OK Mike, tell us where the song came from. What were the 'bitter
memories' you were trying to escape from?
The memories that I was working at escaping from were - I had a
relationship that had… for me had been very hurtful. A romantic
relationship. And I had a lot of business and professional relationships
that weren't working for me as well. I was 27 at the time and I'd
just had my first flash of success
in rock-n-roll. A lot of people wanted a part of me and wanted me
to do what they thought I should do. And I felt a lot of intense
pressure from every quarter.
And that was what I wanted to escape from. I wanted this sense of
purpose and moving forward with purpose. It's a fisherman image,
casting out his line into the sea to
catch the fish - and what I mean is, to get
on with what my dreams are without thinking about it
'Light', 'bonds', 'chains', 'fateful'… What exactly are you talking
about when you use these strong words?
Well, I'm getting more universal - I'm talking about my life as
a human being. That I will be loosened from these mortal bonds and
I will take up my true identity of being an eternal being of light
- as we all are. By 'light', I mean spiritual light, and I should
really have a capital letter on the 'L'. I mean, divine light. The
divinity that I believe is in every person. I believe I can aspire
to that, like everyone can.
How would you summarise your own song-writing, Mike?
I'm a romantic and autobiographical songwriter. But I don't believe
that 'romantic' means 'unrealistic' in any way. I do believe that
the world is a romantic place. And I believe in love, and I believe
in wisdom, and I believe in the power of life. And I certainly hope
to infuse the listener with
that when I write. And that is the focus for my song-writing. I
write primarily for myself, so the first person I'm trying to infuse
with the sense of the magic and power of life is me. But if I can
turn on a few listeners, then that's a job that's well done, as
far as I can see.
Do you still believe that fishermen are the happiest people in
When I went to live in the west of Ireland, I met fishermen, and
their lives weren't quite as simple as I had idealised. But that's
not important, 'cos it's a song, and the song makes a point - and
that's all that matters.