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Welcome Back: The Waterboys

Mainman Mike Scott talks Ellie Goulding, technology, Nashville and having two bands with the same name.

Equal parts mercurial, mystical and plain bloody-minded (in his 80s pomp he swerved away from superstardom to enjoy a reclusive existence in the west of Ireland), Mike Scott has been a charismatic torch-bearer for Celtic rock for more than 30 years. His circuitous path to success is reflected in The Waterboys’ latest album, Modern Blues. A swashbuckling return to the rootsy folk’n’roll of 1988’s Fisherman’s Blues, it’s the sound of Scott returning to his bombastic best.

Why did you record Modern Blues in Nashville?

In 2013 I put together an American version of The Waterboys so I could have one band for Europe and one for America. I was just being practical. But the American band had a wonderful energy I wanted to capture. Nashville was the obvious place to record. It’s in no way a country record, but I love the musical atmosphere there. Jack White was down the road at Third Man Records. It’s an inspirational place.

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