Matt Shultz says, “I was sitting around with a couple of friends, and I started to have these revelations about songwriting. What struck me was, the more you try to distance yourself from that honest, bare moment of creativity in order to cater to cool or to look artistic, the further you’re going to get from what really matters, that initial moment of inspiration. What comes first is probably what’s right.
“I was hanging out with a younger band, and I told them, ‘You just start it. That’s how a song happens.’ So I grabbed a guitar, like, ‘Hey, let me show you,’ and I wrote the chorus to Telescope right there.
“It was a long winter and I was in a heavy-hearted place. The band was apart, and there were a lot of unspoken adversities. I reflected a lot on purpose and the value of life. In five years of being on the road, I’d never had a house, and now I finally had one. I got really obsessed with decorating, all of this tedious toil that was ultimately in vain, because I was alone.
“I didn’t know what to do with myself. I would go from room to room to room just to feel like each room had a purpose. I’d find myself staring at a blank TV screen, overwhelmed by this feeling of imminent doom. Finally, I got the idea of writing a song about what it would be like if I could watch myself from outside myself. I thought about watching myself from a telescope from another galaxy, just thinking, ‘Wow… that’s sad!’” [Laughs]