"I’m not Nostradamus": Keith Richards on the future of The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones
(Image credit: Mark Seliger)

The Rolling Stones will release their 24th studio album, the already much-acclaimed Hackney Diamonds, on October 27. According to guitarist Keith Richards, speaking in a new interview with the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, the legendary rock 'n' roll band will tour the album next year “if everybody’s still standing”. 

And after that?

“My answer to that is: I’m not Nostradamus,” says The Human Riff.

“Of course, it’s going to end, sometime,” Richards acknowledges.“Everybody’s in good fettle – there’s no particular rush. We’re having great fun doing this, and this is what we do.”

In his Today interview, Richards credits Mick Jagger as being the catalyst for the band to record new music: the Stones' last album, 2016’s Blue & Lonesome, consisted of blues covers, while their last album of original material, A Bigger Bang, was released back in 2005.

“Mick was the pusher,” Richards says. “On the end of the last tour, for the first time, he hit me in the right spot. He said, ‘I’ve always wanted to record the band as soon as they get off of the road as possible, because they’re a band that is lubricated.”

“Mick, given a song that he’s not really interested in can really make it bad,” Richards adds. “That’s maybe one of the reasons it took 18 years – because Mick’s waves of enthusiasm come and go.”

Hackney Diamonds features Paul McCartney playing bass on Bite My Head Off, Elton John playing piano on Get Close, and Live by the Sword, and Lady Gaga and Stevie Wonder on the gospel-infused single Sweet Sounds of Heaven. Live By The Sword and Mess It Up feature drum tracks recorded by late Stones drummer Charlie Watts back in 2019.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.