Next year's tour has inspired Fleetwood Mac to create some new music to go with it.
Steve Nicks tells Billboard that they have recorded three songs for release before they hit the road April 4 in Columbus, Ohio, for a 34-city trek that concludes June 12 in Detroit. Two of the tunes, "Sad Angela" and "Miss Fantasy," stem from sessions guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood held earlier this year, while Nicks describes the third as "an old Buckingham-Nicks song that, really, we can't either one of us figure out why it didn't go on the record."
The songs were recorded in November at Buckingham's home studio while the quartet had gathered to discuss tour plans.
"We wanted to have something to put out before we go out, January or February, in whatever way you do that -- iTunes or something," explains Nicks, who says she doesn't own a computer or spend time on the Internet. "And since nobody really cares about albums anymore, if you can come up with two or three great songs and just put them out there ... people can at least hear how we sound today when it comes to actually recording."
And she's confident Mac fans will like what they hear.
"These songs sound like they're 30," she declares. "It's really wild to me. It blows my mind. Because we've never stopped, our voices and everything ... We sound extremely young to me because when you keep working, things don't change."
Since the group's last tour in 2009, Nicks released her seventh studio album, "In Your Dreams," and made a documentary about its recording that has been shown at several film festivals. Buckingham also released a solo album, "Seeds We Sow," and toured both with a band and completely solo, the latter producing the new digital album "Lindsey Buckingham: One Man Show." Fleetwood released an album, "Blue Again," with his Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, opened Fleetwood's on Front Street restaurant and bar in Maui and launched a wine brand, Mick Fleetwood's Private Cellar. McVie, meanwhile, enjoyed passing the time also residing in Hawaii.
"People always tend to say, 'So, you broke up in 2009 ...,'" Nicks notes. "We didn't break up. We never break up. We just take a break and do our own things, and when it's time (to work as Fleetwood Mac) everybody's ready, and that makes it really special and something everybody looks forward to. It's like a big, fantastic Halloween party when you haven't been to a Halloween party in three years."
Nicks acknowledges that the group had initially planned to tour in 2012 but she wanted more time to promote "In Your Dreams." And, she adds, "a band like Fleetwood Mac needs to be out of the spotlight for three years ... because when we come back it's an event. I think that's very important. You didn't just see us a year and a half ago, so when there's a lot of famous bands out and a lot of important people out, you're going to make a choice of which ticket to buy, and if you've not seen one of the bands in three years, that's gonna be the top of the list."
Nicks says the band members have started discussing their repertoire for the 2013 dates, knowing they have "about 10 songs, the hit songs that we have to play, and that leaves us 10 more. So you start looking at the catalog and going through 'Tusk,' through 'Rumours,' through 'Fleetwood Mac' and 'Mirage' and 'Tango in the Night,' and you start finding a few songs everybody's wanted to do but never actually suggested. Then you start weeding it down from 30, 40 songs on the board and pretty soon you start to see the 20 songs" that will comprise the show. Nicks adds that she expects to perform "Soldier's Angel," the "In Your Dreams" track that features Buckingham.
"It really has become a staple in my set, and I think it's going to become a staple in Fleetwood Mac's set also," she says. "And it gives me a chance to give my little speech about how if everybody out there ever sat on the bed of an injured soldier, you would dig deep into your pocket and send five bucks a month or whatever you can to Wounded Warriors or the Walter Reed Society or the U.S.O. Without that song I couldn't just say, 'All right, everybody, listen up' and start talking about the wounded warriors. So this song gives me a platform to do that, and I think Fleetwood Mac will be happy for me to do that."