Singer-songwriter takes indie route
Fleetwood Mac is not a band that has needed much help selling records — its 1977 landmark “Rumours” has been certified 19-times platinum — yet its sales gained a significant boost over the past week, with “Glee’s” “Rumours” episode drawing inspiration from the record, and bumping the LP up to No. 2 on the iTunes album charts.
The sudden re-ignition of interest in the band couldn’t have come at a better time. The band’s Stevie Nicks’ new record “In Your Dreams” has also breached the iTunes top 10, and there are some familiar faces in the liner notes — most notably her former bandmate and paramour Lindsey Buckingham.
Buckingham, fresh off receiving ASCAP’s Golden Note lifetime achievement kudo, also has new record “Seeds We Sow” on the horizon for the end of summer. As he tells Variety, another Mac album is certainly in the cards, though he admits “dealing with a whole ensemble” can be a slow process.
Buckingham showed an affinity for newer bands such as Arcade Fire and the Dirty Projectors, and later shared a few cutting comments on the state of pop radio — “They’re starting to figure out that you can’t go on forever without melody.” Mac’s music has also seen heavy chunks of its DNA resurface in contempo artists like Jenny Lewis, Taylor Swift and Ryan Adams, though Buckingham is hesitant to claim his share of the credit.
“I don’t ever presume that people are (directly influenced by me),” he says, “but it’s nice to know that even when you aren’t always stoking the machine, people still remember what you’ve done.”
Buckingham has been no stranger to the difficulties of stoking that machine, having drawn label ire with Mac’s experimental “Rumors” follow-up, “Tusk,” and he’s upfront about his struggles to drum up the proper exec enthusiasm for “Seeds.” (“Even Rob Cavallo tried to glom it off on some other label,” he says, speaking of the WBR chairman.) Hence, he plans to release this one independently.
“If you make music with the left side of your palette, you’re going to lose X amount of listeners,” he says of his solo work. “That’s the tradeoff.”
Appropriately, Buckingham says he’s “drawn more and more inward” for his new material, with his experiences of aging and late fatherhood — Buckingham has three young children — taking the place of the anger and recriminations that were once his most persistent themes.
And of course, fatherhood requires he record at a slower pace, with none of the all-nighter sessions that used to be Mac’s stock and trade.
“Mick (Fleetwood) was the one who always wanted to stay up all night in the studio,” he remembers. “He would usually bring out the cocaine after dinner, and I guess there was a certain element of ‘when in Rome … .’ “