Lindsey Buckingham Talks Fleetwood Mac Tour, New EP
It's been exactly a decade since Fleetwood Mac released a full album, but that hasn't stopped a new generation of fans from discovering the band. "We're doing the best business we've done in 20 years," guitarist Lindsey Buckingham tells Rolling Stone a few hours before the Tulsa, Oklahoma stop on the band's latest tour. "There seems to be a cyclical re-igniting of interests, and there's certainly a lot more young people out there than three years ago."
Months before they started tour rehearsal, the band cut a four-song EP titled Extended Play with producer Mitchell Froom. "When we finally decided this was going to be the year we were going to tour again, I thought it would be great to cut some new stuff," says Buckingham. "I knew we wouldn't have time to cut a new album. Stevie [Nicks] was still caught up in her solo thing, but I got John [McVie] and Mick [Fleetwood] over from Hawaii. They played their asses off. It was a great experience."
Stevie Nicks arrived at the sessions towards the end, and Buckingham presented her with "Sad Angel." "I wrote that song for Stevie," he says. "She always had to fight for everything. She was coming off a solo album and was in the process of reintegrating herself mentally in the band, and we're all warriors with a sword in one sort or another. She and I have known each other since high school. So I just wrote, 'Sad Angel have you come to fight the war/We fall to earth together, the crowd calling out for more.'"
Like many of the group's greatest songs, "Sad Angel" reflects on Lindsey and Stevie's complex relationship. "All these years later, we are still writing songs that are dialogues for each other," he says. "That was part of the appeal of Rumours, and of the group in general . . . Of all the things we cut, 'Sad Angel' was, for lack of a better term, the most Fleetwood Mac-y. It was really kind of the best stuff that we have done in a while."
They also recorded "Without You," a song that's roughly 40 years old. "Stevie and I had a little disagreement over when it was written," Buckingham says. "It definitely predates our involvement in Fleetwood Mac. I believe it was written when we were in the process of culling material for a possible second Buckingham-Nicks album, before we were dropped by Polydor. She claims it was written earlier, but I'm not so sure. But it's a very sweet song that really harkens back to a time when we were far more innocent. She's writing to me and it's about our relationship, when we'd only been together for a very short time."
Stevie Nicks says that she rediscovered the song on YouTube. "I'm not really sure how it resurfaced," says Buckingham. "She brought it in one day and she brought it by my house. John and Mick didn't really work on that. There's kind of an appropriateness in doing something that predates Fleetwood Mac, because at this stage in time Stevie and I have more of a connection than we've had for a while. That's a nice thing."