Showing posts with label Seeds We Sow Press. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Seeds We Sow Press. Show all posts

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Welcome Back Lindsey Buckingham! songwriter swaps "soap opera" for solo

Lindsey Buckingham: Sowing The Seeds Of Independence
by Ron Hart
Relix Magazine Oct/Nov, 2011

Fleetwood Mac guitar guru Lindsey Buckingham was the chief songwriter for some of the most successful pop hits of the last 40 years, so it is strange to re-imagine him as a D.I.Y. artist. But that is exactly the route he’s taken on his self-released sixth solo album, Seeds We Sow, his first work since 1972’s Buckingham-Nicks LP away from Warner Bros. The spry 62 year old’s latest brings together the acoustic intricacies of his most recent material, 2006’s Under The Skin and 2008’s Gift of Screws, with the art pop jubilance of his underrated 1981 solo debut Law and Order to craft what many are considering his finest album outside the Mac to date.

What was the reasoning behind going your own way for Seeds We Sow ?
I’ve been on Warner Bros. for a long, long time and my deal with them recently expired. As you know, the large labels have become a completely different entity than they were 20 years ago; the whole thing has become so tiered and riddled with the boardroom mentality. And I didn’t fit into that. Even in decades past, my solo work was always looked upon with a certain skepticism by Warner Bros., you know? Of course, had it been Fleetwood Mac it might have been different, but that was the situation I found myself in. I did speak with a few independent labels. But at the end of the day, we just decided we could just go ahead and put it out ourselves, because it just seemed like all the things that they had to offer were things we could assemble ourselves and maybe do it with a little less politics.

Did seeing acts like Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead branch out on their own give you any hope of life beyond the majors for established artists?
Well, yeah on a certain level. Someone like Radiohead, who sold an awful lot of records as a band, they have a little more momentum to go on to be able to do that and to have expectations to sell. I think they always wanted me to get back to what was really important, which was Fleetwood Mac. But that’s something you get used to: its the small projects that keep you in touch with your heart and your aspiration to maintain the want to be an artist and not be a product, and that’s a nice place to be. And the outcome commercially is really a secondary thing. The people who are interested in what I do will gravitate towards this, and that’s all that is really important to me.

As someone who was in a band known for yielding bottomless budgets in the studio, what does going DIY mean to you? How liberating was the process?

Well, it isn’t the first time I’ve done that. I’ve done a lot of solo work where I’ve played most of the stuff myself, so the process wasn’t hugely different. I guess it was a little more completely one thing this time as it had been before. The actual idea of releasing it ourselves was not something we set out to do; it was just sort of a reaction to an apathy we were getting from the other side. It was just a way of trying to make an effective situation for ourselves.

“One Take” from Seeds We Sow has to have one of your most visceral guitar solos ever. Are you a big fan of shredding?

Well, I’ll tell you I am certainly a fan of Eddie Van Halen. He’s extraordinary, there’s just no doubt about it. What I think he had a bit of a problem with was making what he did work in the context of the band he was in. It’s hard to work [shredding] into the fabric of a song all the time, so I think in a way what he did might have worked even better in a slightly more sophisticated format. Maybe a fusion thing like John McLaughlin or Larry Coryell, where his skill was brought to bear with other people who could play against it more. In many ways, it always seemed like he was forced to play on top of whatever Van Halen recorded.

Andy Cabic of Vetiver recently cited Mirage as a major reference point for his latest album. What are your thoughts on younger rock acts finding inspiration in Fleetwood Mac’s 80s material?

It’s a little hard to be in touch with that. But yeah, hopefully you work your way into the fabric and that comes back at some point. It’s just nice when it comes back twofold, or when a certain amount of time goes by and it is still making sense to people. That’s gratifying.

We always hear about how influenced Fleetwood Mac was by the New Wave movement during the recording of Tusk, but what actual artists were you listening to at the time that were inspiring the sounds for the album?

Well, it wasn’t really any one act. I think what happened was that after Rumours, that album was so successful and, at some point, I think the success detached from the music and kind of became about the success, or about the voyeurism that was going on. And then in the meantime a lot of this stuff had come over from England, whether it was The Clash or Elvis Costello or Ian Dury. And it was just reinforcing my idea of what rock ‘n’ roll was all about and what one’s ideals should be about. When you interface that reinforcement with the fact that we were getting ready to be branded for good to make Rumours II, there was just this need and desire to draw a line in the sand and undercut the expectation to come up with more of the same. And, really, Tusk remains the most important album that I have ever done with Fleetwood Mac for me, because it sent me on the road that I’m still on in terms of my way of thinking [about music].

Are you a fan of the Peter Green era of Fleetwood Mac?

I was certainly a fan of the Peter Green days and I was a fan of Danny Kirwan’s stuff as well. I wasn’t really a Bob Welch fan, however. So yeah, sure, I was very aware of Then Play On. I have that album at home, actually. The funny thing about Fleetwood Mac, and again this is sort of a comment on what the record companies have become and what they were at one time is the confidence that [legendary former Warner Bros. president] Mo Ostin had in the group. After Peter left, they moved to L.A. and they had all these albums that were pretty much non sequitors from one to the other. Different lineups every time, and they really weren’t making Warner Bros. any money. And Mo had the autonomy and the intuition to say, “Well, I don’t know what’s going on with this band, but we’re gonna just let them stay here and maybe something will happen because they are an interesting act.” And then Stevie and I showed up. But it is that kind of nurturing and allowing for the ferment does not take place these days.

Any plans to finally re-release Buckingham-Nicks, which has been out of print for way too long?

We’ve talked about it. I think it’s just inertia that keeps it from happening. But hopefully that will happen in the fairly near future.

Congrats on your Les Paul Award. Did you ever get to meet and/or play with Les?

No, unfortunately, I did not. But I was greatly influenced by him. He was the guy who started the approach of what I do when I make solo work. He was playing all the instruments himself. He was the guy who was paving the way with, at the time there was no such thing as a multi-track, but when he was making those records with Mary Ford, he was bouncing back and forth from machine to machine building stuff up with a multi-track sensibility. He defined that whole way of recording.

Loved your appearance on SNL’s “What’s Up With That” skit. Did Bill Hader make a good doppelganger?

I think he did, yeah (laughs). When I first heard about it, I thought, “Gee, this is obscure.” But when I saw it, it was so funny because they had the exact outfit I had on from the last Fleetwood Mac tour. He had it down, it was great.

Full article can be found on the Relix Magazine website

Welcome Back 
Lindsey Buckingham
Taking a break from Fleetwood Mac, the songwriter/multi instrumentalist swaps "soap opera" for solo.

You'll find this article in the November, 2011 edition of "Classic Rock"

Friday, November 04, 2011

Video: Lindsey Buckingham on VH1 The Morning Buzz

Lindsey Buckingham appeared on VH1 The Morning Buzz this morning in New York City... Lindsey Buckingham & spoke with Carrie Keagan. Check out the video. 
This may only be viewable by US residents

Lindsey Buckingham Interview TODAY on BBC Radio Ulster - Ireland with Alan Simpson

Lindsey Buckingham Interview TODAY on BBC Radio Ulster - Ireland with Alan Simpson. Show begins 3pm (Ireland time) Listen live! HERE

(Due to technical difficulties... this interview couldn't take place on Friday)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Gothamist Interview with Lindsey Buckingham Talks Fleetwood Mac Reunion, Visiting Occupy Wall Street

By Ben Yakas 
November 1, 2011

Lindsey Buckingham is best known as the singer/guitarist of Fleetwood Mac, steering the band through the highs of the era-defining soft pop of "Rumours" and its more experimental, weirder sister album "Tusk" in the late '70s. Buckingham has also had a varied solo career, providing the theme "Holiday Road" to "National Lampoon's Vacation," and recording this year's "Seeds We Sow" entirely on his own. This Friday, Buckingham will speak at the 92nd Street Y about his long career—we spoke to him about his friendship with Brian Wilson, the legacy of Tusk, tinkering in the studio, his kids perception of him, and Fleetwood Mac's plans for next year.

