a sense of obligation.

that is an over arching theme through the entire album. the obligation of love, in the face of great obstacle.

whitemithrandir4 karma

Amazing. I've had this thing regarding the song with a few of my friends. The book is public domain, old, and supposedly brilliant--yet I cannot pick it up without knowing if this song is rooted in it. Thanks for your time here and sharing the story of that shopkeeper. I wonder how time has progressed for her.

EDIT: And thank you for your dope drops with Jason Feathers, "Pay the Guard" is the track of the end of summertime for me.

AstronautalisYo6 karma

i am so proud of "pay the guard". thank you for getting that every sense of the word.

something9796 karma

In "Trouble Hunters", what was the thinking behind the use of vampires in a video for a song about Washington crossing the Delaware?

My first introduction to your music was the Trouble Hunter music video. First watch, I thought "what the hell was that?". Watched it again the next day, and I've been hooked ever since.

AstronautalisYo6 karma

  1. not just vampires, vampire nazis! we thought it was funny...that was the thought. and your response was basically, exactly what we were going for! SUCCESS!

Tommerd6 karma

Hey Andy, thanks for doing this AMA!

Ive been listening to the album a lot since you so generously put it up on SoundCloud, and it's amazing! My favourite song is Kudzu, and my question is, could you give us the story behind this song? How did it get made, and what do you want to tell with it?

Thank you so much in advance, I'll see you the 31st in Amsterdam, look for the ginger in the front that can't sing/dance :p

AstronautalisYo10 karma

i should say, that a great deal of "Cut The Body Loose" is allegory. I am using slices of life to project some larger ideas. In "kudzu" i am telling the story of a terribly messy couple, that should break up with each other, but just can't seem to live without each other. But, in the larger framework of the album, it was more about the sometimes crippling hold the South itself can have on those who grow up there. It can swallow you whole, like kudzu can swallow an old barn.

tussya6 karma

Your music has this weird soothing yet empowering effect on me. I have several questions:

1 What's your writing process like? Specifically, Story of My Life (that gets stuck in my head a lot)

2 Which book influenced you the most? 3 What is the music writing process like between rapper and producer? 4 Any tips for beginner rappers/producers? 5 What inspires you? How did you get to be so creative? So excited to see you in Fullerton in June!

AstronautalisYo5 karma

  1. it is different for every song. some come easy, some take years...literally. with story of my life, i wanted to make a song that went back and fort with stef, and i started it off...we built from there.

  2. "winter's tale" by mark helprin

  3. that depends on the producer and the rapper. really, it is very different, every time.

  4. best tip i can give: listen to EVERY kind of rap. listen to pop, indie, everything. listen to rappers you don't like, but are popular. there are things to learn from all of them. and don't ever be a snob.

  5. it sounds like i am brushing you off, but really, everything inspires me. inspiration is everywhere. in books, movies, music, on the bus, in the light coming in your window every morning. it is all there. just look. the creativity will come.

forgotusernamehadaQ6 karma

Detroit was a Blast.i left thinking damn...i just want to be friends.a friend of mine sent a song of yours when i got out of rehab about two years ago(i dont really want to say which one.still too personal for me,even if it was made by you).needless to say i was hooked.bringing me to Hodgkins lymphoma.did i do it to myself? Regardless,im sure you youve seen a million faces and did even more freestyles to remember.your Detroit freestyle had me was silly but one little thought you put into it had me straight faced for awhile.annnnd the end.sorry for the question is have you ever asked "WHAT am i doing?" And when youre doing it , is it just a phase?

AstronautalisYo2 karma

all. the. time.

a huge part of this job, and life, i suppose, is learning how to manage self-doubt. it is fucking hard. i really truly depend on y'all to keep me going sometimes.

revrnd6 karma

G'day Andy, Whats your fav track off the new album?

Any more new four fists stuff on the horizon?

Is it true that you and cecil otter are working on something?

Cheers -arcadia

AstronautalisYo2 karma



not that i know of!

gunsforthehomeless6 karma

reddit freestyle? topic: popcorn tastes good.

