eUniverse Interview, May 1, 2001

TC: Hey it's eUniverse Live for May 1st, 2001, and it's your good friend, it's your pal -- I try to be, at least -- it's TC everybody, how you doing today? What's going on on the big show... well I remember a couple months ago, when I heard the news that Stevie Nicks' brand new album was coming into stores on May 1st, I thought wouldn't it be cool to get Stevie Nicks on the show for May 1st? And the fine folks at Warner Brothers set this up for us, because actually it's also my birthday today, so it's kind of a birthday present from Warner Brothers, and Stevie herself! She's on the big show. I can't wait to talk to her. We're going to hear from Stevie in just two shakes of a monkey's bum, we're going to talk about the brand new album, Trouble in Shangri-La, in stores today, make sure you go out and pick up a copy, it is fabulous in my humble opinion, I love it, I've been listening to it for a couple weeks now. Great stuff, I mean it's stuff for everybody, whether you like the slow songs or the fast Stevie songs, very great stuff. Plus we're going to hear a couple of the new tracks, Every Day and Planets of the Universe, so without further ado let's just get to it. That's what's going on on eUniverse Live today. Now let's talk to the legendary Stevie Nicks.

[Ads. Intro to Planets plays.]

TC: And the big show continues. Guess who's on the big show? It's Stevie Nicks. How you doing? You been busy lately?

Stevie Nicks: I have done, you know, I have answered questions, I've been doing interviews for weeks. And it's like I'm getting to a point now where I'm sitting in my, I have a wonderful view of the ocean and I'm sitting in my really comfortable chair and I could just like, talk all day! [Laughs] Because I'm comfortable, you know? So Karen comes in, "Give me the phone, you've had 15 minutes, you have to go on to the next one!" So... I've been having fun, I've been enjoying it, it's like I, you know, get to actually talk to people who've actually heard some of the record, it's trippy for me. Cause it's not out, you know, so the only people that have actually heard it are you guys.

TC: Yeah, I've heard it, and I really like it.

Stevie Nicks: Oh, thank you.

TC: A couple of my favorite tracks are, ironically, I seem to like all the songs written by you more than the other songs.

Stevie Nicks: Well thank you, that's a good sign. I'm always happy about that!

TC: But my favorite songs are the title track, Planets of the Universe, and Fall From Grace.

Stevie Nicks: Well, see, you definitely pick John Shanks as producer then.

TC: Yeah, I've noticed that too.

Stevie Nicks: Mm-hmm, and that's great, because, I picked him too, you know, it's like thank God for John Shanks. I... if I hadn't have met John, I don't know what I would have done because, I, he sent me a song, he sent me Every Day, and I think it lived in its CD holder on my assistant's desk for a couple weeks, and I walked by one day and just saw it laying there, and I thought, "Hmm, Every Day. Hmm, Buddy Holly. Could be..." And I played it, which, you know, I, slim to none that I'm going to play anybody else's songs. So, I did, I played it and I liked it, and I went over and met him that day and put the vocal on the song as it is, today, and... started, then I, the first song we did was Planets after that, and then I think we did Trouble in Shangri-La, and then we did Bombay Sapphire, and then I re-did Bombay Sapphire by myself, and then we did Fall From Grace, so it was like, thank God for John.

TC: Yeah. So this is the first time you've ever worked with him?

Stevie Nicks: Mm-hmm. I just met him, I mean I just, you know, met him at his house, did the song, and then just, you know, showed him like one song and thought maybe he might be able to do, maybe, one more song for me and it just, we just kinda kept all the songs that I hadn't recorded yet, that I wanted to do, he liked. And nobody else had understood. So it was like, in two different ways, he's a wonderful producer and a wonderful musician and a wonderful guitar player, but also, he saw something in these songs. Fall From Grace almost didn't get recorded. Planets of the Universe, very close to not getting recorded. Because they're kinda complicated. In my very simple way. And it was, Sheryl Crow did not understand those two songs. And she admits it full on, you know, thank God for John. She says. Because we just didn't kinda know what to do. And, he did. And that's the fork in the road where songs almost don't make a record, you know?

TC: Right. I know, I thought the first single was going to be Fall From Grace cause I saw you do that on the Blockbuster Awards and I'm like all psyched up, but then I hear it's not actually Fall From Grace for the first single.