It feels very appropriate I’m interviewing you today. because I just spoke with Brian Wilson this week
Oh, how was he doing?

He’s doing well. It was a strange interview. 
Well I think he’s sort of in and out. He has been for years. He’s just a quirky guy.

He’s one of your musical heroes, right? 
Oh absolutely, yes.

Have you met him before? 
Oh yeah many times. I’ve worked with him, yeah.

Have you recorded with him? 
Yeah, a little bit. Whatever I did was a b-side of something for one of those solo projects he did. I think it was released but it was pretty obscure.

Have you heard the new Smile box set? 
I have not. But I have heard various incarnations over the years of Smile and I’m pretty familiar with what there is. I don’t know what's different about this set but it’s obviously an inspiration no matter what form it’s in.

Was their music very influential on you? 
Well sure. I grew up in California listening to those harmonies, and he’s such a superb melodicist, and I think that’s something to aspire to. But then later on he was somewhat influential in terms of someone who saw that he had a potential creative life outside the formula, and tried to work outside the formula. He was successful, but it was difficult, and there was a point in time for me after Rumours where we were poised to make something like "Rumours 2", and of course I made a big left turn and we made Tusk. And that was a line in the sand that I drew that still helps define how I try to think today, in terms of continuing to aspire to be an artist and not someone who is just following the formula of the brand, shall we say. Trying to think in terms of what one thinks is important. And trying to respond to the idea that music has a transcendent quality and a religious overtone to it that should be pursued and, you know, to try and reject the company formula which is: if it works, run it into the ground and move on. I think that’s what Brian was trying to do as well.

You’re going to be talking at the 92nd Street Y on Friday. Have you ever done this kind of event before? 
No, I haven’t.

Do you enjoy talking about your past, about Fleetwood Mac? 
It’s all out there for people to examine and to be curious about and I think to have any problem talking about the landscape, whether it's past of present, you put yourself out there. That’s part of the bargain you make with the public and clearly if you have a problem talking about your past then you probably have a bit of a problem with your present as well.

So you don’t feel overshadowed by all the work you’ve done before? 
No, because the work that I do as a solo artist was never necessarily geared for the same audience, or certainly for as broad an audience. I mean, when you tap into what is really the more esoteric side of yourself and you tap into the left side of your palette, clearly you’re going to lose a large number of people who might otherwise listen to what you’re doing. It's just like a filmmaker who might be able to go out and make a mainstream film, then go out and make an independent film—he would be unrealistic to assume that the independent film is going to reach the same number of people.

But you know, you have to look at it more for what it does to enrich your own sensibility and your own forward motion, your own sense of your interface with your work—and how the small project can inform the large project just as the large can inform the small. And I don’t think you could really judge one in terms of being overshadowed by the other. I feel lucky to have both and to have been able to have both. And I’ve never had any commercial expectations in terms of commercial outcome for the solo work because that’s the trade-off you make when you do things that are a little bit more challenging, shall we say.

And yet, you still have had several solo hits, including "Holiday Road" and "Trouble." 
Well, you know, we’ve done okay with that. But again, I wouldn’t be able to do the solo stuff without having had the Fleetwood Mac stuff. And then I can bring that back when Fleetwood Mac records or just when we tour, we bring back that sense of yourself and your freshness back into the group. It’s a good thing.

I had read that Fleetwood Mac might be hitting the road next year. Has there been any movement on that, or on a new album? 
It’s funny because six months ago or less even there was quite a bit of talk. I know Stevie [Nicks] was talking quite a bit about it in interviews, because she has a solo album out as well. And she was talking that up big time in the interviews, then I think somehow she started to feel she wanted a little more time to work this album because I know she’s been having lots of fun out there. I don’t think Stevie’s had a really positive experience making a solo album for quite a while until this. This album, I know, she had a great time making it.

So what was being talked about by her, at least in the press, quite freely only a few months ago now, seems to have been amended into a plan B and I’m not really sure how that plan B plays out, I just know that as opposed to maybe thinking about getting started with something soon after the first of the year that’s now been put back into maybe later in the year. So the answer is no, there’s nothing on the books, but yes, we will do something at some point—I just can’t give you any real specifics unfortunately.

Is there a marked difference in your mind between songs you allocate for the band and then ones you do on your own? 
Well, not really, because as someone who writes you sort of have your antennae up and things are passing over your head and you catch them. They’re sort of out there, and when you catch something you have a few things floating around, and what defines it as solo or Fleetwood Mac usually has more to do with two things: the receptivity that any particular piece might have from the rest of the group, and then once it has been received well, how it gets processed through that collaborative effort. When I work alone and I’m in my studio and I’m playing a lot of the stuff myself, I think the style of it becomes something a little different. It’s kind of like painting when you’re working with demand, maybe a little bit more like movie making. And so a lot of how it becomes either Fleetwood Mac or solo is defined by what they like and what they do with what they like.

Well I know that you recorded the majority of your latest album, Seeds We Sow, on your own—and a lot of Tusk was done with you experimenting in the studio on your own. Do you prefer to work alone? 
It's not that I prefer to work alone, I think there are two valid ways of doing it that I’ve found. And it’s like the difference between movie making or painting. You could go down to the studio, much as a painter would go and have this one on one with his canvas, and you can slap colors on the canvas and what happens in that process is that you don’t necessarily have to have a real fleshed out song, you can have a seed of an idea and you can still go in and deal with it more in the abstract. Probably what happens during the process is things change a lot more and the work kind of leads you in a direction you wouldn’t expect to go more often. It’s a more meditative kind of process, certainly a quieter kind of thing.

When you work with a band, obviously you’ve got to present them with something they can get a hold of, so it has to be a little more fleshed out as a song. And then where it goes is more collaborative obviously; it’s more political possibly, certainly more a conscious process than a subconscious process, which the painting can be. It’s more verbalized, getting from point a to point b, and the changes that occur are…it’s a different kind of thing. I don’t think you can say one is better than the other. It’s just two different ways of doing something.

Outside of Fleetwood Mac activities, going on tour and scheduling and such, are you still close with your bandmates, or have much interactions with them? 
You know, except for Stevie—who I did see quite a bit toward the end of her last project and stay in contact with from time to time—we’re all separated by geography. Mick lives in Hawaii, John lives in Hawaii, Christine McVie is out of the band and she burned all of her bridges in Los Angeles and moved back to England. So it’s not easy to spend time together, but we do keep in touch—not on a hugely ongoing basis, because we all have our own lives...but you know, we certainly have been through a lot together.

That goes without saying, yeah. Did you participate in the Tuskbook (Thirty-Three and a Third) that came out recently? 
Was that the Warner Bros thing? Oh! The Thirty-Three and a Third, the paperback thing? I know that guy because he’s done a few of those I think. I certainly have talked to him, I didn’t like participating particularly for that, but yeah, I’ve talked to that guy a few times. I feel as though there’s been a revival of Tusk in recent years.