AstronautalisYo12 karma

popcorn tastes aiiight. but stinks the apartment all night. so i don't fuck with popcorn unless i'm willing to make that sacrifice


TeddyManCam6 karma

Hey Andy! First of all I wanted to say your music has given me a huge appreciation for the indie rap/freestyle genre and has gotten through an assortment of life problems and given me a lot of highlights as well.

I first heard your song Oceanwalk freshman year of high school and by golly was I addicted then I finally looked you up and I was hooked from watching all your freestyles on the youtube (Kanye West's Mother is my favorite) to scrolling through your merchandise and looking at all the fantastic bandannas and t-shirts. You've been a HUGE role model throughout the years.

You've inspired me to travel and be more open about doing adventurous things, and taught me to just take the hit and bang out the dents instead of escaping.

My questions are

  1. What is Oceanwalk about and what inspired you to write it?

  2. What is Skeleton (Everybody's Favorite) about?

  3. Why is The Most Important Track on the Album the most important track on the album and what is it about?

  4. Where would you recommend to visit/stay in Europe and in the US as well for a food and music lover? I'm from the East coast and plan to travel to Europe soon and your pictures from your tour in Europe Give me the travel bug every time.

I plan on seeing you live for the first time as soon as possible I live in Massachusetts so i was ecstatic when I saw you were playing on the 13th but I happen to be 18 and so wont be able to make it but i look forward to seeing you in the future! Good luck on your album release and Thank you for doing this AMA and for being the fantastic human being you are.

AstronautalisYo3 karma

What is Oceanwalk about and what inspired you to write it?

Oceanwalk is the name of the neighborhood i grew up in, in florida. it is about teaching myself how to rap, while i walked my dog.

What is Skeleton (Everybody's Favorite) about?

about being really sad, in texas. and reading an article about a couple that through themselves off a bridge.

Why is The Most Important Track on the Album the most important track on the album and what is it about?

it isn't. it was a joke.

Where would you recommend to visit/stay in Europe and in the US as well for a food and music lover? I'm from the East coast and plan to travel to Europe soon and your pictures from your tour in Europe Give me the travel bug every time.

Budapest, Prague, Venice, Berlin

SilentMemories5 karma

Two things, Attila Ambrus is my favorite track so far, why did you go with the choice in beat? Or what made you decide on it?

And is there a chance you'll work with Sadistik soon?

AstronautalisYo3 karma

it worked! tried those lyrics over a lot of stuff. part of them were originally written for Tim Armstrong (RANCID) back when i was working with him in 2004...but he flaked. that beat felt like home for those words.


ohnomojojojo5 karma

hi i just saw you at the loving touch and i wanted to let you know how happy i was that we all lost our shit at attila ambrus. you looked so relieved that we loved it!

thanks for being so active with your fans and appreciating them so openly! we love you for it!

now for the question:

what was your favorite (or most memorable) meal while on tour?

AstronautalisYo6 karma

eating till we were sick at Husk in Nashville. the kitchen staff are fans, and they hooked us up with so much food, i thought i was going to die. it was amazing.

Ryangonzo5 karma

How do you describe the progression of your musical style? Has it all been organic or has it been something you are trying to achieve?

AstronautalisYo2 karma

a mixture of both. you have experienced organically, out of your control, that shape you, and you respond to them with calculation. adjust often.

polarlights5 karma

I love your new album!

Do you play any instruments?

Favorite brand of whisky?

AstronautalisYo10 karma

i can play guitar like a chimp, and piano like a cat.

WHISKEY: if i'm buying: Jim Beam if you're buying: Hudson 4 Grain


What's the craziest thing Fundo has ever said to you?

AstronautalisYo5 karma


"no way, i am not going to do THAT!"

drunkbettie5 karma

A million years ago you mentioned there'd be a sequel to DanceHallHornSounds - is that still happening?

Favourite place in London?

How much did it cost to get your van out of the impound lot? PS hello from Vancouver!

AstronautalisYo2 karma

yup! will happen.

Sir John Soanes Museum. one of the best places on earth.

i can't recall. i asked Harpoon Larry...he think $200 canadian? the club paid for it.

phlegmbelly5 karma

Your photos on Instagram are great. Do you use any editing apps before posting?