Stevie Nicks: Well, the reason that we did Fall From Grace at the Blockbusters was because they wanted people to like do, they wanted me to do a duet. And since Fall From Grace was a duet, kind of a duet, since Sheryl sings on all the choruses with me, we just thought it would be trippy to do that hard of a rock song for a, awards ceremony. And that's totally our reason for doing that was the, just to go in there and play a, for a room full of movie stars play a really hard rock and roll song. And it was jamming, it was really fun! [Laughs]

TC: Yeah, it was great, I've always loved your rock stuff more than probably the ballad stuff.

Stevie Nicks: Right. Well I love it too, I mean, and that's, you know, when I wrote Fall From Grace, it was like my mission to write a really fast-moving, car-driving song. And that was the last thing I wrote for this record. And the last thing that was recorded.

TC: So Planets of the Universe is the first single and it's going to rock radio, right?

Stevie Nicks: Right.

TC: Did you think rock radio's gonna be receptive to your music? I know, when I think of Stevie Nicks I think of one of the legendary, you know, musicians of all time. However, rock and even top 40 radio is changed so much in the last 20 years, you know?

Stevie Nicks: It's very different, you know? I mean, I gotta tell you, I just don't know, you know? I don't know. I really, I don't think I could write a single if you paid me a million dollars in cash. I don't really even know what a single is, you know? So I just have to hope and pray that on the merit of these songs one comes through. And gets onto the radio.

TC: But Every Day, I'd assume Every Day will do very well at top 40 and adult contemporary, you know?

Stevie Nicks: I hope! I hope so, you know? That's, like, that's a... it is not easy to get on the radio, I mean, I, you know, if I get some, some music on the radio this time, I will be just so completely knocked out, I can't even tell you, because it is hard. The competition is very very stiff, and, it's tough.

TC: Do you think it boils down to the record labels and how much influence they put on the radio stations, and your MTV and your VH1?

Stevie Nicks: I think if they're all behind you, you have a whole lot more chance. I think that many, there have been many albums that have come out in, over the years that were really good that did not make it because nobody got behind it. I have, you know, I mean I have been, I love my record company. Reprise has been wonderful to me. I have been spoonfeeding them this record for years. I've been sending them the demos, you know [laughs], they've had all the demos of every single song, and of every time I recorded it, you know, the first time it was recorded I sent everything over [laughs], so, these people have been listening to these songs for a long time.

TC: I would kind of compare you to Aerosmith a couple of months ago, they seemed to be everywhere, and in some ways you seemed to be everywhere and...

Stevie Nicks: And the record isn't even out!

TC: Yeah, obviously radio got behind Aerosmith's first single and made it a top ten single. So, I don't know, hopefully that will happen...

Stevie Nicks: Well, you know, every time a band from the old guard makes it, it's just better for me. You know, it's like when U2's record came out, was doing really well, I'm going "Yeah! Right on! It's happening!" And same with Aerosmith, you know, it's like, because, I mean for goodness sake, you know we, we won't be around forever. So if everybody wants to enjoy and learn from us, they better do it now, because in another ten years, the old guard, so to speak, is going to be not wanting to do this anymore. You know? So I really do feel like we're like all kind of teaching vehicles right now, you know? I mean, I keep waiting for the new Eric Clapton to come along. I do. You know, every time I turn on MTV or VH1 or MT2 or any of those things or listen to the radio I'm going, "Ok, I'm waiting for the new Aerosmith, I'm waiting for the new Eric, I'm waiting for the new Fleetwood Mac." You know? And I'm starting to hear some things that are promising. And I feel like rock and roll is kinda coming back.

TC: Yeah, I think it's really come back in the last year...

Stevie Nicks: You know? And, it's, definitely. It seems to me, on all of the, like on MT2 where they're putting the, playing videos that aren't on yet, kinda, you can just kind of see that there is definitely a lot of good rock and roll. I'm pleased.

TC: What do you think of a band like Creed with that 70's and kind of 80's guitar sound with, you know, updated production? Are you a fan of that band, or...

