Thirty years since forming and after going through more than 50 musicians along the way, Celtic folk-rock legends the Waterboys are finally heading out on their debut Australian tour.
Founding member Mike Scott promises a career-spanning set for this long-overdue tour with special attention paid to the band's most recent album, 2011's An Appointment With Mr Yeats.
As with much of the band's output, Mr Yeats contains poetic lyrics over a widescreen sound. However, the lyrics this time around weren't written by Scott - they come from the words of 20th century Irish poet W.B. Yeats.
"I've liked his poetry for a long time and I'm sympathetic to the choice of subjects he writes about: Ireland, love, politics, the mystic, mythology," Scott explains. "Those are the things I'm interested in myself and I like a writer who moves between those subjects and I especially like a writer like Yeats, who uses language in such a beautiful way.
"I've always felt that many of his poems would lend themselves to music and it's a great pleasure for me to set his poems to music."
While Scott was using Yeats' words for the album, he was busy using many more of his own for Adventures of a Waterboy, his very well-received autobiography written during 2008, a non-touring year for the band.
"I would get up very early in the morning and write for many hours every day with a real strong sense of discipline and I enjoyed it," he explains.
"It was a really great experience for me and I'm blessed with a good memory and a very detailed memory. So although I'm not a diarist, I was able to recall most of the things that had happened, although I checked with a lot people who were around at the time as well, just to cross-check events."
The band is best known for their timeless 1985 hit The Whole of the Moon, a song which has baffled listeners trying to figure out its meaning.
Some say it's about C. S. Lewis, others say it refers to Shakespeare's A Winter's Tale, while a few say it's even about Prince. The writer says the subject could be any number of wise people.
"But it's certainly not about Prince," the Scotsman says.
"There's a little bit of a Prince influence on the sound of the record, particularly with the use of the synthesisers.
"C. S. Lewis could be one person who I could say 'He saw the whole of the moon', but it's not specifically about him. It's not about one particular person. It's more about a type of person; a wise savant person."The Waterboys perform at the Perth Concert Hall on February 2. Tickets from Ticketek.
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.