AstronautalisYo2 karma

i use Mextures, very subtly. VSCO, even more subtly, and JUST a touch of IG stuff.

Silently_Clapping5 karma

Hey Andy, I've been a fan of your for about 5 years now, and I think this album is a completely novel endeavor for you. What inspired you to make such a southern (among other things) influenced album? I feel that part of it does have to do with the story of your home burning down, but I feel there's more to it than that. Also is this your favorite album, and whether or not it is, what sets your favorite album apart from the rest? Thanks for posting the reminder of your AMA on Facebook, I almost completely forgot. Have a great night man, and thank you for all the time and effort you put into connecting with your fans!

AstronautalisYo4 karma

i had been wanting to make a record about the south for a long time...but wasn't sure how to approach it. i was born south of the mason-nixon line, and lived in the south all my life, till about 7 years ago. i think i needed to get out, and look back, to get a bit more objectivity. as a result, my love of the south has deepened, and become more complex, and it came at the right time.

as for the song about my house fire, it is just about my house fire. where as most of the songs on the album are allegorical, that is just about a house fire. you don't need more than that.

this is my favorite far.

ImagoRap4 karma

First off I just want to say thank you so much. Your music means alot to me. I won't go into too much detail, but there were days when I was so depressed I couldn't get out of bed and listening to your music was one of the few things that made me happy during those times. Anyway, here are my questions:

  1. In an interview you mentioned how each of your albums has a thesis. What were the theses of your four previous albums and what is the thesis of your new album?

  2. More broadly, how do you choose what to write about?

  3. Any tips for people learning how to freestyle?

  4. A common theme in your songs (more common than any other artist I can think of) is the ocean. Is there a particular reason for this focus?

  5. The majority of your songs appear to be fictional stories rather than autobiographical, again any particular reason behind this artistic choice?

Thank you so much for doing this AMA and I can't wait to hear the new album.

AstronautalisYo3 karma

  1. i don't think there was a thesis for my first record...which is why started wanting a thesis for my records. MO&9DT, was an play, told in three acts, about how all believe that when we get older, we will "have it all figured out", but in fact, it all just gets weirder, and we never figure it out. once we figure THAT gets good. POM was a series of stories circling around the myth of Persephone. i was fascinated by love in the face of great obligation and struggle. TIOS was about people who fight to live life their own way. CTBL is about learning to deal with all of the sadness and struggle in the world, and how to find happiness, despite it all.

AstronautalisYo3 karma

  1. i write about what is moving me at the time. it is kind of just that simple.

  2. don't do anything other than freestyle for 6-10 years. it is pretty much what i did.

  3. i grew up at the beach. the atlantic ocean is church to me.

  4. the last album was totally autobiographical. previous ones were almost all fictional, because i didn't want to be another white kid with an art degree rapping about his feelings. the latest is a mix of both.

justchillyo4 karma

What's eating donuts with Tupac like?

AstronautalisYo9 karma

Better in theory.

reinhardt4 karma

Hi Andy! I was at your concerts in Wrocław and Prague - both were amazing events. You played the 1515 Washington beat at the end, didn't you?

I have 2 questions: 1. Are you planning to tour with full band with the new album? 2. Is there a reason why you don't freestyle that much lately? Or was it just Europe?

Thank you for your music! Cheers!

AstronautalisYo2 karma

  1. i will tour with the full band in the fall and next year.

  2. i freestyled at EVERY show for over a decade. it started to feel...unnatural to me. now, i do it when i feel like it will be good. i want it be special. it happens less in Europe, because of language barriers, sometimes.

paigegriffin134 karma

What song from the new album means the most to you and why?

AstronautalisYo2 karma


it was the scariest for me to make. the biggest departure from my old work. being afraid of your own work is always a good sign, in my opinion.

gunsforthehomeless4 karma

What are your favorite shoes to wear while performing?

AstronautalisYo4 karma

i wore boots for years...and i just switched to nike roshes because skateboarding and stupidity has killed my feet. i will never go back to boots again.

Ryangonzo4 karma

What if any would you say to the overall theme of your new album?

