Frontman Dan McCafferty tells Andrew Cowen why he still loves the business after four decades on the road.
If you happen to be a rock fan of a certain age (we're probably talking over 50 here), then the name Nazareth will bring a certain dewy-eyed nostalgia.
For a few glorious years in the mid-to-late 1970s, the band were all over the charts with their highly marketable and hugely melodic sound.
Singer Dan McCafferty owned a classic rock voice that was steeped in soul and could stop a train from half a mile.
He looked a bit like Robert Plant, but rougher round the edges and the rest of the band had that slightly menacing edge, wearing leather and denim while their contemporaries had mirrored waistcoats and kipper ties.
They were the real deal and had a huge fanbase from gnarly bikers to teeny-boppers. Hits like Bad, Bad Boy and Broken Down Angel saw them on Top Of The Pops, but it was a cover of Love Hurts that really made their name.
McCafferty's voice had that cigarette and whisky quality to drag every last ounce of emotion from a song that, back then, hadn't become a club-singer's favourite. It still has the power to stop you in your tracks.
Back then Nazareth were seen as outsiders, not because of their music or image but because they came from Scotland.
It's bizarre to think that this was even comment-worthy, but they were different times.
Scotland was very much another country, its chief musical gift to England being the annual kilts and haggis knees-up on telly every New Year's Eve.
McCafferty made no effort to hide his strong Scots brogue.
In the early 1960s, there were many fledgling Scottish bands struggling to create a unique sound of their own.
A major factor holding them back was their remoteness from the main hub of the UK music business. London was where you had to be and, frankly, nobody was interested in what was happening north of Watford, let alone in Scotland.
The band's success really did open the door for such 1980s heroes as Big Country, Wet Wet Wet, Del Amitri, Deacon Blue, and Texas.
While these bands have nothing in common with the Nazareth sound, they were beneficiaries of a change in attitude that saw A&R men making the trip across the border.
The band's musical influence was probably more in America where the message that you could be tough but commercial hit hard. Guns'n'Roses have made no secret of their love for Nazareth, for example.
As is usually the case, the hits dried up and the band never really made it as an album-selling outfit and you would be forgiven for thinking that they disbanded years ago.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Now celebrating 40 years in the industry, Nazareth are going strong and still making records.
Very much a touring outfit still, they regularly gig on most continents to huge crowds.
There's a new album on the way, The Newz and a UK tour kicks off soon, stopping at Stourbridge, one of the band's favourite places to play.
Talking to Dan McCafferty is a joy. Like most so-called old rockers, he's seen it all and can't conceal the pleasure that music still gives him.
"We're still a very busy band," he told me. "We've already played two gigs this year and we're just about to start our 40th anniversary tour. We're playing in Ireland, Scotland, England and across Europe.
"We did really well in the 1970s and 80s and then Guns'n'Roses covered one of our songs, which was a real boost."
The new album was recorded in Switzerland and, says McCafferty, sees the band at the height of its powers. It's the first recorded with new drummer Lee Agnew.
"There are 13 songs, all written by the band and it's very diverse. Don't worry, we're still a rock band."
I wondered how a band managed to stay in touch with a scattered fan base without the marketing muscle of a major label. For Nazareth, it's simply a matter of embracing new channels of communication.
Says McCafferty: "We've embraced the internet age with a MySpace page and all those networking possibilities.
"We come across new bands and it's all they talk about, obviously.
"It's still a gamble but, with the state of the current record industry, bands can use MySpace and YouTube and they have a chance of getting noticed. They may even get signed.
"The labels are letting these sites do the talent scouting now. It's a big change."
Nazareth have been around long enough to see things come full circle in the industry.
"In the 1980s, it was all dance music but we came through it. We have a huge fan base in Germany and Austria and they saw us through.
"Now things have come full circle and bands have to play live to make a living. There are some amazing venues, real rock clubs, like in Stourbridge, where you're guaranteed a good reception.
"It's a reaction to that MTV mentality. "We've managed to keep our old fan base but it's surprising how many young faces there are out there.
"I recently saw a couple of 18-year-olds singing along to Razamanaz. That was brilliant."
According to McCafferty, there's no magic formula for longevity in a band, it's just a question of hard work and giving the fans what they want.
"We've been doing this for 40 years now," he says, "and to be honest, sometimes it feels like 40 days."