Wednesday, May 21, 2014

New Interview | New Photo: Fleetwood Mac's New Music Will Override 40 Years Of Gossip

by Jessica Goodman
Huffington Post

The most interesting narrative of Fleetwood Mac -- one every music writer hopes to chronicle and every fan dreams about when reading between the lines of "Rumours" -- involves romance and adultery. The stories behind lyrics of heartbreak and betrayal and love and acceptance are well-documented, but in recent interviews with Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie, the bandmates assert that the past is just that.

Fleetwood Mac released its best-selling album "Rumours" 40 years ago; Christine McVie left the band 16 years ago. Now, the original five members have reunited for an album and an international tour, "On With The Show."

"It’s been the most profound experience of my entire life," Christine McVie said of returning to the group in an interview with HuffPost Entertainment. "The chemistry between the band is stronger than it ever was." 

In March of this year, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie joined Buckingham and Christine McVie at Studio D in the Village Recorder in Los Angeles, where they made 1979's "Tusk." (Nicks was unable to be there due to prior scheduling conflicts, Buckingham and McVie said.) They laid the groundwork for eight tracks, mostly written by Christine McVie and began to reestablish the legacy and future of Fleetwood Mac.

"She felt a need to pare down her life," Buckingham said when asked about McVie's 1998 departure, which she attributes to a horrible fear of flying. "I think she felt a need to burn a lot of bridges. None of us ever thought she would come back. I think somehow that became something she needed to do in order to re-emerge as a creative force with that much more strength."

McVie said she spent most of her off time hanging out with her dogs and her Range Rover, making solo, non-commercial music in the English countryside. But last year, something snapped and she decided to go through therapeutic treatment to get over her fear. She reached out to Fleetwood, and said she was ready to get on a plane again. She wanted to meet him in Hawaii, where both he and John McVie live, so they flew from England together and performed with his small blues band in Maui. The concert made international news when Fleetwood told the audience McVie would rejoin the group. “There’s something magical about Fleetwood Mac, about Lindsey, about Stevie, about Mick and John, that compelled me to think, ‘Well is there any possible chance that they would want me to ever rejoin the band?’" she said.

McVie started trading notes with Buckingham over the phone before she came to Los Angeles to record in March. There, she and Fleetwood rented a house in Santa Monica Canyon-- "it was a magical place" -- and went on a health kick to get in shape for the tour. She, Fleetwood and Buckingham are what McVie calls the "studio junkies" of the band. "We accomplished more than I thought possible in eight weeks," Buckingham said. According to McVie, "It's all grown up."

"Because of Stevie's absence, there's been a very strong link musically between Lindsey and I, where we've actually been able to concentrate and co-write," McVie said, before assuring HuffPost Entertainment that Nicks will eventually have a large part in the album. 

"Some of the results of those fresh ideas were sort of unusual for me and Lindsey to co-write, anyway. We've done it together in the studio this time and have got some fantastic, quite profound, quite surprising emotions out of it. It knocked my socks off completely." They hope to have the record out before summer 2015.

As Fleetwood Mac prepares for the upcoming tour (rehearsals start in August), Buckngham said that the real novelty is that McVie is back in the fold. Most of the sets will cover the band's greatest hits, saving new material for another international tour the guitarist is already starting to think about.

The dirty laundry -- and there has to be something sordid left to tell -- is tucked out of sight for now, probably hidden a layer or so deep within Buckingham and McVie's new tracks. 

"My relationship with Stevie is one of respect," Buckingham said. "One of sort of caring for her at a distance, perhaps, is a good way to put it." 

Their shared history is longer than the band's, alive in old gossip columns and in lyrics. McVie spoke of her ex-husband and bassist John McVie similarly. "John and I have no baggage whatsoever," she said. "We dropped that several years ago." She spoke of his battle with cancer and how he's winning it, how they are both so pleased with his treatments. "I'm sorry to be so boring ... but they're my musical family."

Asked what her new music is about, McVie said, "What I always write about: sex and love. I try to say I love you in a million different ways. That’s what I aspire to do. That’s what I do best. I don’t sing about politics or anything like that. I sing about love. That’s what I know about."

After working in the studio with Fleetwood Mac, Buckingham spent a day in downtown Los Angeles, hanging out with Empire of the Sun, an electronic-indie duo from Australia, known for its neon, feather-coated costumes and warrior-like face paint. They asked Buckingham to write with them, just out of the blue. "I went down there and it was two guys and these other people part of their support system," Buckingham said. "It just blew my mind, the level of trust and community in the room. I said to them, 'Geez, why couldn’t I have been in this band?'"

Watching another group come together in a studio with such ease was a contrast to the bizarre and powerful way in which Fleetwood Mac made its most popular music. "We always went to our separate corners and did what we did," he said. "I guess you could say dysfunction of a sort has been the norm."


  1. I think this should put everyone at ease regarding Stevie's concentration on her solo career this year. What Christine and Lindsey have accomplished will give the band a great head start when they hit the studio next year. Stevie will bring her A-game, several new songs, and we'll get a fantastic album from the Mac. I can't wait to hear the collaboration between Christine and Lindsey, plus all of Christine's new songs. Some of my favorite Mac classics are the Christine/Lindsey vocals - "World Turning," "Don't Stop," and "Hold Me."

  2. "My relationship with Stevie is one of respect," Buckingham said. "One of sort of caring for her at a distance, perhaps, is a good way to put it."

    Caring from a distance... what does that mean?

  3. What else is Lindsey going to say? He's married. I don't think they see each other outside of when they are performing so, there's the "at a distance". In the recent interviews, he almost sounds angry that Stevie isn't there. He's probably not happy at all of the accolades and attention she is getting as of late either.....