AstronautalisYo6 karma

"The jazz funeral follows a detailed formula. The band accompanies the family, friends and the casket from the home or funeral home, to the church. Then the mourners either march to the cemetery, or they "Cut the body loose" (send the hearse off to the cemetery). Up to this point the procession is solemn and the band plays dirges adopted from French martial music, As soon as they "cut the body loose" or leave the cemetery, however, the band strikes up a joyous sound and everyone dances back to the lodge hall with others joining in along the way."

taken from:

SirShakes4 karma

I've been a big fan of yours for a while and I try to hype your work to anyone I can. The new record is great, and has some incredible beats.

So now that I'm done sucking your dick, can you settle something for me? One of my favorite tracks is The Wondersmith and His Sons, and after a few listens I noticed the way the backing vocals alternate between low and smooth vs. high and strained, and I've been wondering if that's reflecting the character's external confidence vs. internal fear. Am I on the right track?

And I guess while I'm at it, you toured and worked with Tegan Quin back in the day - any thoughts about Tegan and Sara blowing up with their last record? Would you want to work with them again some day?

AstronautalisYo6 karma

  1. ehhh...i just needed to stack some vocals, and that sounded cool. i wanted it to be strained, and frantic, but not as deeply symbolic as you think.

  2. i am thrilled by their success. they are some of the hardest working people i know, and deserve everything they have. i would work with them again in a heartbeat.

Here_Is_My_Name4 karma

I have two questions. First, what is your favorite type of whiskey? Also, what is your favorite song to play live?

AstronautalisYo4 karma

WHISKEY: if i'm buying: Jim Beam if you're buying: Hudson 4 Grain

right now...i am really enjoying "kurt cobain"

jdlc14063 karma

I live in Jacksonville and have followed you for years. I had the pleasure of ringing in 2016 with you at Jack Rabbits. I hear so many good rappers come out of the midwest. The entire Doomtree crew is amazing, and Rhymesayers, Transit, Grieves, and the whole lot of you guys up there. My question is why do you think so much fresh music is coming out of that area? Do you think there is ever a chance to get anyone else down here in Florida? And why does Florida, in general, have such terrible "rap" coming out of it?

AstronautalisYo2 karma

some of my favorite rappers in the world are from Florida. Trick Daddy is amazing. Plies has some great stuff. Even Rick Ross shines hard. beyond that, young dudes like Denzel Curry are making super exciting stuff.

Just because it doesn't speak to you, doesn't make it terrible. generally means it was just not made for you. look around, florida has, on several occasions changed the face of rap music. look around.

Kolipe3 karma

Andy, I'm sorry I'm late to this. I fell asleep.

As a fellow Duvaller I'm super stoked that we have such a great artist from here aside from Limp Bizkit. Do you get recognized more from being from Florida or Minnesota?

I see you every time you come to town and play a show. Also your parents are charming as shit. Especially since your dad often dresses as a Victorian Era African explorer (minus the pith helmet).

I've also seen you in Austin for FFF Fest(both your fest set and the one at night at that bar), Budapest, Slovakia, Prague and London. Please don't put a restraining order on me.

Hope you like Bad House Party. Friends of mine run it so how did you like Dubai?

And as I always yell at your shows


AstronautalisYo3 karma

i think now, since i have lived in MN for almost 5 years, people see me as from there. But i am Florida, through and through...just ask my MN friends.

Dubai was the weirdest place i have ever been. By a landslide. i loved it there. it was so much more of a complex place, than is presented in the media. it felt like being in New York during the industrial revolution, or something. i can't wait to get back.

bulldog02563 karma

I found your 45 with Rickolus a couple years ago in a record shop in Jacksonville and have been a fan ever since. I was wondering how that 45 came together, it being ao different from most of your other stuff?

AstronautalisYo4 karma

i have known rick since i was 15. it was only a matter of time. the songs just came the way they did.

he wrote music for me, and i sang over it. then i wrote music for him, and he sang over it.

JohnJayWithADeathRay3 karma

Before I get to a question, I must say that my all-time favorite music memory was at a show you did in Jacksonville at Jackrabbits which also happened to be my first-ever live show.

