He is playing a solo show at Leigh Sawmill on September 19 after releasing his solo album, Lucky Stars, in April.
“Lucky Stars is my first album in seven years. I’ve had a long career but I’m not a prolific writer. But my circumstances have changed now. My two kids have grown up and they’re not as high maintenance.
“My main line of work has been writing scores for feature films or TV series, but I’ve also stopped doing that now to concentrate on writing. I made the decision in the middle of this album and it was like a cloud lifted.
“I don’t want it to be another seven years before the next one. I have broken my own drought and I’m back into the swing if it now. I’ve already started writing the next album.”
McGlashan completed a national tour with a backing band in June. His solo tour this month is focused on venues off the beaten track.
“It doesn’t make much difference whether the audience is 10 people or 10,000. For me, it’s about trying to remember why you wrote a song and taking people through that story during the show.
“But it’s easier to interact with the crowd in a smaller venue. I like to ask the audience for requests and engage in a bit of banter.”
The gig will feature songs from throughout his career, stretching back to Blam Blam Blam, The Front Lawn and The Mutton Birds.
“One of the privileges of being around for this length of time is that people come up to you and talk after the show. You get to hear everybody’s story and they’ll tell you where they were when they heard you the first time.”
But one of Don’s biggest concerns is whether the next generation of artists will be able to have those experiences in a world no longer governed by radio play and record deals.
“I’m really lucky that when I got started in the 80s the radios were playing more local music.
Radio used to provide a way for everybody to hear a piece of music. Nowadays, things are more fragmented and radio stations don’t support NZ bands as much.
“They say streaming music will reach a critical mass and the royalties will go up, but I can’t see it.
“I just hope in 30 years time bands starting out now will be able to have fans come up to them and say how they remember where they were when they first heard their songs. I hope those conversations will still exist in the future.”