Stevie Nicks: I, you know what, I, I like some of their songs. Of course I love the fact that they're just a rock and roll band, you know? I never really thought about it like that, as an, like, they're like an old rock band, in 2001. I think, it really all goes back to the songs. I think, if, if you can get a following and you have some great songs, you have a chance. And I think their songs are good, that 'take you there' song, you know that one, I like that song, and the song about his first baby, I like that song too. So, that lives, that becomes immortal. You know? And it's like, I mean, I know the words. And I really didn't ever go and buy that record but I know the words to both of those songs. So that's a very good sign, you know?

TC: Wouldn't it be kind of ironic if Candlebright, a song that I read that you wrote in 1970 with Lindsey Buckingham, became a hit?

Stevie Nicks: Wouldn't that be.

TC: In like 2002 or 2001.

Stevie Nicks: That was on one of our, that was on the group of 12 songs that Lindsey and I moved to Los Angeles with. That is one of the songs that we got our Buckingham Nicks deal with Polydor. That was written, I mean, that was written... Lindsey lived at home with mom and dad when I wrote that song. And I lived in a little apartment in Santa Fe cause my mom and dad had just moved to Chicago and I didn't want to go. So I, or I would have still been living at home. So it's like that really is, Candlebright is really, I think, the premonition of all time song. Because I had no idea. You know? I mean I always kind of thought I'd be famous but I didn't know, you know, the whole thing about traveling constantly, and keeping the, the candle in the window and, that whole idea. I didn't know anything about that.

TC: How many songs do you think are in your song vault?

Stevie Nicks: Many. Many, many, many. You know, because I was very prolific between 1970 and 1980. And there was only those three albums. You know, so it's like, and on an album then, how many songs, you know, three songs on, on Fleetwood Mac Fleetwood Mac, three songs on Rumours, five songs on Tusk? Well, I was writing constantly, you know? So I would have 30 songs. Of which maybe 15 would be demoed. And three would go on the record and then I'd have 12 songs left. So those would go into the song vault, so every time we'd do a record whether it's Fleetwood Mac or me, or whatever, there's the song vault songs, so, I just gave Lindsey 17 demos, of songs that go all the way back to the 70's, that he had never heard. [Laughs] That he had never heard! And he had no idea that, you know, because we don't live together anymore, he doesn't even realize that I still write like I did then. So it's, you know, it's, it seems that the songs are written, and then they go into a little hope chest and someday when the time is right they come out.

TC: Mm-hmm. Now, you're gonna be touring, right, this year?

Stevie Nicks: Yeah.

TC: That should be cool.

Stevie Nicks: That's gonna be very cool.

TC: Are you coming to Arizona, I would assume?

Stevie Nicks: Absolutely.

TC: That's cool. I actually, I, I missed the opportunity to see you... you had that benefit concert last year.

Stevie Nicks: Right, which was very magical.

TC: Was it?

Stevie Nicks: It was, it was one of those nights that I wish everybody I knew had been there.

TC: Wow. Yeah, I, and I saw that, yeah, Sheryl Crow was obviously there, Don Henley...

Stevie Nicks: Don, Lindsey. Chris Isaak. It was hysterical. It was a great show, it, it just ran like a top, it was like, we had been, it was like a, a rock and roll revival. It was great.

TC: Now, do you still live in Phoenix?

Stevie Nicks: Mm-hmm.

TC: Oh, okay. So, now, when the state fair came around, Don Henley came, and I was, I've never actually been to a concert where, like, somebody also famous showed up on stage, so I was like hoping, cause I kind of figured you lived in Phoenix, that you'd show up for Don's concert. But no dice. [Laughs]

Stevie Nicks: But, no. I don't do fairs. [Laughs] Yes I do. If necessary I do fairs too.

TC: So. Hey have you decided what new songs you're going to be doing on tour?

Stevie Nicks: I'm going to... When I go into rehearsal, I'm just going to have everybody learn every song. And then we'll spend the first two or three days, and we'll play all of them. And we'll get a very good feeling for what songs work. Fall From Grace we know works, Sorcerer we know works, Sheryl's little acoustic song It's Only Love we know works cause we just did these, I did a showcase where I did five new songs. And five old songs and it was really cool, because I just mooshed them all together, so it was like, it, I thought it was very hard to tell what was old and what was new. It flowed very well. So that made me really excited about this show because usually you can't put too many new songs in a set because people are kind of like, "Well I can't believe you took out Gold Dust Woman for your new songs that I don't know." So you have to be very careful. But, I really am gonna, I'm gonna go through all of them and, anything that will transfer well. Because sometimes songs don't transfer. Good example: Sara. The song Sara. Incredible record, one of my very favorite songs I ever wrote, did not transfer onto stage well at all. It became just kind of a long, boring song on stage.