You called on me for the last topic for the freestyle of the night to which I gave you the topic, "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar battling a Kraken," and in response you went on a minute-long tirade about your appreciation for that topic. You probably don't remember it, but I just wanted to thank you for making the rest of a pretty crappy year of a then-18-year-old fan of yours incredibly great because I could think back on that memory for a while and immediately smile.

Question: what's the furthest place from Jacksonville, FL that you've ever heard The Duval Call? I can imagine Croatia or something nuts, but I'd just like confirmation

Love your music, keep making it, and keep being awesome.

AstronautalisYo4 karma

Dubai. heard that shit in Dubai.

so fucking dope.

lonan1233 karma

Hey Andy, Are there any videos of you back in the day doing battles?

AstronautalisYo2 karma


i don't have them though.

aDisclaimerToTheSelf3 karma

Hey Andy,

I love coming to your shows, there's always such a great party vibe where you make everyone feel involved. I've noticed I always seem to see the same faces at each show over here in the UK, we're always on the lookout for certain people no matter where the gig is. Do you begin to recognize people from shows/expect certain faces to be around, or do you play so many shows that it's all still a bit of a blur?

if you had to pick a track from each of your albums that you were most proud of/thought represented that album best, which would they be?

thanks for the AMA! love the new album & glad pomegranate is back in your hands!

AstronautalisYo4 karma

yeah! one of my favorite things about my shows, and my fan base, is the lifers, the fam, and the posse i have. and often times, long time fans, just become good old friends.

  1. YAYGI: gaston ave
  2. MO&9DT: love song for gary human
  3. POM: wonder smith
  4. TIOS: measure the globe
  5. CTBL: SIKE!

drunkbettie2 karma

Measure the Globe is prolly my favourite of all your songs. I'm constantly torn between responsibility and whatever my heart wants at that moment in time, and MtG (err, Measure the Globe - not Magic the Gathering) grounds me when I'm in a fit of despair that I don't live in a yurt.

AstronautalisYo4 karma

i would have also accepted Magic The Gathering there too.

BmoreSE3 karma

Do you consider yourself a cynic? Philosophically speaking.

AstronautalisYo5 karma


i am a romantic, and an idealist. at the end of the day, even at my most angry, or frustrated, i believe that people are great, and good will win. i am skeptical, but not cynical.

ajkohn3 karma

What are your biggest musical influences throughout the years? You'd mentioned recently on Vocalo that the Clash were an early influence.

(For whatever reason the most recent album -musically - teases out early Kasabian, Modest Mouse and Cake for me.)

AstronautalisYo2 karma

while i love modest mouse, and they were huge for my early work, they have no influence on the latest.

the latest is: dr. john, trick daddy, professor longhair, mystikal, big krit, fats domino, the marching bands at the florida classic, skynyrd, and...lots more.

Onomatopoeiac3 karma

Sup Andy,

Who's an artist you've never gotten the chance to tour with that you really want to go on the road with?

AstronautalisYo6 karma

i would love to tour with Against ME!

MaddyDLD2 karma

Super important! Should i get pulled pork or fried chicken?

AstronautalisYo4 karma

where are you in the world?!

that is V crucial to the answer.

MaddyDLD2 karma


AstronautalisYo3 karma


Ryangonzo2 karma

What artists are on your wishlist to collaborate with?

AstronautalisYo7 karma

Dr. John Stephan Bodzin Trick Daddy Joanna Newsom Rachel Grimes Phillip Glass Kendrick Lamar

Ferocissima2 karma

Hi Andy!

I remember reading in a few interviews that you were a little tired of the name Astronautalis. If you had to pick a new name now, what would it be?

AstronautalisYo5 karma

Ferocissima seems pretty good.

maybe that?


What is the name of your hairstyle?

MaddyDLD4 karma

I believe it is called Awesome.

AstronautalisYo3 karma


WIPackerGuy2 karma

I don't know your music. What do you recommend I start with to get to know you as an artist?

