I just listened to a new interview with Mick Fleetwood on Sirius XM, Channel 106 ‘Volume West’. He called in from Maui on Memorial Day. (His interview starts about 29:30 into the show, and he begins talking about the upcoming tour just before 40:00.)
Went for about 30 minutes, some conversation about the new line-up, upcoming tour, other possible outcomes. Quite a lot to cover, I’ll try to condense some of it. (This is first part of it - which I wanted to get in Micks own words. I’ll post more in a second part. Sorry for any errors there may be.)
Chad Smith (drummer for Red Hot Chili Peppers) Lyndsey Parker were asking the questions.
CS: So you got some new band members and you’re going on tour? What’s going on?
MF: Yeah, in October… It’s a huge change. And as you know, if anyone out there has a sort of track record of the history of this crazy band that is Fleetwood Mac, it is certainly peppered with changes through the years, and this is most definitely one of those changes.
Without going into all the ups and downs and the details of where we ended up, but as players and as a band, we’re really positive about what we’re doing, and we’re blessed with two lovely new members – Mike Campbell from Tom Petty’s band The Heartbreakers… just a really brilliant guitar player. And Neil Finn who is out of Crowded House and if you go a little bit further back, Split Enz.
LP: Well I want to talk to you a bit about this, because the Mike Campbell - I mean obviously I was surprised about the news in general, Mike Campbell maybe not as much of as a surprise given his history working with Stevie. But the Neil Finn thing came out of nowhere to me and I’m a huge Split Enz and Crowded House fan, so I was really pleasantly surprised, like how did that come together?
MF: Well it came together with a lot of thought. With Lindsey departing from Fleetwood Mac and not all of it the most happiest of things, but needless to say, huge kudos and respect forever, and before and now, and into the future of what Lindsey Buckingham has always been within the ranks of Fleetwood Mac. But we needed to change, and I will leave it at that.
And with Neil, you know all of us thought 1. Are we even going to keep going? And Chad you may certainly know people if not from your own experience but moments when you thought, well is this something that’s negotiable? How can we go forward and feel good about what we’re doing? … And I have to say Fleetwood Mac has probably, almost more than anyone I can think of, for whatever reason, had those moments where you go – certainly me and John McVie, going back to 1967, we’ve probably had 4 or 5, 6, 7 major changes within the ranks of Fleetwood Mac.
So we thought very, very hard and long about, are we going forward? Once we all felt that we really wanted to do that, it got hot and heavy as to how this is going to be really musically uplifting for the existing band, and the band that we have now, and have it be believable for everyone out there that has been loyal and taken that journey with the crazy band Fleetwood Mac.
And we arrived at what we have with Neil. And Neil I’d met many years ago, hugely respect his talent, and after about nearly three months of cogitating other opportunities of who it might be, we arrived and we all convened, and I invited everyone here to convene in Maui, and we all just felt completely correct and on line with the chemistry that was being offered up with all of us joining together, and that led to a decision that we have with these two lovely guys in the ranks of Fleetwood Mac now.
CS: Mick, is it right now just the thought of touring together and seeing how that chemistry gels, but also writing and new music, and looking forward to this being another chapter in the long lifetimes as you like to say, of bands and musicians?
MF: All of the above. Right now we’re going into rehearsals at the beginning of August. I’ll actually be there a little bit before, just working with all the guitar players with me and John and stuff.
But truly I don’t think we can keep the horse in the trap so to speak, when it comes to Christine and Stevie. They’re still connected to everything again you know about – writing and having a whole new approach to it. But Mike as you well know is hugely conversant with production and in truth has written way more than I ever, ever knew. And he’s worked with Stevie, writing and producing, and a lot of stuff that Stevie did through the years with Tom and of course The Heartbreakers.
And Neil is a given – just a hugely connected songwriter, that really covers a huge emotive gamut… All of that is to look forward to and I truly believe that that will happen. I’m hoping that we can throw out a couple of ‘calling cards’ before we go out on the road. Not quite sure that we can apply ourselves to do that, but all of that is to look forward to and it’s hugely important, whichever way you look at it, for a band is to remain being creative, not treading water, and this is definitely not treading water. We’re all in a new world.
(The moment that was ‘turning point’ in deciding to go ahead.)
It was a huddle really. It was a team huddle of the existing band members to really not panic and to do anything other than really following our hearts as to what this meant, which was huge, you know, any which way you look at it. And once we had galvanised that approach among the four remaining folks, the ladies and the guys in the band, we took the bull by the horns to go forward.
And it was really as simple as that, but it certainly took, as I mentioned earlier, a real meaningful breath, and all of us probably in our various ways came to that decision that we want to, we need to, we feel good about it. And then it was like, and now what do we do? Which was humungous. We’re looking forward to putting on an incredibly vibrant show that is truly groundbreaking for us, and that’s about as good as it can get, for a musician to be in that sort of non complacent place.