In a live radio interview on Tuesday night to promote the upcoming release of his own solo album, “Crosseyed Heart,” the 71-year-old rock icon said he and his bandmates – Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood – were ready to return to the studio.
“I was in London last week, and the boys and I got together, and yeah, there are now definitely plans to record,” Richards said during the iHeartRadio broadcast. The studio session would follow the Stones’ planned South American tour early next year.
The resulting album would mark the longest interval – at least 11 years – between new studio sets by the Stones, whose last album of freshly recorded material was the 2005 release “A Bigger Bang.”
Richards, who was touring North America with the band until mid-July, is due to release “Crosseyed Heart,” his first solo album in more than 20 years, on Friday.
The set, a mixture of rock, reggae and country music, features Richards playing electric and acoustic guitars, bass and piano, as well as singing. It also includes collaborations with vocalist Norah Jones, keyboardist Ian Neville and guitarist Waddy Wachtel.
Richards wrote most of the songs on the album with drummer and co-producer Steve Jordan.
Asked in a separate interview posted Wednesday by the rock music and pop culture website The Quietus whether the Stones ever came close to calling it quits as a group, Richards said, “Never … They just hibernate. There’s never been any sort of talk of splitting.”