It wasn’t quite as appreciated in its time but now it’s considered one of the greatest albums of the 70’s. 
Well you know, obviously in the context of following up an album that was so hugely successful as Rumours with something like Tusk, you upset a lot of people. At the time that I was making that with the band, I drew the band into that process and they were into it, and it was only after it didn’t sell 16 million albums that the band decided that they didn’t want to do that again. So even within the band, there was unrest about Tusk in the wake of its commercial outcome at the time and certainly the record company was not overly pleased with that transition.

I think everyone was looking for Rumours 2, and to some degree I think it’s fair to say that much of the audience who was enamored with what Rumours was, was looking for more of the same. So yes, it did have an alienating quality to it in the moment, but then, you cut to a few years later when you could be more objective about it, and as tastes change and evolve and as a younger generation gets a hold of thing and sees them not only for what they are musically but possibly for why they were made in context. They can even appreciate the fact that there was someone out there who was trying to undermine the idea of repeating the formula of the brand. There’s a certain kind of idealism attached to Tusk as a subtext to the music, and I think people now can respond not only to how colorful and experimental it is, but also why it was made.

I think it’s really interesting how pervasive that album is with musicians, more so than Rumours was—a lot of contemporary artists like Animal Collective, Kaki King, and The New Pornographers cite that album, and your songs in particular, as a huge influence on them. 
Well yeah—and that’s really what it’s for. Sometimes it takes the perspective of time and that’s one of the things about Seeds We Sow, this album that I’ve got now. It seems to be looking at choices that have been made over the past 20 to 25 years, and some of those choices were not clear that they were going to pan out one way or the other—it took a lot of time and the perspective of that in order to see whether those choices were good or not. So when you see that it’s worked its way into the fabric, in a way where you pass a certain torch on to other people and you’ve infused their way of thinking and supported their sense of wanting to uphold their ideals for music, then that’s really what it’s for.

Are there any contemporary artists who you really enjoy, and have inspired your recent work? 
It’s funny—because I have three fairly young children, every time we get in the car they turn on the station KISS FM which has Katy Perry and a lot of hip hop and very pop kind of stuff, and some of that I enjoyed but I felt that it was kind of a hitting a wall for me. Then I started discovering some satellite radio, in particular the college format. Suddenly I was being exposed to bands that I really could respond to on deeper levels like Phoenix or Arcade Fire or Vampire Weekend or Grizzly Bear. There are a lot of great bands out there; some of them have broken through. Arcade Fire seems to be doing very well, certainly Phoenix is doing very well. Some of them I wonder really who’s hearing them. There isn’t a lot of good music out there.

The way the industry works now, and the way that digital music has affected everything, everything has become so niche and small, it’s so hard to understand, or define, whether a band is big or not. 
Yeah! I think it’s difficult for what’s left of the large companies to get their arms around what to do now for that same reason.

Have you spent much time in New York? 
Well sure over the years, yeah. I love New York. Is it snowing there yet?

It’s going to be snowing this weekend, supposedly. 
Oh boy, okay.

We have four inches coming on the way. 
All right.

Have you been paying attention at all to the Occupy Wall Street? 
A little bit, yeah. Obviously it didn’t go so well in Oakland. I think it’s great, I think there’s a lot to be said for that. In some ways it’s slightly reminiscent of things I remember going on in the '60s in the fact that it’s coming from young people, generally. I think the impulse is valid—obviously it almost goes without saying—but they need a little more articulation of what it is the stated goals would be. And I don’t know if anyone really knows. Even if you’re someone who is an economist, how do you deal with the level that capitalism has gotten to in terms of the haves and the have-nots? It seems like it’s the natural outgrowth of a system that gets corrupted beyond the point of being fixable, and probably why things like Communism showed up in the first place. I’m happy it’s going on, I don’t know where it’s going, and I know they’re trying to squelch it a little bit.

Is that something you’d have an interest in checking out when you’re in town? 
If I have time, absolutely, I would love to do that.

Are you doing a lot of these interviews today? 
I did a couple already and this is my last one and then I’ve got to go over to my son’s school and do parent-teacher conferences.

A different form of interviewing. 
Yes, exactly, so I’m sort of multitasking today.

Do your kids listen to your music? Are they aware of your past? 
To a point. I don’t think they’re avid listeners of my music, nor are they aficionados of anything to do with Fleetwood Mac. They understand what I do, and luckily I am not someone who is visible to the point where it’s intrusive on family life. They’ve sort of pieced it together, but no, I have two daughters who are ages 11 and 7 and a son who’s 13 and I don’t think they’ve ever sat down… I don’t even think they listen to albums first of all. I think the idea of listening to a whole album has becomes foreign in the world of iTunes. And that’s fair enough; I mean when I was growing up the album was not really an art form either. People made album, but you put your first couple of singles on tracks one and two, and most of the rest was throwaways. Singles were the form of choice in the 50’s and early 60’s.

That's where the now-overused term “filler” came from. 
Yeah. So I think to some degree they have a healthy kind of ambivalence for the show business aspect. None of them are aspiring to be musicians, thank god, and we try to keep it pretty toned down at home. And they know that I’m pretty steeped in a process when I go down eight hours a day into the studio, but that’s something else. They’ve seen Fleetwood Mac in an arena so they have this thing “oh there’s Dad showing off again”. It’s all gold, I’m glad they feel that way. If they want to gravitate toward something musical in a serious way that’s great too but I’m not going to push them. They have their own set of reference points. My son burns CD’s all the time of the stuff he likes and it’s completely different. A lot of rap and hip-hop based things.

They’re not digging out Between The Buttons [The Rolling Stones's most under-appreciated album] just yet? 
Not just yet, maybe someday. I don’t know if that’ll ever make sense to them. It’s so funny, I mean, I could go back to what my parents were listening to—Big Band, or, my Dad had old '78s of Dixieland Jazz, and I used to listen to it on an academic level, but it was certainly never something … you know one of the basic things about rock and roll with Elvis was it was music that kids could call their own for the first time. Before that it was their parents’ music. They still have that and their music still separates them from their parents in the way rock and roll separated me from mine but, you know, it’s an interesting thing. I’m happy with their perception of what I do, at this point.

I suppose you’re just entering their teenage years, so you have all the fun ahead of you. 
Oh I do, yes! He’s like hormonal and doesn’t really want to talk to me much anymore, and that’s fine, and he’ll come back in a few years.

Great interview!

Lindsey Buckingham finds peace with ‘Seeds’

Going his own way for the past few years, Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham recently returned with his sixth solo effort, “Seeds We Sow.”

By John Benson - November 1, 2011

Unlike his earlier work, which was dark, enigmatic and oftentimes gloomy, this 10-track affair finds the 62-year-old in heart-shaped peace. Now married with three kids, the Grammy Award-winning and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee’s new CD ranges from the soft and melodic “End of Time” to the touching “When She Comes Down” and the hushed “She Smiles Sweetly.”

Now comes Buckingham’s tour, which includes a Nov. 6 show at the Palace Theatre in Lorain. Fans can expect to hear a m lange of solo tunes and Fleetwood Mac songs.

The Vindicator talked to Buckingham about “Seeds We Sow,” his visit last season to “Saturday Night Live” and whether his guitar playing is often lost on younger generations.

Q. In terms of your solo career, this has been a relatively prolific time for you. Your recent effort includes 2006’s “Under the Skin,” 2008’s “Gift of Screws” and now “Seeds We Sow.” How do all three albums fit together?