TC: Really?

Stevie Nicks: Yep. And we, and we dropped it. Out of the set, we played it for two months, and we dropped it. So, you never know. So I'm going to work on this, and I'm going to make this show more built around Trouble in Shangri-La, than built around my whole entire past, and now also. I'm gonna really, I'm gonna make this a newer show.

TC: That's cool. Well, I've heard that you guys are gonna go back into the studio sometime after your tour, and actually record with Fleetwood Mac.

Stevie Nicks: Right.

TC: That should be very cool.

Stevie Nicks: It's, you know, it is cool. It's, it's kind of a, an interesting premise to think of Fleetwood Mac without Christine. Since it's her choice. You know, it's not our choice, it's her choice, we can't do anything about it. But, if you take Chris out of the mix, then you kind of take that synthesizer organ out of the mix. And then what happens? Then Fleetwood Mac goes back to being a much more guitar-oriented band. Which means that we can go back into a lot of things that we didn't do that much of. Blues, Buckingham Nicks. The fact that there is, you know, as soon as Chris and Lindsey and I started singing together, Lindsey's and my Don and Phil Everly thing went away. And it became a set of trio singers. So now it's not a trio, what has to happen, it has to go back to Lindsey and me. So I think this is a very interesting concept, this is exciting to me, because this is new. This is what Lindsey and I started out to do.

TC: So the new album, the new Fleetwood Mac next year would be all original material, then, right?

Stevie Nicks: Oh yeah. Absolutely.

TC: And then you guys would probably tour, and...

Stevie Nicks: And we'd absolutely tour because, you know, we all really would like to do this one more time. And, I've really decided that it's gonna happen and when I decide something's gonna happen, I'm gonna make it happen, you know, it will happen. And I'm like the little, you know, I'm the little peacekeeper, I'm talking to everybody and I'm making sure Lindsey's got the new songs and, it's like I'm building it now, you know, but I've been doing this for 100 years. Whenever I'm doing my solo work I'm always working on Fleetwood Mac too. And whenever I'm doing Fleetwood Mac, I'm always kind of working on my solo work, so for me it's all this one big project.

TC: All right, I appreciate the time and, you're one of my favorite performers of all time, so I'm honored to talk to you.

Stevie Nicks: Well thank you so much, so come to see the show cause it's gonna be rocking!

TC: Oh, I definitely will.

Stevie Nicks: Ok.

[Every Day plays]

TC: And a very special thanks goes out to Stevie Nicks. I gotta admit I was a little nervous talking to Stevie because I regard Stevie as one of the most talented people in music, EVER. So, you know it was kind of intimidating, but Stevie was a joy to talk to and of course the brand new album is Trouble in Shangri-La. I really dig it, been listening to it a lot, you know, I got the Creed CD, Human Clay, and then I've got Trouble in Shangri-La. Yoink, yoink, yoink, I've been going back and forth. And I've actually been listening to Stevie Nicks' greatest hits stuff too, cause I love If Anyone Falls, and of course, Edge of Seventeen. I always thought the name of that song was... "White Wing-oh". I thought it was "just like the white wing-oh." [Laughs] I don't know. Misheard lyrics of a lifetime, so, make sure you check out the brand new album in stores and available via your favorite eTailer, Trouble in Shangri-La, today also swing by the Stevie Nicks websites, there's one at Reprise Records, I'll post a link to it at, also, and finally,, and also I want to say very special thanks goes out to Rowe and Betty at Warner Bros. for setting that up, I appreciate it, very much and thank you guys, and also special thanks goes out to Tina who sets up all the guests on the big show and does a wonderful job and I'd also like to take time and tell her thanks because she certainly deserves it for the wonderful job that she does. There you go. I guess it's over, you know, it's been so fun talking to Stevie and the whole process around it, but, I guess we gotta move on now.


TC: Once again a big thanks goes out to Stevie Nicks, and a reminder, Trouble in Shangri-La in stores today, make sure you check it out.

Thanks to carolyn81 for posting this to The Ledge.