You’ve described Fate Of Nations as a turning point. Was that the first time you really felt comfortable as a solo artist?
Not really. If it was about being comfortable, there wouldn’t be any point in being creative. I just needed to keep good company and, bit by bit, I made my way into that. I was able to work with people who I have huge respect for, like Richard Thompson, and then move into a zone where, ultimately, I was making records with T Bone Burnett and Alison Krauss [2007’s Raising Sand].
So you grow into the person that you didn’t know you were going to be. Or else you do a rock package. Or even a fucking boat! So I don’t think I was ever really comfortable with the whole idea of doing Top Of The Pops. I found myself developing into this other guy instead – not complacent, but I definitely had a groove.