Q&A with The Ultimate Fleetwood Mac Cover Band, Tusk

Tusk, the ultimate Fleetwood Mac cover band will be playing at 10 p.m. Saturday at The Joint, 535 E. Third St.

Dedicated to covering songs from one of the most influential bands in music history, Tusk will bring its own spin on the songs that have been played and sampled by musicians from many different genres across the board.

Recently, the Sun-Gazette caught up with Scott McDonald, who plays the role of Lindsey Buckingham. Tusk consists of dedicated and talented musicians: Kathy Phillips as singer Stevie Nicks; Kim Williams as singer and keyboardist Christine McVie; Randy Artiglere on bass guitar in the role of John McVie; Tom Nelson as the drummer, filling the role of Mick Fleetwood; and McDonald.

BETHANY WIEGAND: What brought the group together other than a love of Fleetwood Mac?

SCOTT McDONALD: We had crossed paths many times in our local music scene, playing with each other in bands and recording on each other’s original music CDs. We are all great friends and have a fantastic time together.

BW: Other than Fleetwood Mac being a celebrated band, what made you want to dedicate a band to covering their songs?

SM: The fact that we already loved and performed their music on our own in separate shows made it easy to come together and perform as a group. We are true fans and never get tired of performing their songs.

BW: What other musicians do you draw from for inspiration?

SM: We all have individual tastes but we love The Beatles, Billy Joel, Tom Petty, Queen, The Eagles … many of the bands from that same era. We love good melodies and hooks and great musicianship and singing.

BW: Obviously, as a cover band, you’re playing songs that aren’t originally by you. Do you put your own spin on the songs? Or do you stick close to the original song?

SM: We allow ourselves room to mold certain songs and parts into our own.

We also realize that most people who come to our shows love the original versions of the songs and want to hear them done that way. We try to change parts of our show every few months so those who come more than once get something different.

BW: I have to ask this. What is your personal favorite Fleetwood Mac song to play?

SM: I love playing “The Chain.” It is so powerful and encompasses all the elements of our band and how we play together.

BW: If Fleetwood Mac never existed, what other band would you love to cover?

SM: That’s an interesting question … probably The Beatles or Queen.

BW: What have been some of the exciting venues and experiences that you’ve had on the road?

SM: We just recently performed a two-night stand at the Mauch Chunk Opera House. Both nights were amazing, with the second night being the biggest crowd in the venue’s history. On top of the that, Jeffery Gaines opened both shows and asked us to come out and play “In Your Eyes” with him each night to close his set. That was really incredible!

BW: What can audiences expect from your performance at The Joint?

SM: We will be performing all the songs people know and love with a few surprises. We also showcase each individual in the band by performing some songs as duos and trios. We are very excited to bring our show to Williamsport.

BW: What is in store for Tusk in the future? Do you have any upcoming projects ahead of you?

SM: We just released our first live “TUSK CD,” which we are selling at all shows. We are also about to complete our first CD of all original music which should be out by the fall of 2013. The title of that project is Stockton Bridge. We have many upcoming shows and look forward to performing for everyone all over the country.

For more information on Tusk and listen to their covers, visit www.fleetwoodmactribute.com.