By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
February 17, 2009
Being in Fleetwood Mac [ tickets ] is a blessing for singer Stevie Nicks. It enables her to bounce back and forth seamlessly between her solo and collaborative careers.
"It's like people that have relationships all over the world," Nicks said during a recent teleconference with her Fleetwood Mac bandmates: drummer Mick Fleetwood, bassist John McVie and guitarist/singer Lindsey Buckingham. "You never get bored. And so you can do your thing until you start to get bored and then you can go to the other thing. And then you can do that until you start to get bored and then you can go back to the other thing.
"And it really makes for staying much more excited and uplifted [in] everything that you do when you’re not just doing one thing year after year after year after year after year. So, for us right now, we’ve been apart for four years, now we’re back together and we’re having a blast."
Fleetwood Mac is reuniting for the Greatest Hits Unleashed North American tour, which begins Sunday, March 1, in Pittsburgh. In conjunction with the tour, the band is releasing a greatest-hits package, "Unleashed," and re-releasing, as a special CD/DVD box set, its diamond-certified CD "Rumours." This is the first time the group is touring without support of a new album.
"So we are truly paying some attention to the fact, of course, that Christine and her songs are surviving very well in the set that we’re doing," Fleetwood said of former member Christine McVie. "And the band--and certainly with more focus for obvious reasons, Stevie and Lindsey--are finding a fresh way in certain instances to present those songs. And we think we’ve got a really good balance where we can have fun doing that whole part of it."
He said he feels confident that Fleetwood Mac is going to surprise the audience in some ways.
"I think we’re going to make the audience identify with songs for sure that they know," Fleetwood added. "And the energy of the band is all focused on that because we don’t have five or six songs off the new album that we always, you know, naturally, would love to be playing when you’ve made an album."
So, he said, he thinks people are going to have "a hell of a lot of fun" because the band members' collective energy has gone into choosing the "lovely songs."
"And we’ve had fun really resculpting certain segments of the show, which will remain secret until you see us," Fleetwood explained.
Fleetwood said his band is certainly addressing the concept of writing new material.
"There have been discussions for sure that we would love to make some more music," Fleetwood said. "And I think it’s really down to the whole sort of bio-rhythms of how everyone is feeling and what’s appropriate. We have careers and families and whole different sort of perspectives from what it would have been, you know, 20, 30 years ago, and going onward from there."
Fleetwood said the consensus is the band would enjoy the idea of being challenged with new material "in a couple of years."
"My heart says I believe that will happen," Fleetwood said. "Certainly, I know all of the songwriting department is--both Stevie and Lindsey--are continually writing, hence all the lovely stuff they do on their solo albums. So that whole [creative] bowl is very much intact, you know. So I, for one, would love to see it happen, and we have had loose discussions about doing that."
Nicks, who said she longs for the day Christine McVie returns to the fold, explained she has "many, many long two- to three-page formal poems that are ready to be made into songs." They will stay that way until she has a reason to head to the piano and make them into songs.
"Because the words are the hardest part to write," Nicks explained. "If you’ve got a bunch of great words, going and sitting yourself up in a studio with some candles and some incense and a couple of your great friends that are musicians, now that’s a pleasure.
"Actually, the writing the words and getting your poems right, that’s long hard work by yourself. So that work is all done. All I have to do now, if somebody says, 'We're doing an album,' then then I go intosix weeks' worth of solid songwriting, and then I’ve got 10 songs."
Because there is no new material to rehearse, the "mantra" for this tour is "Let's just have a good time and value the friendships and the history that really underpins this whole experience that we've had over these years," according to Buckingham. The dynamic between the band members is still, to some degree, something that is a work in progress.
"It takes a little pressure off, not having to kind of reinvent anything this particular time," Buckingham said. "And I think, because of that, we are actually able to just look at the body of work and choose from that and just have a little bit more fun with it than we would normally be able to have."