A. If you look at them as kind of a trio of albums, you can see the first one as being very much about acoustic work. The second one being more ensemble, with John (McVie) and Mick (Fleetwood) playing on quite a bit of that album. And somehow this new one seems to kind of overview everything I’ve been working on over the last six years, and maybe putting it in its best light. From a subject matter standpoint, something that was a great gift for me a few years back was having children. I had a lot of crazy girlfriends in the early days, and I kind of held off being a family member. So probably the occurrence of getting married and having kids relatively late at a time, I was ready for it was something that really enriched my outlook on the road and tempered it a great deal.

Q. What’s interesting is during your three solo CD run, Fleetwood Mac hasn’t released anything. Did you ever think that would happen?

A. Part of it is that the first two [solo albums] are certainly an outgrowth of me saying to the band just give me this time to do this. The other part of it is as a band Fleetwood Mac is a little bit chaotic on a political level, more so than most bands. A lot of bands seem to get their idea of what they want to accomplish in a given time together, and we’ve always been a group that everyone seems to want to do something different at a different time. So it creates longer gaps between mainstream projects.

Q. Over the past year, Saturday Night Live’s Bill Hader has been parodying you in a recurring sketch. How did you react when you first heard about it?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Lindsey Buckingham - Highlights From SiriusXM interview

Talks About The Seeds We Sow
October 17, 2011
Composer, musician, singer and songwriter Lindsey Buckingham stopped by the Sirius XM studios recently to talk with Ron Bennington about the release of his sixth solo album, The Seeds We Sow, and play a few songs.  Buckingham is best known as the male frontman of wildly successful band Fleetwood Mac, which created one of the best-selling albums of all time– Rumours.  Buckingham was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Fleetwood Mac.  Below are the highlights of that interview.

Ron Bennington: That’s the new Lindsey Buckingham, Seeds We Sow is the album and that was End of Time. Lindsey welcome to the show today man.

Lindsey Buckingham: Nice to be here, thank you.

Ron Bennington: You did all this at your house?

Lindsey Buckingham: I did (laughing), that’s right.

Ron Bennington: Everything was done by you though right?

Lindsey Buckingham: Well there’s one song that has my road band on it, but yeah aside from that, everything yeah.

Ron Bennington: So a normal day for you- you’re either writing, recording- it’s gotta be this strange thing?

Lindsey Buckingham: Well it really isn’t! You know you work with the band and it’s kinda like movie making – it’s a lot more chaotic, a lot more of a conscious process to get from point A to point B. You know you go down and you work by yourself it’s more like painting. You don’t have to have full songs fleshed out, you can have a notion and kind of start slopping the paint on the canvas so to speak, and the work will kind of lead you in directions you wouldn’t expect to go.

Ron Bennington: So are you in the studio by yourself during that time?

Lindsey Buckingham: Yeah, I’m engineering and I mixed it. But again, you know you’ve got this one kind of political thing that goes on with working with a group, and the other thing is just way more meditative.

Ron Bennington: Just you, yourself and you’re just being an artist. How do you know if it’s for your solo work or whether this would be better for Fleetwood Mac?

Lindsey Buckingham: Well it usually gets defined for me by what I’m doing at the time. When I started working on – I was not really even expecting to make this album this last year, but the time opened up. It’s really just a question of what it is that you’re working for and that defines what it is. With Fleetwood Mac, again you have to have more completed songs, and there is a kind of A&R (Artist & Repertoire) factor that enters into it, an editorial filter going through the band in terms of what gets picked. But you know it’s really just a matter of what happens to the basic song once you put it out there. If it’s the band it’s gonna be a band song, and if it’s a different process it’ll be a solo.

Ron Bennington: So you don’t really – as you start to write the songs they’re just songs – you don’t think here’s one that I think I’m going to be presenting in one way, or here’s another one, you just let the song kind of unfold.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lindsey Buckingham talks solo work, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks & possibly Buckingham Nicks next year

Fireworks Magazine
October 14, 2011

It’s quite amazing when you consider that vocalist and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham has co-written the ninth biggest selling album of all time, in the form of Fleetwood Mac’s legendary ‘Rumours’ record. Only his second record with the band, he penned three songs, including the huge hit ‘Go Your Own Way’ as well as a co-write - the contributions he and then partner Stevie Nicks made cannot be overlooked, as Fleetwood Mac became worldwide superstars. What is sometimes overlooked is the tasteful and skilled solo work that Buckingham has put out over the years. Releasing solo albums every so often, which showed off his skills as a songwriter, vocalist and guitarist with a distinctive finger picking style, he has continuted to hone his craft alongside his work in Fleetwood Mac. With his sixth album ‘Seeds We Sow’, he has created a record that takes his love of recording songs with just vocals and guitar and meshes it with a fuller sound, to create one of his most accomplished efforts yet. James Gaden talked to Lindsey to find out all about it...

I’m impressed with your new album, I must say. It’s a very strong record. 

Thank you! It’s funny - I didn’t really plan on making a record this last year, Fleetwood Mac had just gotten off the road and the time opened up... so I thought I’d better fill it! (laughs) So, y’know, maybe one of the reasons it worked out so well was that I didn’t have any agenda going in, it was kind of an off-hand thing. I think that a lot of stuff that I have been working on over the last seven years or so, especially solo, all just came together in this one place.

That’s what struck me - I thought this album sounds like a bridge between the sparser music of ‘Under The Skin’ and the fuller sound of ‘Out In The Cradle’... I think it sits nicely between those two records.

Yeah - that’s exactly where I think it should be placed. It does seem to harken back to ‘Out Of The Cradle’ a little bit, which is a good thing, a lot of people seem to like that one!

I noticed that throughout your career you’ve been very adept at taking personal things that have happened to you and crafting them into songs... was there any specific theme or inspiration behind the material on this album?

It’s funny, the way lyrics have evolved for me, in terms of the process, the approach. It’s gotten kinda a little more elusive in a way, I think it’s growth. I don’t want to say my lyrics have become more poetic, but I do think they are more open to interpretation. Sometimes I’ll write it and even I’m not entirely sure what it all means until I start putting it together, then I might have a finished lyric and think ‘Oh yeah, now I know what that means!’ (laughs) But I think when I did look at the lyrics collectively when this project was done, the thread that seemed to run through was to do with actions having consequences and the choices you make, while not always easy to define or to judge in the moment, given the perspective of time, sometimes quite a bit of time, you can see what is good in your own life, in your relationship, what is good or bad in the world. It’s all down to this collection of choices we have all made in our lives. So there’s kind of a karmic theme there, that’s where the title comes from, sowing seeds... those come back later on in your life, be it good or bad. When I look back over the last ten or even twenty years, the way I’ve tried to work the big machine - Fleetwood Mac, with the small machine - my solo career, it’s like a big movie scenario versus a small independent film mentality that goes with my solo projects... the two would seem to be opposed but in a larger sense they tend to support each other. In order to do that, you have to keep your wits about you and make choices based on a certain set of values. I guess I was able to feel that the place that I’ve arrived at as an artist, as a person with my family and everything, it all seems a lot of my choices were for the good. So I guess that’s what is reflected on the album.

When you come to make a solo album, do you create a central theme before you start, like the karmic one on this record, or do you just write the songs and let them dictate the shape?

Well, it depends... you just mentioned ‘Under The Skin’ and when I did that, I basically said to the band that I wanted to do two solo albums more or less back to back, wanted to tour both of them and that they shouldn’t bother me for about three years. Just leave me alone! (laughs) For ‘Under The Skin’, that did have a very specific idea, which was to try to do something very sparse, acoustic and intimate. This particular album... as I say, I think the only thing I committed myself to this time was taking on as much responsibility for the process myself as I’ve ever taken, which included playing almost everything, mixing it, engineering it all... that was like a painting process, building up layers. But no, on this album I didn’t have a specific idea in mind, other than the approaches I have arrived at over the last ten years or so. One of those is taking one or two guitars at the most and having that be pretty much the bulk of the track, but still putting production values onto it. That’s something which I’ve been very interested in for a number of years and I keep refining and expanding on it.

