You can't always get what you want, but on this week's episode of the Q with Tom Power podcast, Tom gets the rare chance as a Canadian to chat with The Rolling Stones' enigmatic frontman, Mick Jagger, about the band's early days, their upcoming album, Hackney Diamonds, and Mick's rigid commitment to making sure they're always the biggest band in the world.
For the first time in close to two decades, The Rolling Stones have a brand new album on the way, Hackney Diamonds, which is by no means a throwback release, featuring all-star collaborations and contemporary urgency, while also marking their first collection of songs since the passing of drummer Charlie Watts.
The recording of the record, Mick admits, happened very quickly over the course of three to four weeks with the members "blasting it out" in the studio together, then mixed and mastered from different locations across the globe thanks to fast internet connections. "I think most indie bands make records like that," says Jagger. "What's easier is after you've chosen the takes and doing the overdubs and everything, editing, and stuff is so much easier now than it used to be."
"There's no tape; there hasn't been tape for ages. Not for 25 years we haven't used tape," Mick adds, although he admits, "On this album, we used tape for 'Rolling Stone Blues.' Just for fun, kind of... Just Keith and me, so we recorded it on 24-track tape."
The excitement has certainly been building within the band for the big reveal, and after the successful release of the album's lead single, "Angry," it's now just a matter of unveiling the final product to the world. "You never know," Mick says. "When you come out with something... the mood can be down on you maybe for some reason, but it's been a pretty positive reaction so far."
Mick also touched on the inclusion of late drummer Charlie Watts on the new album, which are older performances of his laid to tape for unfinished songs over the years. "I love both the tracks,' Mick explains. "I didn't just pick them because Charlie is on them... they're both contenders for this record."
"I knew him since I was 19," Jagger remembers of Watts. "I hung out a lot with Charlie, he was one of my close friends. Charlie and I had a lot of interests... We loved sport -- football and cricket -- Charlie and I used to go to cricket together a lot. We used to talk about football... Charlie was very knowledgeable of that. He used to play football when he was a kid. Pretty good, much better than me."
Mick continues, "Charlie and I liked all kinds different kinds of music... He really loved Jazz and he introduced me to all kinds. I used to love Jazz too. When I was a teenager I was a real Jazz fan, so I knew quite a lot about Jazz... Not like him." But it wasn't just the standards... "Before Bob Marley, Charlie and I were listening to Reggae music before it was mainstream."
"Charlie loved beautiful objects... he liked antiques, he liked furniture, so we talked a lot about things like that," Mick says. "We had a lot of interests in common apart from just being in a band."
Listen to the full episode with Mick Jagger above.
Five days a week, acclaimed interviewer Tom Power sits down with the artists, writers, actors, and musicians who define pop culture. Whether he’s ribbing Adele, singing a boyband classic with Simu Liu, or dissecting faith with U2 frontman Bono – Tom brings the same curiosity, respect, and meticulous preparation into every conversation. He also has a track record for interviewing artists on the precipice of stardom – like Lizzo and Billie Eilish — who appeared on Q well before hitting the mainstream. Hear your favorite artists as they truly are, every weekday with Tom Power.
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