Fleetwood Mac’s saga is like a “Friends” story arc. Couples break up, things get interesting, couples make up, things get less interesting, then the cycle repeats itself.
This makes Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks rock ’n’ roll’s Ross and Rachel (only sub out annoying drama at Central Perk, sub in genius song-writing and cocaine). And though the romance between the two may be long over, Buckingham and Nicks aren’t done with each other yet.
With the Mac back (minus the retired Christine McVie) at TD Banknorth Garden on Wednesday, Buckingham phoned the Herald to talk about the band’s first tour in half a decade and when we can expect a new album. Then Nicks called with her own take on the saga’s next chapter and to remind us that, even in their AARP years, the two’s tempestuous relationship isn’t about to end.
How far along are you in planning a new Fleetwood Mac album?
We aren’t far along in any specific sense. My mantra is to work on my dynamic with Stevie. She was a little uncomfortable when we got on the road last time, for whatever reason. Part of it was that she missed Christine, part of it was that I was getting 50 percent of the face time onstage and she wasn’t used to having a guy get all that space. I think it threw her context out a little. So this time around I am very much wanting to make everyone as comfortable as possible and have that be the most important thing. But we have discussed, when this tour is done, going into the studio. The only specific we know is that we are leaning toward finding an outside producer. I think it would help to have an overviewer. It was pretty hard taking the reins last time. Not so much with the music but with the band politics.
So when did the Fleetwood Mac reunion come together?
We had a meeting between two and three years ago to talk. Lindsey had really been working hard on his solo work and decided he was going to get those one or two or three CDs done and tour behind them. He ended up using up a lot of his songs for “Say You Will” and that really didn’t fulfill his need to be a solo artist and, well, that album wasn’t the best experience for any of us. Lindsey made a decision to take a couple of years off and work on his solo stuff so he could enjoy Fleetwood Mac again. We all said, “Go ahead, have fun, rock on!”
In the past it seemed you recorded or toured because you had to, it was your career. Now it seems like you don’t have to, you want to.
That’s right. Lindsey has children. He didn’t have children 10 years ago. Mick (Fleetwood) has 6-year-old twins. John (McVie) has a daughter in college and so he and I are the only freewheeling ones. At this point in our lives, especially for Lindsey and Mick, if they’re not having a good time, they need to go home and raise their kids and make music in their home studios.
So much of your great stuff came out of the band being a mess. If you are all on great terms will it be harder to make a great album?
No. Lindsey and I and our tragic, uptight way of doing things to each other is still the same in so many ways. In many, many ways, Lindsey and I are still the same people that we were when we met at 16 and 17. There’s a part of our relationship that remains unchanged. It doesn’t matter that he’s married with kids. It doesn’t matter what my life is. When we’re together we can still be incredibly teenage. And we still write about each other a lot. We’re still great sources of inspiration for each other. When we’re 90, whoever goes first, the other one will be sitting on a bed alone. We’ll never run out of stuff to write about.