With the song ‘Seeds You Sow’, you gave that away free on your website as a precursor to the album launch. Did you feel you had to do that in this day and age, or do you like the fact the internet offers that chance for your fans to come to your website and hear something early?

In America, we’ve put this album out ourselves, I did make some forays into seeing what interest there might be from larger labels... what few there are left! (laughs) I spoke to a friend, Rob Cavallo, who I’ve known for years who was in a good position at Warner Brothers, but I realised that he couldn’t change anything, the system would change him. I talked with my manager and we felt it was just too weird out there for an album like this, for someone like me, on a label. In the spirit of that, to put the record out ourselves, we could do it on our own terms and letting people hear something early allows you to loosen the formula up a little bit. Certainly using the website for that, we completely re-did it for when the album was done, that resonated with the spirit of how the album was going out, it seemed like the right thing to do.

I think with somebody like yourself, you have your own fan base who keep up to date with what you’re doing and I don’t think any of the, like you say, few major labels left could or would offer you anything you couldn’t do yourself at this stage of your career.

It’s true - for someone who is now in their sixties like I am, they’d look at me and think “Well...” There’s a kind of built in momentum with my fan base, you’re right. That comes with a built in fear of getting too involved, but I think people had enough respect for me to look at me, especially to the big companies, they’re so beholden to the boardroom mentality where everything is about the bottom line, nobody at these labels have the kind of autonomy that I saw when I started. They can’t make their own decisions for themselves anymore and I think they had enough respect for me to know they wouldn’t be doing the kind of job I feel the record deserves. And that’s fair enough.

Finally, speculation has been floating around about this for a while - is the Buckingham/Nicks album finally going to be officially released on CD?

Stevie has an album out right now as well, and when she was working on it I spent quite a bit of time over at her house... probably more time with her off the road than I had spent in ages. It’s so funny with Stevie and me, this is someone I’ve known since high school and obviously we’ve had a fairly difficult story to play out together at times, and you’d think by now there would be nothing left to work out, but apparently there is and I find that to be incredibly sweet. The thing between she and myself is still a work in progress and we did talk about it... I think the reason that album never made it to CD was down to inertia. We have talked about the possibility of putting it out, maybe sometime next year or the not too distant future, and you could put some bonus tracks on there, re-release it properly. We haven’t set a timeline or made a decision yet, but I think it would be appropriate. Maybe we could figure out a way to do some shows, just the two of us - that would be a nice change of pace too. So nothing is set in stone by any means, but things will happen next year... I’ll be shocked if there isn’t some Fleetwood Mac action next year. We’ll have to wait and see!

Read the full double page spread where Lindsey talks about his new album, discusses in depth his decision to release the album independently and his upcoming live DVD in Fireworks #48. Available from:

• Participating WHSmith and McColls Group stores (see Store Finder for participating stockists)
• Here in the Rocktopia Shop  (registration required)
• Here in the Fireworks Magazine Mini Store (no registration required) 
• Direct from Fireworks HQ by emailing , paying via Paypal. Send £6 (Inc P&P)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Lindsey Buckingham... Q&A on Seeds We Sow, Fleetwood Mac, Touring, Stevie Nicks & More...

Q&A with Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham
Lindsey Buckingham keeps making his own music, but Fleetwood Mac is always there, too.

By Heather Lovejoy - Sept 30, 2011
The Florida Times Union

There aren't many rock musicians who have performed to packed houses in the largest venues in the world. Lindsey Buckingham is one of them.  As part of Fleetwood Mac, the singer/songwriter/guitarist has experienced the pinnacle of popularity.  But when he plays at 8 p.m. Monday at the Florida Theatre, fans will see and hear a slighty different side of him.

Buckingham spoke to the Times-Union recently by phone about his solo work, Fleetwood Mac and more. Here are excerpts from the conversation:

How was your flight?

It was fine. You know, we're doing some commercial flights and some bus trips this time, [laughs] because I'm kind of spoiled.  The shows are going well, though. And I'm very happy with the way things are going.

Where are you now?

In Minneapolis.

You'll be in Jacksonville on Oct. 3; your birthday, isn't it?

That is my birthday.

What's the best present a fan could bring you?

That's a good question. [laughs] I don't know. Did you have something in mind?

No, no. It's just that when fans find out it's your birthday, they are probably going to at least make a poster or something.

Ah, well, we don't want to make a big deal of it. You know, I'm from one of those families that used to just give a Hallmark card. It's not a big deal, really.

What can the audience expect to hear at the show?

Well, we are doing a healthy amount of the new album, which is great, and I'm very happy with the way the songs turned out live and the way they've been received, too.... I am opening the show with something I love to do more and more, which is just get up with a guitar and play by myself, so I'm doing about five songs, sort of opening for myself in a way. ... That approach has become more and more important to me.... There's a nice healthy amount of material from previous solo work, and of course, you've got to throw in a few Fleetwood Mac jams. There will be those.

About the new album, "Seeds We Sow," what prompted the title?

I wasn't planning on making an album, and the time opened up and I filled it. ... It seemed like the songs were sort of arising out of nowhere or out of very vague notions while I was recording. The same is probably true of the subject matter. There was no preconceived idea of what I was going to write about. But at the end, I realized ... there was all this stuff about choices and changes.... It's the good or ill that exists in anything, whether it's the world or in something as small as relationships.... It turned out to be a lot about choices. Much of the album had to do with that kind of karmic thing. ...

[As a guitarist,] you mostly fingerpick. Over the years, has that been hard on your hand? 

... I can't keep nails and if I do they start to get sheared off. ... Before a tour, I basically cut my nails as short as possible. ... No, I don't think so. ... I've been playing since I was about 7. I never really used a pick very much. I mean, once in a while, if you're in a festive mood, you might draw a little blood, but nothing significant. ... But my hands aren't abused, really.

You've never been big on music theory, and you don't read music. Is that right?

I do not read music. I never had lessons. I basically taught myself by listening to my brother's records, the 45s he bought.... It's always been based around the song, and guitar-playing in the service of the song. ... The sensibility is about songs.  I like to think of it as kind of "refined primitive."

How do you think that has affected your songwriting?

That's a very good question, because there are a lot of things that I don't know. ... That is something that you have to let go of, because you can only aspire to be what you are on your own terms. You work with your strengths, your limitations. If I had some amount of schooling, maybe I'd be writing with more sophistication in the European sense.

The other way of looking at it, I think of myself as much as a stylist as a writer. I think of myself as somebody with something he can call his own. A lot of people who have gone to music school have gotten their individuality stomped out of them. It becomes harder to find those instincts. Really, it could go either way.

At this point, it's a little too late to worry about it. [laughs]

How does being on stage with your solo band compare to performing with Fleetwood Mac?

There are certain aspects that are similar. Certainly, whatever I learn while I'm out solo, I bring back to Fleetwood Mac. ... Clearly, the big machine and the small machine support each other creatively - although, that may not have always been the case, but it has become that now.... The last time Fleetwood Mac went out on the road, without an album, it was kind of a freeing experience. Generally speaking, the Fleetwood Mac audience isn't really that interested in hearing anything new. ... You get to a point when your body of work speaks for itself, and you can be down with that and just put it out there.  Obviously, in Fleetwood Mac, as a band, there's always going to be more chaos, more politics. We're people who maybe shouldn't even be in a band together, but the synergy is what makes it interesting, I guess. It also makes it more difficult sometimes.... Working with the solo situation, it's a little more brainier, I think. It's more academic, a more meticulous process. And I love that. I also love figuring out how to make it work on stage. ...

