30 minutes with…
Thurs 1st June 2017
The guitarist talks about how Christine McVie – with whom he has recorded a duet album – rejoined the band
Hello Lindsey. Where are you? I’m in London and it’s quite hot.
I’m in Los Angeles and you’d think it would be hotter, but it’s actually quite cool.
What have you done so far today?
I’ve got three kids who are all in the last couple of weeks of school so my wife and I got up, had coffee and breakfast, and got the kids off to school. I went out and took my morning walk up a hill and down to get the blood going, then had a shower, and immediately got on the phone to do interviews.
Now here we are.
Here we are. A little bit later, I’m off to rehearsals. We’ve got a couple of Fleetwood Mac festival shows, but they’re interspersed with Christine and I doing a few dates – we’re starting off by doing 20 or so shows.
Let’s talk a bit about your new album with Christine  before I subtly manoeuvre the conversation on to demanding information about the new Fleetwood Mac album. A lot of it was done remotely, is that right?
Well, only initially. It was done in stages – before Christine decided to rejoin Fleetwood Mac, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and I had gone into the studio, just the three of us, to cut some of my songs. We put that material on the shelf. A year after that, Christine phoned up Mick and was nosing around about wanting to rejoin the band.
Yes! I don’t think she assumed we’d necessarily be OK with it — we had been doing quite well as a four-piece. I think she was trying to nose around to see if there was any openness to it before she got too assertive or specific about it.  I had to have a conversation with Christine and say: “Well, we’d love you to come back, but you can’t leave again.” She told me she’d been reconnecting with her creative muse and had some rough ideas she sent to me – I, of course, took great liberties with them in my studio. And she was interested in these songs I’d been working on, and Mick and John thought it would be good to bring her over early and cut tracks on some of these things. It was unbelievable. We only expected to do it for a couple of weeks but we stayed for a month. Nobody was saying it was a duet album – we didn’t care what it was!
So riddle-me-ree: given that this album has involvement from so many members of the band, how many songs could have been Fleetwood Mac songs?
That’s sort of a question you can’t answer …
Have a go.
Well, defining something being a Fleetwood Mac song is calling it a Fleetwood Mac song, you know? Nothing becomes Fleetwood Mac until that’s what you call it. The thing that defines this duet album as being a duet album is that it has elements of what I’ve learned over the last 15 years and brought to my own work, which is away from the palette of Fleetwood Mac. But there’s also a heart that exists by the symmetry of being only the two of us.