Lindsey Buckingham hasn't always felt comfortable balancing Fleetwood Mac with his individual releases. "There was a period of time where there was a level of frustration because the Fleetwood Mac agenda seemed to loom a lot larger . . . I would try to put together material [for] a solo album and there would be some kind of intervention," he tells Rolling Stone, laughing at the last part. "If you are gonna participate in a band, you've got to be a band member in good standing, and you've got to think about the needs of the whole."
The past few years have been kinder to the singer-guitarist's solo wanderlust. Following the release of Fleetwood Mac's last album, 2003's Say You Will, Buckingham requested time off from the folk greats to work on music alone and released an album, Seeds We Sow, last year. This month, he concludes a solo acoustic tour and digitally releases a live album on November 13th. (Rolling Stone will premiere one cut, Fleetwood Mac's "Big Love," next week.) After that, he will return to the Fleetwood fold for the band's massive 2013 tour.
"[In] the last eight or nine years, I've had a lot of growth. I sort of caught up on the need to explore the more esoteric side of the palette," Buckingham explains. "Fleetwood Mac is gonna start rehearsing probably the beginning of February and I'm actually looking forward to it. I miss those guys."
Buckingham is also interested in recording with the band again, a project he says is on the "back burner" for now but not overruled. "Absolutely, absolutely I would," he says of creating a new album. "In fact, about six, seven months ago, John [McVie] and Mick [Fleetwood] were over here and we actually cut some tracks, and we did enough for maybe half an album. But you gotta get Stevie [Nicks] on board with that, and at the time, she was really quite caught up in what she was doing . . . but I would love to do that because John and Mick were playing their asses off."
Still, his band's famously contentious dynamic has left Buckingham with a sense of humor, not to mention an appreciation for other argumentative artists. "Sometimes I wish we were the Eagles. That's one thing they've always been able to do is want the same thing for the same reasons," Buckhingham says with a dry laugh. "They probably don't share the same sensibilities as people and they may not spend much time together, but somehow they're able to put that aside and get on with the business of doing business, and there's something to be said for that."