"Are we going to talk about Ireland v Scotland in the World Cup?" Bob Geldof asks.
No, we're going to talk about your work as a force for global change, raising untold millions for Africa. We're going to talk about serious things like Brexit and why the world's in a worse state than when your band, the Boomtown Rats, became international stars at the fag-end of the 1970s.
But first, is it Sir Bob? "No, Bob."
Bob — who was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1986 but can't be called Sir because he is Irish and not a citizen of a Commonwealth realm — drops into a white couch on the set where our interview is being filmed.
He's wearing a black T-shirt emblazoned with the white logo of punk trailblazers The Ramones, a dark blue greatcoat and a rust-coloured corduroy hat from under which flow long silver locks. He's 67.
Bob arrived on Sunday from a gig in Istanbul and is very jetlagged ("it'll take me two f****** years to get over this one") but chipper and amenable. He's been doing this a long time.
The Boomtown Rats released their first album in 1977. Rat Trap, from their second, was a UK number one. I Don't Like Mondays, from their third, took them global. Now Bob's best known for another epic back catalogue that started with a BBC news report on a hitherto unknown Ethiopian famine.
He and Ultravox singer Midge Ure convened a who's who of largely British pop at a London studio and made Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas. The following summer, Live Aid; two decades on, Live 8.
"That's how long it took from seeing something disgraceful on TV, the potential death of 30 millon people through starvation, up until taking this to the highest level of global politics, which was the G8, and effecting change through that."
Bob is in New Zealand to support a very different initiative, Play It Strange, a charity promoting creativity through songwriting and performance. Last night he was on stage at a gala fundraiser with Mick Fleetwood. Earlier the pair attended a songwriting clinic for 15 budding musicians organised by Ateed, Auckland Council's tourism and economic development arm.
"One young girl got up and played her song which must be the worst thing to do. Mind you, she volunteered. I'd never do that.
"It was interesting to hear why they do it. I knew why I did it but maybe it's changed."
So why did he do it?
"My father made me go in as a boarder because I wasn't doing any work and I wasn't getting any exams. One of the guys in the dormitory had a guitar and I asked could I borrow it and it was something to do on Wednesday afternoons which was a half-day.
"You know that thing about if you give a monkey a pen, ultimately after 2000 years he'll start writing Shakespeare? I was that monkey, except it was a guitar."
Hooked, he was beaten after being caught playing in the wings of his school, Blackrock College's, Jubilee Hall.
"You weren't supposed to be there, you weren't allowed to do that shit, so I did it as a f*** you ... but I never thought I'd be in a band, it just didn't enter my head."
The band did okay. The Boomtown Rats split after six albums. Seven solo records later, they're back together. A recent reunion tour culminated in a prime slot at one of the UK's biggest music festival.
"[Was it] vanity? Curiosity? Cash? Were we as good as I thought we were? Cash is always handy and I loved it."
A new album is due in February, accompanied by a Netflix doco and a load more festival bookings.
"It turned out that the guy who was in the Rats, who I sort of call Bobby Boomtown, he still needed to come out and he's a different kettle of fish to the more internal solo guy. So I ended up being able to write different songs for those twin personalities. I don't want to get all David Bowie on you."
Bob told the band he wouldn't do nostalgia, but when they got to rehearsals, things felt right.
"Given that this was 2013/14 and still, like today, the aftermath, the aftershock, of the economic crisis that happened where tens of millions of people were put out of work, where millions lost their homes, where thousands committed suicide, where no one went to jail. Singing Rat Trap, or a song like that, seemed completely appropriate and the noise and the anger behind the initial impulse ... it just was simply there."
The world's no better, I suggest.
"In many ways it's a lot worse. You thought that politics were bad then, you thought the economy was bad then. If I was a kid I'd be completely enraged."
He's been a vocal critic of Brexit, describing it in 2016 as the greatest act of self-harm in British history.
"It's got worse," he says. "It's almost become a mania. Whatever reasons there were [for it] in the first place, it's moved well beyond that. To live minute by minute through it is extaordinary. It's — this is the wrong word, an inappropriate word — the most exciting time in politics I've ever lived through and I've lived through a lot and been involved with a lot but this is nuts beyond nuts beyond belief."
Since Live 8, he's worked on the One campaign against preventable disease and extreme poverty with Bono, and with former UN supremo Kofi Annan through the Africa Progress Panel.
He's still chairman of the Band Aid Trust and has a private equity firm that funds African businesses. It employs about 10,000 people and directly affects 140,000.
The drive to make positive change must still be there.
"It's not present with me now as I speak to you, but if I sit down and think it, yes. And it is possible, don't let anyone tell you differently. It's just very difficult. I love being [in Africa] and I guess there's no reason for me to stop. If you can implement change, if it's possible, then you should try and do so."