Minus Stevie Nicks, the band are recording ‘blues-based’ and ‘commercial’ songs in the studio in which they made Tusk
Fleetwood Mac have almost finished eight songs for a possible new album. The new recordings feature Christine McVie but not yet Stevie Nicks, who has been absent due to other commitments. “The chemistry was just unbelievable,” Lindsey Buckingham has said.
Minus Nicks, Fleetwood Mac spent two months at Village Recorder studio, in Los Angeles, working in the same room in which they recorded their 1979 album Tusk. “We’re all very excited about [the new music],” Buckingham told Billboard in a recent interview. “Knowing me, I’m going to be pushing for a double album.” Though eight tracks are “75% done”, they are now putting the sessions on pause as McVie returns home to England. The group will reunite for live rehearsals at the end of July, ahead of their world tour, and are unlikely to release anything before 2015.
“Fleetwood Mac always take a long time to make a record,” McVie said. The group is writing songs without Nicks, with Buckingham and McVie collaborating on material that Buckingham had previously worked on with Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. “Obviously, there are parts for Stevie to sing on all of these songs, which she will do eventually,” Christine McVie said.
Titles for the new tunes include Carnival Begin and Red Sun, and they range from “sort of blues-based songs to very commercial songs”. McVie said: “Before I got to LA, Lindsey and I had been ping-ponging ideas on computers. I’d send him my very, very rough, funky demos and he … sent them back to me with him playing guitar and they started to turn into really lovely ideas … We get chills when we hear them.”
McVie is working with Fleetwood Mac for the first time since 1995, and has no plans to leave. She’s in “for perpetuity”, she has said. Now the band are waiting to learn whether their fans have an appetite for new material. Their 2013 EP, Extended Play, recorded without McVie, reached only No 125 on the UK album chart. “We’ll have to see how much clamour there is,” Buckingham said. “That may inform our decisions one way or the other.”