It’s easy to forget that Fleetwood Mac’s self-titled 1975 album, the one with “Rhiannon” and “Say You Love Me,” wasn’t their first—it was their 15th. The reason for the band’s commercial breakthrough is largely attributed to the introduction of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks to the lineup. But this was one fucked up Brady Bunch, and it wasn’t long before Buckingham decided to “go his own way.”
SO YOU WERE BORN IN PALO ALTO AND WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL WITH STEVIE NICKS? I AM FROM THERE, TOO!
Oh really? So we’re a couple of rich kids, huh? I had an idyllic childhood. Then Stevie and I moved down to LA to pursue a career in music with the band we were with at the time. It’s a city that doesn’t inherently make sense, you know. LA is kind of a mess.
YOU ARE SELF-TAUGHT AND DON’T READ MUSIC. HOW ELSE IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH MUSIC IS SPECIAL?
My first instrument was the ukulele. And I would say that music has defined me rather than changed me. I was part of a time. You know, Elvis and what was going on at Haight and Ashbury. Rock and roll. I would be in my room plucking along to records for hours at a time. I think my parents were wondering: “What is wrong with Lindsey?”
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR COMPOSITIONAL PROCESS.
I don’t think of myself as a writer of songs, but as a stylist. Like a painter painting, I go into a sort of meditative place. In my solo productions, I am playing multiple instruments. So I am working with a blank canvas. If you allow yourself to be an antenna, the work just comes to you.
HOW MUCH OF YOUR SONGS ARE AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL?
Well, I think it’s impossible as an artist not to infuse your work with your own experience and point of view. For example, when we made Rumours, Christine and John were going through divorce and Stevie and I were breaking up. Even if we thought the songs we were making were generic, years later we realized what they were all about.
WHAT IS “BLEED TO LOVE HER” ABOUT?
It was about someone I knew a long time ago, who was very elusive with her emotions. I felt like I was bleeding all over the place. But you can’t force someone to take emotional risks, it just didn’t happen.
WHAT WAS “GO YOUR OWN WAY” ABOUT? JUST KIDDING. WHERE DID THE MATERIAL FOR THE NEW CD, GIFT OF SCREWS, COME FROM?
There’s been sort of a pattern that, as I’m poised to release solo work or in the process, the band will come in and “intervene.” This is more experimental and less acoustic than my solo album from last year. There are a few songs that are older that were stragglers, waiting to find a home.