LOS ANGELES Fleetwood Mac frontman Lindsey Buckingham has finished work on his third solo album in six years, a project he expects to release in September and promote with a tour.
The album, "Seeds We Sow," will also be his first outside the Warner Bros. family. Buckingham told Reuters that he was unhappy with its handling of his solo projects, and he was now considering teaming up with a new label or going the DIY route with an independent promotion team.
Fleetwood Mac is also a free agent after more than 40 years at Warner Bros., Buckingham said. The Anglo-American rock icons last released an album in 2003 and were the ninth biggest touring act in 2009 with U.S. ticket sales of $55 million, according to Pollstar.
Buckingham, 61, said Fleetwood Mac will continue to tour and record. Given classic-rock audiences' disdain for hearing new music in concert, he said he enjoys the creative challenge of giving old favorites a new sheen on stage.
Despite a busy family life, Buckingham has also been on a creative tear in his solo career, releasing albums in 2006 and 2008, and touring to promote both of them. Before then, he had not released a solo album since 1992's "Out of the Cradle."
Coincidentally, he said "Seeds We Sow" will be similar in tone to "Out of the Cradle," which received a rapturous critical response but was a relatively poor seller.
ANOTHER STONES COVER
The title track opens the album. "I don't think anyone's gonna take that for a radio song because it's just voice and acoustic guitar and there's a lot of that on the record," he said. "It runs the gamut. There's some lead playing, there's a little bit of everything on there."
As he did on 2006's "Under the Skin," he covers an obscure Rolling Stones song, this time "She Smiled Sweetly" from the band's 1967 album "Between the Buttons." He previously reworked their 1966 tune "I Am Waiting."
Buckingham said he was a fan of the Stones' experimental recordings with original leader Brian Jones, an ill-fated virtuoso with whom he shares a musical versatility.
He recorded "Seeds We Sow" at his home studio in Los Angeles, playing most of the instruments and mixing it himself while fulfilling his obligations as the married father of three preteens.
While there is no theme to the album, his late-in-life domesticity inevitably means songs "get filtered through looking at the world a little differently, perhaps a little more philosophically."
Buckingham will take a break from laying the groundwork for the album when he appears at the annual ASCAP "I Create Music" Expo for musicians and songwriters in Hollywood on April 29. His Q&A with pop singer Sara Bareilles will follow the presentation of the performing rights group's Golden Note Award for career achievement.
"Maybe I'll take a guitar and a little amp and do a little picking on stage," he said.
But he warned attendees not to ask him technical questions related to publishing and licensing. And maybe not to tax him too much with tips for songwriting.
"I don't really think of myself so much as a writer as a stylist, someone who came into writing from the back door and has found it through a certain very specific and personal means. It's all about what you do with the style. Hopefully I'll have something good to say. We'll see."
(Editing by Jill Serjeant)