With his songs evoking images of sun and surf, it is little wonder Jack Johnson is so beloved in Australia.
For his sixth album, From Here to Now to You, released last month, the Hawaiian folk rocker teams up with some old compadres.
Firstly, he combines with Brazilian producer Mario Caldato Jr, who brought to life two of Johnson's biggest albums, On and On, and In Between Dreams.
Johnson, who tours Australia this summer, says his other main collaborator J.P. Plunier was unavailable, so he made the call for Caldato to pack up the family and join him in Hawaii.
"We're just good friends and too much time had passed and we wanted to get together again," Johnson, 38, begins. "Our kids are about the same age and we wanted to get them together, so he came over with his family and we did it."
Caldato is famous for producing most of the Beastie Boys' output and was even name-checked for his tendency to "keep it clean" on the Beasties' classic Intergalactic. Johnson confirms that he is indeed a clean freak.
"I know from being on the inside that that line is basically teasing him because he's a bit of a neat freak," he says. "It's nice being in a studio with him because he likes to keep everything straight. He'll come in and he'll straighten up all your pedals and guitars and clean up all the cords and vacuum and stuff like that. He likes to keep things real tidy."
Johnson also credits Mario C for helping him revert to the acoustic style that was the hallmark of his early albums before the comparatively electric To the Sea and Sleep Through the Static albums of the past five years.
"I noticed about halfway through recording that we hadn't pulled out an electric guitar yet," Johnson says. "I wrote most of it on an acoustic guitar. On the last few albums I had an electric in my hand a little more because we had been on tour a little more."
A regular fixture on Johnson's albums, old friend Ben Harper turns up to lend a hand on the track Change. Despite a professional and personal relationship lasting 15 years, Johnson is still in awe of Harper.
"In the beginning when I was around Ben I was really intimidated because I was just a huge fan of his," Johnson recalls.
"It took a long time before I could get past the idea that he was Ben Harper, but over the years we've definitely become better friends.
"Now when I'm with him I still really admire the guy and his music and when I hear his voice or hear him playing in the studio I get pulled right back to that feeling of just being a fan at the same time. It's special for me to get to hear his tones on the album."
Johnson also harks back to another special time in his life on Tape Deck, a song about his days as a teenager in a punk cover band called Limber Chicken, a band name referenced in his 2003 hit single Taylor.
"We did mostly Minor Threat, we played some Descendants, Bad Religion, Fugazi, Suicidal Tendencies and stuff like that," Johnson says, rattling off the names of his favourite US punk bands. "So, I wrote about all the stuff a band goes through when it is starting out (in Taylor)."
Johnson says he still bashes out the punk covers from time to time. "Especially now because I've got a nine-year-old who is getting into guitar and he likes the heavier riffs and stuff, so I teach him a lot of the stuff I know from Fugazi. Now I'm learning White Stripes just to teach him stuff because he's into White Stripes and he likes Black Sabbath."
Maybe if you ask nicely, Johnson will play a punk cover come December but just steer clear of asking the former pro surfer about good beaches in WA.
"I've been to a lot of the mainstream ones like Margaret River and that but with the really good spots I can't say, otherwise the locals won't let me come there any more," Johnson says.
"I've got nice friends around Australia and I just reach out and they bring boards and wetsuits and we get in their vans and go down the coast.
"Sometimes we skip sound checks when the waves are good, and Australia's one of those spots where we sound check even less."
From Here to Now to You is out now.Jack Johnson plays Kings Park on December 7. The show has sold out.