AstronautalisYo3 karma

my music hops all over different genres. what are some of your favorite musicians?

i'll make suggestions based on that.

paigegriffin132 karma

What's your tattoo of on your chest? I've always wondered this haha! How many tattoo do you have?

AstronautalisYo3 karma

hahaha...a napkin dispenser.

i have...a lot. i have no idea.

Ren-Ren2 karma

Hey Andy, fist off, I'm a huge fan. You're quite literally my favorite musician of all time lol. The River, The Woods is a god-tier track, just saying.

But anyway, what's a standard day like when you're touring vs recording/filming for an album?

Also, you should totally come to Hartford, CT if you get the chance!

AstronautalisYo6 karma

touring is a routine against a clock. you wake up, you try to get the first shower, you try to get coffee, you try to get some sleep in the van, you try to get enough of a sound check, you try to kill the show, you try to not get too drunk, you try to talk to everyone at the mercy booth, you try to get to sleep...even though you are too full of adrenaline.

recording is like school, only harder. it is like solving a giant math problem, without any of the rules of math. it drives you crazy. you lose sleep. you feel terrible about your skill.

making a record destroys you, touring builds you back up.

i love them both, so much...for totally different reasons.

AstronautalisYo2 karma

i am playing New Haven on wed.

minne_snow_ta_n_ice2 karma

I know I've mentioned it to you before, but your uhm, sermon to me at Eaux claires festival last summer drastically changed who I am, how I view myself, and how I now perceive the idea of love.

How much feed back did you get from your confession booth? I know it was hard, physically and probably emotionally. Do people still contact you? Will you ever do something like that again?

AstronautalisYo3 karma

people would come up to me at the fest, sometimes at my own shows. a few on here. it was one of the best things i have ever done in my life...i hope i get to do it again.

i am so thrilled that it impacted you like that. it is beyond my wildest dreams.

chekhovspen2 karma

The brass on Cut the Body Loose is incredible, are they real or VSTs? If the latter, which program did you use?

Phenomenal record— thanks for putting it on soundcloud early. Guard the Flame is my favorite. So damn good.

AstronautalisYo4 karma

all the brass is real. done by Reggie Pace from a band called No BS Brass. he also did all the brass on the last bon over album and his band is Sufjan Steven's horn section now.

dude is a BEAST!

sadclownbadred2 karma

As a big fan of Minneapolis Music, in your opinion, who should we be on the look out for?

AstronautalisYo3 karma


woejilliams2 karma

Andy, I love your work with John Congleton. What is your process with him and how much is he bringing to your sound? Also, what other producers do you want to work with?

AstronautalisYo2 karma

Congleton doesn't bring things to my sound, he brings sounds out of my ideas. i tell him what hope to achieve, and he really guides me down the path. scolds me when i try to cheat, or quit. cheers me on, when i succeed. John is the best. the best alive.

I would like to work with Nigel Godrich...but only if John Can be there too.

minato34212 karma

What inspired you to produce music in the rap genre?

AstronautalisYo3 karma

i heard the album "Return of the Funky Man" by Lord Finesse when i was 12, and decided i wanted to be a rapper. haven't stopped since.

saxophonefartmaster1 karma

Hello, new fan here!

How do you like your Streetbob? I've been thinking of trading in my Sportster for one.

AstronautalisYo2 karma

LOVE IT. so glad i have dyna over a sporty. but i take LONG rides on mine. so i enjoy the big gas tank and the extra power. what sporty you got?

PlasticGirl1 karma

i can't think of anything brilliant to ask you, so I'll go with - what the heck does 'crifey' mean?

Your music is excellent man, Great rhythm, solid lyrics, great emotion. Will be seeing you in LA.

AstronautalisYo2 karma


google it.

alexnautalis1 karma

Hi Andy! Just wanted to say that I'm a huge fan and have been listening to you religiously since I was 15 back in 2009. I've met you quite a few times and you're such a down to Earth and all around awesome dude. My question is: will you ever do another tangible collaboration like you did with Ax+Apple? I still have my pocketknife necklace; wear and tear and all. Thanks for everything! PS: I'll see you at the Brooklyn show next week!

AstronautalisYo4 karma

yup! sooner than you think