IT isn’t every day that you arrive at work at get to chat to an official prog rock god just after breakfast – or at any other time of day come to that.

But Ian Anderson, the 66-year-old driving force behind the band Jethro Tull for the past 47 years, says he is usually up and ready for work at 7am as it is the best time to write and get things done before the rest of the world comes calling.

He is as busy as ever.

Ian releases a new album, Homo Erraticus this month and sets off on a major UK tour before he and his new band goes global – in much the same vein as when the flautist was in his 20s.

“It’s what I do,” said the singersongwriter.

“Being in this industry has been a lucky career choice for me and I’m doing a job that everybody would love to do.

“If I had been become an airline pilot I would have had to give it up by now and take up golf – perhaps able to fly a small Cessna from time to time.”

You get the impression that Ian wouldn’t enjoy golf too much.

Much better to work on a new project, which this year yields up Homo Erraticus, a journey dipping into Britain’s history viewed through the minstrel’s eye from the earliest times when we hunted the mammoth up until the modern era.

For those who enjoy the more rocky sound from Tull’s huge back catalogue the upcoming concerts, which feature the new album, probably has much to enjoy as Ian says he only picks up his acoustic guitar during the new set a handful of times.

For the upcoming promotion video the star has purchased a Victoriana cap and gown on eBay.

In the past he has been seen on stage in shabby coat, cod-piece and tights, country squire outfit and rocker – but these days dressing up is less part of the show.

“You need something you can wear on stage for two hours in all kinds of weather conditions and humidity which can be cleaned, scrounged up and hung up to dry easily in a hotel bedroom,” he said.

If the costume is likely to be a tad more conventional than in the past one hallmark of the stage performance is likely to be familiar to those who have seen Ian’s bands – the tightness and professionalism of the band.

He said: “We are all connected on stage and scan each other’s body language looking for the cues – you have to see them to know what they are doing.

“We play what is on the record but things vary and can go gently off piste with a free piece of improvisation so we all have to pay attention to each other, even the light operator who could blind you for a few seconds so you can’t see the cues.”

It is a tough ask of concentration and probably the reason why Ian doesn’t try too hard to see other acts in concert.

“I’d find it difficult sitting there for more than 20 minutes whoever it was, perhaps I could manage a bit longer if it was Beethoven,” he added.

Nor does he listen to others’ music and hasn’t done so since he was in his early 20s.

Instead he carved out a second parallel career as a Scottish salmon farmer and was made an MBE in 2010 but had to wait until 2013 to be crowned a prog rock god at last year’s Progressive Music Awards.

  • Ian and the band can be seen at 02 Guildhall Southampton on Tuesday.