A couple of times, you’ve turned what was going to be a solo project into material for a Fleetwood Mac album [1987’s Tango in the Night and 2003’s Say You Will]. Do you regret that?
No, not at all. I don’t regret anything. I consider myself very lucky to have even found myself in the situation I was in. Obviously we [Fleetwood Mac] have all paid certain emotional tolls, but then again, who hasn’t?
What does the title of your new album signify?
You’re looking at a piece of work which has a completely different level of approach to it in terms of the musicality, but also [one by] someone whose personal life has changed significantly since the last time I made a solo album—becoming a husband and a father for the first time and being able to look at how important that is. Being able to look at the profundity of that, the fact that maybe a lot of what has driven you to work hard and to keep focusing on new creative endeavors might have been based in things that are no longer relevant. I think one of the things about having a family and being able to live in that world more is that you’re in the present. You’re not dealing with the past as much. It helps to put your past into a perspective and a context that you can understand. Obviously, a family precedes just about anything in terms of importance, and so you’re taking all the things that you’ve been holding in and putting them behind you. You’re able to look under the surface a little more at things that are authentic, not just at things that you’ve been suppressing or trying not to look at.
What kind of things were you suppressing?
It has taken a long time for everyone in Fleetwood Mac to get to a certain understanding of what [being in] the largest band in the world did to distort your self-image, what it can do to fragmentize your social and personal life. But more importantly, we had a band with two couples that broke up and continued to work together, but never really worked things out or got any closure on a personal level. There was a lot of emotional compartmentalizing that went on. For me, when I left the band in the late ’80s to seek more sedate pastures and to try to create an environment that was a little more nurturing to new creativity, Fleetwood Mac still loomed in the background. For one reason or another, I was a few times pulled back into that situation—by my own choice. There’s a group of people there that you’ve been through a lot with, and people that you know better than anyone, and you’ve got to keep that in mind and look at the big picture sometimes. So that’s one reason the catalog of solo work is slimmer than it could be, but you get past all that.
One last thing: Hardcore fans have been waiting for many years for your pre-Fleetwood Mac album with Stevie, Buckingham Nicks, to be released on CD. Is that ever going to happen?
My understanding is that the masters for that are hidden away somewhere in Stevie’s management’s vaults. I think everyone would be waiting for a situation around which there could be marketing for that album. I don’t know what that means, even (laughs). But I think, yes, it would have to come out on CD sooner or later.