Former Dire Straits guitarist Mark Knopfler is set to unveil his eighth solo album 'Tracker' this Spring through Mercury records, to be followed by an extensive Europe and North American tour in later months. In a short documentary, he opened up about the album's central themes.

Mark Knopfler promo
Mark Knopfler returns with a new solo album

It's been 24 years since the last Dire Straits studio album, 'On Every Street', was released, and since then Mark Knopfler has released seven solo albums (not including soundtracks) of his own, the last of which was 2012's 'Privateering'. Now having completed his next venture, 'Tracker', he reflects on the concept of time; a theme which he drew upon regularly while compiling the tracklist.

More: Read our review of 'Privateering'

Talking about one of his new songs, 'Basil', in a short movie directed by Henrik Hansen, Knopfler delves into his childhood. 'When I was 14 or so and a copyboy, there was a rather forbidding figure who worked there and he wrote an epic poem', he recalled. 'It was really, in many ways, a meditational time, which all poetry is. And I think a lot of these songs, they are connected by time.'

Watch the full 'Tracker' film here: 

'If you've got a little bit of time, it's kind of nice to take it', he adds, wryly. On a similar level, that same theme was even explored right down to the technicalities while recording with co-producer Guy Fletcher at British Grove Studios. The use of old equipment and new technology was a deliberate combination in the studio, with one particular instance of Knopfler insisting on using recording tape for the whole process. 'What we're trying to do is preserve the best of the old and keep it working with the best of the new', he explains. 'Some of the old stuff sounds beautiful.'

More: Listen to Mark Knopfler's new song 'Beryl'

Knopfler is set to bring his new album to the road in May, with 85 shows stretched across the UK and Ireland, and the rest of Europe, as well as North America in later months before wrapping up in October.

'Tracker' is set for release in the UK on March 16th 2015 and March 17th in the US.