Fleetwood Mac will definitely be touring in 2012. Just don’t ask anybody for any firm details yet.
“We’re so disorganized as a band, I don’t know what to tell you,” drummer and co-founder Mick Fleetwood tells Billboard.com with a laugh. “All we know is we’re working next year. I’ll get a phone call that we’re going to start rehearsing — usually in a blind panic because we leave everything (until) way too late. But we’re all up for touring in the early summer of next year, I think, and once we start we’re much like U2 and the (Rolling) Stones in terms of workload. We basically play until no one wants to book us anymore.”
Singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, who’s currently on the road promoting his new solo album “Seeds We Sow,” adds that, “There has been nothing, no time frame yet of any kind. We’re just gonna have to wait until probably the first of the year to sit down and figure out some kind of schedule for that.”
The trek, Fleetwood Mac’s first since its Unleashed Tour in 2009, will follow both Buckingham’s album as well as Stevie Nicks‘ “In Your Dreams,” which came out in May and features both Buckingham and Fleetwood. Buckingham says that “there’s been talk about doing another Fleetwood Mac album,” but Fleetwood feels that’s an unlikely scenario, at least before the tour.
“On the face of it we won’t have time to make an album, which is somewhat of a shame,” he notes. “But I think what we can do, and I hope it does happen, is we can get in and have fun doing two or three (songs), which is so ‘now’ with all the Internet stuff and people shoving out EPs and separate tracks. So that would probably be our best effort to get three or four new songs before we go out on the road, which I really hope we do.”
Buckingham adds that he’s “into whatever the group wisdom would dictate,” but as Fleetwood Mac’s longtime co-producer he says that he might be willing to hand over those reins for whatever recording project the group would undertake. “I think it might be interesting to get maybe an outside producer in — not that I wouldn’t be hammering on him,” Buckingham says. “But still, someone who could sort of deal with the politics and the overview, I would think, would make my job a lot easier.”
Even if new material doesn’t transpire, however, Fleetwood and his bandmates, including bassist and co-founder John McVie, are confident they have the goods from Fleetwood Mac’s 44-year recording catalog to keep people coming out for the shows.
“The (Unleashed) tour was the only tour we’ve done, ever, where we didn’t have a new album,” Fleetwood says. “So we actually had a ball really delving into our portfolio of songs and pulled out a few songs that weren’t necessarily super, super well-known, and to us they felt like new songs. We got refreshed in terms of the way we present our music, and (the fans) loved it. We are blessed with having so much (music) that, in theory, we never stand a chance of being bored because even though the songs are 30 years old or more, there are so many of them that have never played on stage. That’s a blessing to have.”
Next year will also mark the 35th anniversary of Fleetwood Mac’s landmark “Rumours” album as well, but Buckingham says there’s been no discussion yet about doing something special to commemorate that. “Warner Bros. has certainly done its share of rehashing that particular album and reissuing it in various forms,” he says. “I could see it as being a bit of a challenge to find another way to do it but, y’know, anything’s possible. I’m open to whatever, really.”
Buckingham currently has dates booked in North America and the U.K. until the end of the year and may add more for early 2012. Stevie Nicks plays three California shows in October, then heads to Australia in November. And while he waits for Fleetwood Mac to reactivate, Fleetwood is partnering with Cabo Wabo Tequila for a new music and conversation program called “Off The Record.” Fleetwood and singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins filmed the first episode during August in his home base of Maui, where he’s opening a new club, Fleetwood’s On Front, this fall. The episode will premiere Oct. 11 on Cabo Wabo’s YouTube page, with a sneak preview posting in late September.