By david dunn
MICK Fleetwood makes no excuses for having no new music to put our way when his legendary band get to the UK.
In fact, as the tour that has already thrilled cities across the USA crosses the 'pond', he'll go as far to say he is glad.
"For the first time we've gone on the road without a new album and there's less pressure for us," he says.
"There's no one thing no-one knows. People are loving it, probably because they are not sitting through five or six songs they don't know and are not as emotionally connected with.
"Because there's less pressure, we are in a healthy position and the energy is up a few notches."
For now The Unleashed Tour coincides with a re-mastered double greatest hits album, but the plan is to make new music.
"There are a lot of bands who have been completely resting on their laurels for a long time because they've not made new music.
"We all turned around and said 'We actually did do something worth half a damn'. It was like looking into the mirror. We are older and some of us have young families. Certainly we're more responsible second time around – you try to do a better job second time around."
Fleetwood Mac intended to tour before now, around the time they released Say You Will, the first album without Christine in the band.
But with a solo career flourishing, Lindsey Buckingham was making a double album that turned into two single albums and he toured both.
Then Stevie Nicks toured.
"Getting us all on the same page was easier for me and John. He is sitting there sailing his boat," recalls Mick. "But five years went by before we realised it was five years."
Mick, Cornwall-born and now 62, says he is glad the tour brings the band back to Sheffield on Monday and recalls some of his earliest career gigs at Peter Stringfellow's Mojo club.
The lofty drummer was in a short-lived band called Shotgun Express with Rod Stewart and Beryl Marsden.
"Those were brilliant days. The club was so advanced in terms of the way music was presented – they fed you and did the things other people were not doing.
"Peter and his wife were brilliant promoters.
"They used to give us records to listen to and say 'You should do this as a song'. They turned us on to all sorts of great music.
"Everyone had an energy about music – that place reminds me of an energy that was so important."
Both he and Rod went on to become major stars, of course.
And, much like his Scottish friend, Mick has no intentions of calling it a day just yet.
"If you enjoy playing your music and people want to come and see you… I hope I can do this for another 10 years.
"About 20 years ago the Stones said 'This is our farewell tour'. Then they said it a few more times. Then they stopped saying it and have carried on.
"We have not said it yet.
"Jagger is like a freak of nature, though. I'm 62, practically no different than the Stones. Physically I think, touch wood, I'm in pretty good shape to do what I do. Maybe I will not be banging the drums so loud at 70.
"I will never think I will not play again, though – I will play at the local bar.
" I hope we do another couple of tours and I hope we don't implode where we say 'I can't stand to see your face anymore'.
"It has happened before and I hope it won't happen again.
"But we are older now; we are ex-lovers and old friends."
Hawaii home suits Mick
HOME these days for Mick is Maui – the same Hawaiian island base as US country legend Kris Kristoffersson, the late George Harrison and fellow Mac John McVie.
"It's a reclusive place," says Mick, "but I did not move for that reason. I like the people and I'm living a very social life here.
"I came in the '70s when it was a lot less commer-cialised and I've been coming ever since.
"Life got crazy, the rock and roll time, and we never made the move way back then.
"We bought property here years ago and it was always my dream to one day make the move."
And he did, with his twin daughters from his third marriage.
"From time to time I miss the culturally solid feeling I get when I go to England – by the nature of the oldness, not that the Hawaiians don't have an old culture."
As well as his side project, the touring Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, the legendary drummer also maintains a 10-piece Hawaiian band.
"We play Mac stuff in a Hawaiian style," he says.
"We have a lot of fun."