So a Fleetwood Mac reunion tour is in the works for next year.

Well, we never really use the word "reunion," since we never really broke up. We're just a band that takes breaks. People are always of doing other things ... but we come back together. There is talk of doing that; that would follow the pattern of the last 10 years. There is nothing on the books, certainly. But I would be surprised if there was nothing going on with Fleetwood Mac next year.

Of course, what everyone wants to know is, how do you get along with Stevie Nicks these days?

Oh great, great. I spent quite a bit of time with her when she was finishing up her solo album and helped her out with that. I've known her since I was in high school, you know. And somehow we're still evolving; it's hard to believe, but we are.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lindsey Buckingham on "Morning Joe" MSNBC - Tomorrow

Joe Scarborough, R-Fla., serves as host of “Morning Joe” - On the show Thursday
Pat Buchanan, Donny Deutsch, Gillian Tett, Politico, Ken Burns, Goldie Hawn, Lindsey Buckingham, Simon Hobbs.


Ron & Fez Show - SiriusXM
Also... Lindsey is apparently going to be on the Ron & Fez Show tomorrow... Not sure what time he's on or even what time the Ron & Fez show is on I can't find any info on either... Going by a couple of Tweets.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Download or Stream today's WNYC Lindsey Buckingham Interview

By wnyc

If you missed Lindsey earlier today on The Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC in NYC, you can stream the interview above or download the podcast on the WNYC site HERE

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lindsey Buckingham Interview Plus exclusive studio/performance video

Lindsey Buckingham on new album, Seeds We Sow, and Fleetwood Mac

By Joe Bosso
Music Radar
September 26, 2011

Since 1979, on Fleetwood Mac's masterpiece Tusk, Lindsey Buckingham has spent considerable time recording on his own in his home studio. On his vibrant, luminous new solo album, Seeds We Sow, the musician takes the DIY approach one step further: producing, engineering, singing and playing every instrument on all but one track. He's even releasing the record himself.

"There can be feelings of isolation when working alone," Buckingham admits, "but it's a good isolation. It's very meditative, much like painting. People who paint are usually pretty isolated. It's a solitary pursuit, but it lets you get one-on-one with your canvas."

Seeds We Sow is Buckingham's sixth solo album, and true to form, it's a compelling, wholly original rendering of shadows and light, cries and whispers. Whether pensive or blissed-out, rocking impulsively or examining the human spirit, the guitarist fuses his irrepressible, idiosyncratic songcraft with waves of breathtaking vocals and luxurious, fingerpicked guitar patterns into something that's become a rarity in modern music: a sublime, top-to-bottom, soul-nourishing experience.

A few weeks into a 50-city theater tour, Lindsey Buckingham sat down with MusicRadar to discuss Seeds We Sow. In addition, the Rock Hall Of Famer talked about his approach to guitar playing, the advantages of home recording, loving The Rolling Stones, his work with Fleetwood Mac (expect to hear from them in 2012!), and some of his essential guitars.

In much the same way that great method actors don't "act," but rather they "behave," your work on Seeds We Sow goes beyond craftsmanship.

"Well, that's good, I guess. [laughs] You want to be good at your craft, but you don't want to wear all the construction on your sleeve. If you're doing that, you might not be doing your job. Over the years that I've been doing this, and particularly since I started making solo records with greater frequency, I've looked into whatever my center is, which is the guitar, and I've looked into the emotional side of that, as well. That's really the idea: touching on what's essential, both musically and lyrically.

"I do think my lyrics have gotten...not necessarily more poetic, but more open to interpretation; they're less literal. All of that fits into what you're saying."

You've had a home studio for many years now. What are some recent changes you've made to your setup?

"Not a lot, really. I still have an old, unautomated console that I got in the late '80s. And I still do a lot of work on an old, reel-to-reel digital machine. I just love the VSO. [laughs] Not that you can't do that in Pro Tools – you certainly can. I do have Pro Tools, but they seem to come later in the process.

"My setup is not that different from what it's been for a while now. What happens is, you find a way that works for you, and at that point… You know, there's an adage that would apply here: 'It ain't what you got, it's what you're doing with what you got.' [laughs] It's true."

On the new album you do a beautiful version of The Rolling Stones' She Smiled Sweetly. You've covered them in the past. And even Go Your Own Way owes something to the Stones –

"Yeah, the drum pattern on that. I wanted Mick to do something like Street Fighting Man, and he put his own thing to it. But that's right, exactly."

So besides the obvious – that they're a great band – what is it that you like about the Stones so much?

"Well, I think they're a band that has held up rather well, particularly the period that I cover, which is when Brian Jones was at his peak, right before he started to go downhill. He was starting to bring in European sensibilities that kind of balanced out the Chuck Berry-isms of Keith. I always thought there were a lot of undiscovered gems on albums like Aftermath and Between The Buttons.

"Everything else on this album, all of the original songs, I wrote them out as snippets of ideas right before I went in to start the actual recording. She Smiled Sweetly was the only thing I had recorded previously; it had sitting around for a while, waiting to find a home. It seemed somehow appropriate to end the album with it. It turned out pretty nice."

Stevie Nicks has said that, given the chance, she would have joined Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Conversely, would you have joined the Stones had the situated presented itself?

[laughs] "That's an odd question! Hmmm, well, that's sort of an odd thing for Stevie to say, too. I guess she was just looking at bands she likes. The Stones…uh, sure! [laughs] What a great situation. They have a raw, primitive approach to music, and I relate to that – I'm kind of a refined primitive myself, having never been taught music.

"It seems like a thought that is so far-fetched. Probably the Tom Petty thing, too. I can't imagine Tom asking a woman to join his band; he's got such a guy thing going on. As for me joining The Rolling Stones…it's a nice thing to think about." [laughs]

You first demonstrated your fingerpicking technique on your initial albums with Fleetwood Mac. It's really developed over the years, into a rolling style – like a waterfall of notes. The title track, Seeds We Sow, is a fingerpicking extravaganza!

"Why, thank you. Sure, you can look at songs like Landslide and Never Going Back Again for that. On Never Going Back Again, I'm sort of enhancing the basic folk approach. Over time, I've developed it and tried to make the rhythms more sophisticated. Big Love was the song where I really started doing it on stage to such a degree. With that, a light bulb went off over my head and I started thinking, Hey, I've really got to look at this as being one of the mainstays of my style.

"It has become more rolling. I seem to keep gravitating back to some sort of 6/8 time signature. It's like a measure of four over a measure of six as far as my picking is concerned, but it's only revealed as 6/8 when my singing comes in. It's an area of playing that I've become very interested in and tried to expound upon, especially since I've done more and more solo albums. It seems to be working out."

Your vocal performance on the title track is quite dramatic, especially at the end. Is singing a catharsis for you, a release?

"Sometimes. Yeah, I think there's some songs on new record where it's releasing something, where it's about moving on to the next phase. On the song Seeds We Sow, it's very much a comment on where things are going in the world, but in sort of a schizoid way it comes back and examines those same tendencies in a relationship."

From a production standpoint, Illumination and That's The Way Love Goes recall the quirkiness of the Tusk album. Do you have any kind of production aesthetic?

