Dave Stewart: 'I like to make sure I'm surrounded by radiators'

When Annie [lennox] and I meet up now, we no longer talk about the old days [with the Eurythmics]. We've been through so much, what are we going to say? "Remember that crazy time in Oklahoma?" We've both had kids, and now there are all these other experiences to talk about.

I don't want to be just a guitarist in a group I like to be able to learn about movie scores, photography; I see all the possibilities that are out there, but a lot of people say: "He's always doing these different things; he should focus on one thing." I think it's also why Mick Jagger [who Stewart is collaborating with for new rock supergroup Super Heavy] is still so successful. He has his lens wide open; he's not clung to one particular interest and he's still excitable about everything.

My four children keep me grounded It's important not to try to be their mates and just hang out, but to be a father. I listen to their problems, and if they ask how to do something I'll show them, but I never interfere with what they want to do with their lives.

When people are amazing at what they do, there's usually less ego, not more I've found that to be the case with people such as Nelson Mandela and Stevie Wonder. The big egos you do see often come with people who are pretty average; they're covering their insecurity.

In life, there are drains and radiators It's a phrase my mum always said: some people will suck the air right out of the room, while others come in and everything feels sunny. It's why I like to make sure I'm surrounded by radiators, or at least make sure the radiators are not outweighed by drains.

I'm very shy in social situations Speaking to, say three or four new people, at a cocktail party or pub, I feel anxious and everything comes out wrong.

Coconut water is great for a hangover I wake up with a headache some mornings and one carton of the stuff fixes it immediately. It does taste a bit funny, but it totally hydrates you.

Dave Stewart, 58, is a musician, songwriter and record producer. His new album, 'The Blackbird Diaries', is out now on Proper Records/Surfdog