  4. "Caring from a distance... what does that mean?"

    Stevie and Lindsey haven't been a couple in 40 years. Why would people still think they're close? Do you remain close with an ex you had, even five years ago? Probably not. They spend a few months together every few years on tour. What else would they do? Lindsey is married and has children and is constantly working on solo material. Stevie is one of the highly regarded performers in the world. They have very different lives. Stevie is much more commercial and enchanting to watch on stage, so maybe his comments about her do contain some semblance of "venom" - but whatever. Lindsey seems very comfortable in his role with the band. Christine came back - but Stevie already had plans to do a solo album this year and with all of them getting on in years, a big project like a solo album from Stevie Nicks can't just get delayed and pushed back because Fleetwood Mac is ready to go. I'm sure they understand how schedules work.

    She really does keep them in check at times. They wanted her in 2012 and she said no. She gave them 2013. They needed her in 2014. She said, "I'll see you later in the year." Haha.

  5. Stevie is sole reason that Fleetwood Mac is still somewhat viable now. She is constantly on TV and at awards shows and everywhere else promoting something. She did a full hour on American Idol, she did Up All Night, American Horror Story, put out a big, expensive solo album (so what if it only sold 200k copies) and she's always collaborating with other people.

    When's the last time you saw Lindsey or John or Mick or Christine on TV doing anything?

    You can say what you want to about her, but she keeps the Fleetwood Flame burning.

  6. Christine looks happy. Lindsey, not so much. That distance might be making him sad.

  7. stevie is great,but the idea that the band wouldn't be viable without her is pretty dumb,they weren't viable when lindsey left,and despite "say you will" being a great LP,it still needed a large dose of to say,that like the beatles,what you get with these 3 is more than the sum of it's parts.

  8. Last time Lindsey was on something big on tv? How about Grammys 2014.

  9. Nice photo, interesting read! They both look great!

    Wonder when "before summer 2015" will end up being.

  10. Great interview! But why must the same people here always take every comment, and every look from Lindsey be indicative of his secret love for Stevie? As William Shatner once said, "Get a life!"

  11. Stevie Nicks has always been in more demand then any of the other Macs. Sure she sells more and makes more money touring with Fleetwood Mac. She has always had a larger audience as far as a solo artist. She does not need Fleetwood Mac but they do need her. Even when Lindsey left the band they still played large venues on both Tango and Behind The Mask. Christine left and the Mac was still playing to the masses and even selling out venues last tour. I don't think they could do that without Stevie Nicks. Not because I'm a Stevie Nicks freak but reality is reality. Her solo CD's and Tours outsell any Lindsey or Christine solo albums. But I do agree together they are majic. If we must see another Fleetwood Mac tour after just seeing them last year then I would prefer all three singers involved. Wish Christine would have gotten over all her fears two years ago but everything in its own time.

  12. Have to agree - Stevie is sole reason that Fleetwood Mac is still somewhat viable now. She is the only one in the spot light. Yes, Lindsey may have made one appearance squeezed in at the end of an awards show, but that's it. She is a superstar and the center of it all. And LINDSEY got his way with Say You Will, didn't he? He wanted it his way.

  13. This interview really put my mind at ease. The family will be back together. Sweet! Always wrote apart hmm . What about when Lindsey and Stevie lived together before Fleetwood Mac. Did they write together or apart. Lot's of that music made it on to Fleetwood Mac albums. Just sayin......

  14. Totally agree with the Stevie comments without her the band wouldn't be anywhere near what it is. But, "somewhat viable" selling out arenas everywhere they go (and not at cheap ticket prices either)!!! What would your definition of very viable be???

  15. I'm not a numbers queen, but even though IYD was highly lauded by critics, Stevie considered the sales dismal, yet she still outsold Christine's 2004 effort and Lindsey's last three solo albums COMBINED. The Mac would certainly limp without ANY member but Stevie is definitely the "most commercially successful" of any of them, and each member has certainly said the same thing at one time or another. BUT it shouldn't be a war. Facts are facts and we just deal with them. The 'true magic' of Fleetwood Mac lies within them as a whole can't wait to hear EVERYONE'S new projects next year!

  16. Keywords - LB, CM, FM... yet all the "SN is the most important" comments all over the place. Don't you people ever get bored with posting the same comments over and over, regardless of the topic?

  17. amen to the above poster

  18. Remember, Stevie is the one who wrote their only number 1 hit. She is an amazing performer, solo or with Fleetwood Mac. Every member of Fleetwood Mac is important. Could they survive without Stevie? Who knows. It still amazes me how Stevie is constantly being bashed, while Christine receives nothing but praise, even though she left the group for years. Why can't people just be happy that they're still making music together and solo.

  19. Could we all please stop with the competition comments... Each individual is just as important to Fleetwood Mac as the other. Without all of them together we don't have a fully realized Fleetwood Mac. Whether a member is more visible publicly or more successful in their solo career, does not make that member any more important than the other. Some have made comments that won't be posted because they just perpetuate this competition notion between the members.

  20. @ Nickslive ... you are 100% correct. Mick Fleetwood and John McVie provide the backbone to Fleetwood Mac. Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, and Stevie Nicks each provide their own flavor. It does not matter that Christine has been gone since 1998; the woman retired and then changed her mind. Get over it people and stop comparing her to Stevie; Christine spent three decades in the business before deciding to step back. It does not matter that Stevie has been the most commercially successful solo artist within the Mac. Each member of this timeless band brings something unique to the mix.

    Instead of trying to tear one another down over opinions we may or may not agree with, let's try to remember we are all Fleetwood Mac fans who want nothing but happiness and success for its members.

    Oh, and let's also try and remember that civil discourse is productive.