"Oh, God! I couldn't put any kind of label on my production aesthetic. [laughs] Certainly, I feel that this album has a good representation of things that are living in the left side of my palette, and it's got some things that move more to the right.

"You've got songs like End Of Time which are more, for lack of a better term, kind of 'Fleetwood Mac-y,' and that's an emotional tone that's just as valid as anything else. Yeah, you want to keep exploring areas that are both familiar and unfamiliar. What I like about this record is that it represents pretty well the musical landscape I have going, from left to right."

In a recent interview with Guitar Aficionado, you likened working in Fleetwood Mac to big-brand movies like Pirates Of The Caribbean, that it wasn't "chancy" –

"Here's the thing: I think it could be chancy. Sometimes it is quite chancy on a political level. But I think that you've got to understand that the collective politics tend to align themselves with what Warner Bros. or any record company might want us to do, which adheres to 'the brand,' such as it is.

"You know, we went out last year and toured without a new album, and it was actually a great deal of fun because we've got this big body of work that stands on its own. There's a freedom in knowing that and feeling that and being able to perform that.

"But I think the collective wheel of Fleetwood Mac tends to want to take less chances, certainly less than I would on my own. That's one of the nice things about having both things, Fleetwood Mac and a solo career. I guess you can look at Fleetwood Mac as the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies and my solo career as indie films."

Right. But at this point in you career, both solo and in Fleetwood Mac, surely you can do whatever you want.

"Yes, if you step back and look at that, sure I can. But what's interesting about Fleetwood Mac is that we're a band of people who have never wanted the same things. In a weird way, we probably don't even belong in the same band together. For whatever reasons, we can't always say, 'This is what we want, and here are the reasons.'

"If I'm not off doing my thing, then Stevie's off doing her thing. It probably drives John and Mick crazy. And, you know, I think there should come a time when we can just be Fleetwood Mac for a longer period of time, where we can connect the dots, each one of us. I'd love to see that happen.

"If we can do that, then maybe we will be able to, as you say, 'do what we want.' But what I want isn't necessarily what Stevie wants or what John wants or what Mick wants. It makes it difficult on a political level; it also makes it interesting."

If working on your own is, as you say, akin to painting, can't collaboration in a band context be equally challenging and rewarding artistically?

"Well, sure. And it is. There are big differences, though. For one thing, when you're working on your own, you can start with the smallest of ides. You don't have to go in with something as fleshed out as you would if you're working with others. You can just go in and throw the paint on the canvas, and the work will evolve and take on its own life and lead you in directions you weren't expecting. There are definitely opportunities for surprises and spontaneity.

"You'd think that spontaneity would only go with the collaborative thing, but that's not always the case. Collaboration can be spontaneous, but so can working on your own. It's a process that's served me well for a long time. I seem to be getting better at it, so why stop now?"

Where do you find inspiration nowadays? Is it a different experience than when you were younger? Do you have to work harder to find it?

"I think that when you're quite young, you tend to be part of a community of people who are aspiring to something similar as yourself, or they share the same sensibilities, and because of that you have conversations and exchange ideas – that's where the inspiration comes from.

"The older you get and the more you find your own style, the less important that becomes, because you're not looking for things to draw from so literally. That communal exchange falls away as youth recedes.

"The things that inspire me are a certain way of thinking. I can be in the car and listen to what my daughters want to hear, which will be the station that plays Katy Perry and Lady Gaga or whoever, and that's all very well and good. But I can go and find a college station on satellite radio and find stuff that isn't getting heard by a broad range of people. Usually they'll be groups or people that I can relate to for the reasons they're making music.

"Some of these acts have broken through: Arcade Fire, Phoenix, Dirty Projectors, Vampire Weekend – there's a lot of groups out there that are making really good, smart music. It's about the spirit behind it all."

Rick Turner guitars have been your go-to instruments for a while now. What do you like about them so much?

"Before I joined Fleetwood Mac, my electric guitar of choice was a Fender Stratocaster - I think a 1963 model. The reason why I liked the Stratocaster was because the sound of it was very suited to fingerpicking. It's very percussive and cuts through other instruments.

"Of course, that tone didn't suit the pre-existing sound of Fleetwood Mac. From the rhythm section of Mick and John and the guitarists who had played on the records, it was a fatter sound. When I joined the band, I had to start using a Les Paul, which wasn't ideal for a fingerpicking style.

"Rick had been making John's basses, and after getting to know him for a while, I asked him to make me some sort of a hybrid guitar, one which was like a Les Paul in that it was fat enough, but it would also have the percussiveness of a Stratocaster. This is the guitar he came up with, and it really works for me."

Do you have any other essential guitars?

"Yeah. I have an old Martin D-18 that I still use a lot. I got that when I was about 19 years old, up in the Bay Area. I use that in the studio quite a bit. I love the baby Taylors. If you get a good one, they record very well. Also, there's the Stratocaster that I mentioned.

"Let's see...what else? There have been guitars I've played and they've served me well, but for whatever reason, I've had to use other guitars. You know how it is: your needs change."

Friday, September 23, 2011

Lindsey Buckingham: Life Outside The Mac

WHO Lindsey Buckingham


The Fleetwood Mac singer-songwriter-guitarist is back with a splendid new solo album, “Seeds We Sow,’’ that finds him stretching in several different directions. We recently chatted with Buckingham about “Seeds,’’ his recent work with Stevie Nicks, covering the Rolling Stones, and his good-natured appearance alongside “himself’’ in a “Saturday Night Live’’ sketch.


Buckingham plays the Wilbur Theatre tomorrow night at 7. Tickets are $22-$45 at 800-745-3000 and

Q. On “Seeds We Sow,’’ you cover a lot of ground, from poppy stuff like “End of Time’’ to the acoustic and ethereal title track to something like “One Take,’’ which has some nutty electric guitar on it. . .

A. Yes, it’s a little tasteless flurry of lead guitar, isn’t it? [Laughs.] I like that, too. It’s technically proficient and nicely constructed as far as those things go. Lead guitar is not particularly in fashion, although in sparing amounts I think it’s still OK. Especially if it’s something you do. Imagine how Eddie Van Halen must feel right now.

Q. Why did you decide to cover “She Smiled Sweetly’’ by the Rolling Stones?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Interview with Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac talks fate, relationships, and a reunion

By Jen Boyles
September 14, 2011
City Pages - Minneapolis

Snugly situated in the canon of '70s pop music, Fleetwood Mac are a band gifted with longevity but plagued with very public interpersonal entanglements that at times eclipsed the sheer musicality of their famous lo-fi folk rock.

At the forefront of their creative direction throughout much of their critically acclaimed and debated Tusks album, guitarist/singer Lindsey Buckingham brought much vitality to the group alongside former romantic partner and vocalist Stevie Nicks -- a storied pairing that at points both invigorated and strained the band throughout the years.

Now equipped with perspective only time can bestow, Buckingham reflects with Gimme Noise on some of the choices he's made in life throughout his career with Fleetwood Mac and also as a solo artist, having just released his latest, Seeds We Sow, featuring his brilliant quick-sticks style of guitar playing. He talked to us about the duality he feels as a major player in both his large and smaller projects, his relationship with Stevie now, and whether a Mac reunion is planned for the near future.

You've said you feel like you've lived a double creative life. Can you expound on that feeling?

Stevie and I found ourselves in this band Fleetwood Mac in '75, and we had been down a slightly different road, and of course there were immediately things to adapt to and things to discard that were important to me as a player in order to be part of a band. We had to concentrate on things that were useful to the larger picture. And we immediately had success. I guess the double life is really about when you have a large-scale success and also the elements that tend to step up to the plate when commerce is robust, shall we say, you find this big machine you're in works under a set of conditions and limitations. You try to work against the brand -- I did try to to that on the Tusk album, but politics dictated that we weren't going to continue that far to the left. On the one hand I've had this big machine called Fleetwood Mac that feeds the politics and finances of things, but I have this small machine on the other hand. That's the double life.

Because the large-scale projects tend to get branded and there's a pressure to repeat a formula, you find it's the small-scale projects that allow you to keep growing as an artist and allow you to aspire to keep thinking of yourself as an artist in the long room. It allows you to keep taking risks and get in touch with your heart. One of the things I would say about this new album is that it seems to represent what I've learned on solo projects and with Fleetwood Mac in the last seven years, it seems to represent the culmination of choices I"ve made, some of which were not popular back in the day. It goes back 20 years, and sometimes you don't know if the choices you've made are good ones until you get the perspective of time.

Would you say the solo projects are more satisfying?

It's two different things. I wouldn't have one without the other. I do see a lot of people who have been doing this as long as me but haven't held on to their ideals as much as I have. They don't remember who they are or why they got into this business.  I can bring a lot of that back to Fleetwood Mac, whose story is strangely still unfinished.  There are a couple of chapters left for Stevie and me to live out. I think the band is still in a place after all this time where there are lessons to be learned and things to be shared, cycles need to be completed. It's all very sweet for a group that's been doing this for so long.

Some of the band's early struggles were very publicized -- and even still are today. Do you have any certain timeframe or memories that make you happy when you think of the band?

What I feel good about is not just some sort of inside-joke memory I have, though there are a lot of those. When I think about the time when Stevie and I had recently broken up -- and you have to remember Stevie and I were a couple and John and Christine McVie were married when we joined the band. There's nothing like success to bust things up. So you cut to maybe two years later and we're up in Sausalito beginning to make Rumours. Stevie and I are not together anymore and I"m basically trying to produce. It was really, really difficult to make the right choices and to do the right thing for her in particular as a producer, musician and band mate.  We all had to live lives of denial because we had this calling. We knew we had to fulfill that. I can look back and smile on the fact that despite the fact that it wasn't particularly healthy on an emotional level, I can categorically say as the cliche goes, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. In a convoluted way, it helped make me the person I am today. I feel happy that I did the right thing in a difficult situation.

Most people know of your past relationship with Stevie Nicks, but what's your current one like? Would you call yourselves friends?

Oh sure, it's sort of elastic. We have times when we don't speak or see each other much. A little goes a long way. I've known Stevie since high school and you know ... [laughs]... we have a lot of reference points we remember -- and some we've forgotten too! I spent some time with her when she was completing her solo album and we had the best time together. That's one reason I say there's still a few chapters left there. I think it's reassuring to know that we both still care about each other.

I'd like to talk about Tusk vs. Rumors -- there seems to be this very widespread, very odd debate even today about which is better. 

Oh, you can't even say! But I do think it's nice that people even bother to talk about it.  It's nice to know we've worked our way into the fabric of the culture, but it's a fruitless argument. There are reasons why the Tusk album got made -- again you go back to this post-Rumors environment where the success at some point had detached from the music and had become about just the success and about the subtext of our personal lives. Of course we were poised to make Rumors II, and of course the record company wanted us to do just that. There's that axiom that's there from the companies. I was really interested in exploring a farther left side of my music palate at that time but avoiding getting painted into a corner by the business side of things.

For me, the Tusk album was the most important album we made but only because it drew a line in the sand that for me defined the way I still think today. Probably the real bummer with that album wasn't that it didn't sell 16M albums, but because it didn't, there was backlash. The band was really quite engaged with making the album and it was only until the sales stats came that they said, 'Well, we have to backtrack into more mainstream turf.' I don't begrudge anyone for feeling that way. I was trying to pave some new territory for us but another way of looking at it is that I was causing trouble.   Had we all wanted the same thing for the same reason I probably never would have made solo albums.

You'd probably be a different band altogether.

Yes, and if we'd made something that followed in the wake of Tusk, that was comfortable with what Tusk was, we'd be a different band, too. There's a whole series of ways of looking at it. A lot of the young bands seem to respond to Tusk because it's more cutting edge, but it's just hard even think in terms of which is better.
Obviously your guitar playing is highly lauded and you've got a plethora of songs to pick favorites from. What's one track that still resonates with you today? 

There's one that I love playing on stage and that's the song "Big Love", and I'll tell you why. It started off as an ensemble piece, it was not a guitar piece. It was the first single from an album called Tango In The Night from 1987. The lyric of that song takes on more of a sense of the power of change. So there's that, but I think probably from a guitar-playing point of view, it was a bit of a template that happened for me. I don't even remember why that song evolved into a single guitar piece but when I started doing that on stage by myself it went down well.  It's not that I haven't done single guitar pieces on stage before, but this covered more ground and open up a whole new landscape for the potential use of one guitar through a whole track. So back in the late '90s when I started doing that, I have consistently tried to do those kind of approaches on recorded work. It's been a touchstone for me.

What was a pivotal point when you knew you could break away and do this on your own? 

It was a matter of survival because after Tusk, and after everyone wanted to go back to a Rumors formula, the whole left side of my musical landscape knew it was going to get unattended to if I didn't start doing solo stuff. In 1991, I came out with my first solo work. The irony with it is that you look at the big and small machine but Warner Bros. never really got behind the solo stuff because they thought it was too esoteric. They were always thinking, "Let's get back to what's really important here!" But again, it's all about the choices you make, and sometimes it takes 20-some-odd-years before things are fully played out in front of you an you can take stock.

Your new album seems clearly inspired by family life and a bit by being in love. Can you talk about that?

It's funny because my lyrics have improved, but back in previous days I think all of our lyrics were more literal and not particularly open to interpretation. What's happened over the years is that the process by which I arrive at a set of lyrics has gotten just a bit more poetic and mysterious. So when I did look at the lyrics collectively, I perceived a thread that ran through it all and it seemed to go back to the choices that we make. Actions have outcomes, and choices are sometimes left for years before they can be really fully apprised. There's a karmic element to all of this - they do reflect the sense of being grounded in family life. There are songs about the microcosm of family or of relationships. There's songs more about the world in general, but it does seem to reflect the balance of creative life and personal life. I think I've been lucky enough to find that. It reflects the nice balance that seems to come into play with the big machine and the small machine.

How do you rank this new work among all the rest of the albums you've done?

I think this could be the best piece of work I've done because I didn't really plan on doing it. Under the Skin and Gift Of Screws were back to back and I toured behind both of them; I had to say to Fleetwood Mac, 'Don't bother me for three years!' I had to put some boundaries around some time and I learned a lot and brought a lot of what I learned back into the last Fleetwood Mac tour.  I had no agenda to make this album, the time just opened up and I said, "I better fill it."  There was an off-hand quality to the whole process. Everything but the Rolling Stones cover -- "She Smiled Sweetly', which had been looking for a home for a few years -- is brand new.

You're on tour to support the new album but of course everyone wants to know if Fleetwood Mac are going to tour together again.

I know Stevie has been talking a lot about getting back together. I would be shocked if something didn't happen. There's nothing on the books -- this is part of the deal with Fleetwood Mac: you can't get everybody to commit too far ahead of time and it's hard to get everyone to want everything at the same time. Without knowing anything specific, I would say I'd be very surprised if something didn't happen with Fleetwood Mac next year.

Lindsey Buckingham plays the Pantages Theater on Friday, September 16 at 8 p.m. Tickets $40-$50.