With over sixty years of chart-topping records and record setting touring under their belts, The Rolling Stones have long cemented themselves as rock and roll legends. Their thirty-first album, Hackney Diamonds, was released on October 20 this year and has been Number 1 on the UK Album Charts since.
In the leadup to the album release, Jagger sat down with The Guardian where he spoke candidly about the recording and writing process of Hackney Diamonds, the passing of Charlie Watts, and becoming a father again while already being a great grandfather.
When speaking about the new album, Jagger conceded that he had some regrets about the eighteen-year gap between it and the last album, The Big Bang.
“Yeah, kind of. That I wasn’t cracking the whip. Keith keeps saying in interviews, ‘When Mick’s ready to do a record, I’ll do it.’ I went, OK? If that’s all I have to say, then great! We’d got into this groove of going on big tours. But there’s no point crying about it now,” Jagger said.
When asked about late drummer Charlie Watts, Jagger said that he still thought about Watts often.
“It’s a couple of years now, and I still think about Charlie a lot. I miss his laconic humour. His taste in music. His elegance. His don’t-care attitude – he didn’t get intense. Keith and I get a bit intense. But Charlie wouldn’t, and it rubs off a bit – I’m not as intense as I used to be,” Jagger said.
Jagger conveyed how Watts continues to be an enduring source of influence in his life, even to this very day.
“I think about him when I’m playing, and what he would have played; whether he’d have liked this song, because I’d always bounce things off him. I’d be playing him the silly pop songs of the moment, and he’d love all that,” said Jagger.
Jagger also shared his insights on the unique experience of becoming a father to his son, Devereux, despite already holding the titles of a grandfather and great-grandfather. He humorously remarked that such a situation can make one feel a tad rusty in the parenting department, suggesting that, like any skill, it’s something that requires a bit of reacquainting.
“You get a bit out of practice, it’s not like riding a bike. The more children you have, the more laissez-faire you get about them, to be honest. And it depends on the child – they have their own personalities and you can mould them to a certain extent, but you see their likes and dislikes and encourage them to do things they gravitate towards,” Jagger said.
Additionally, he expressed his profound gratitude for the opportunity to enjoy some much-needed respite during the pandemic, which allowed him to dedicate quality time to his youngest family member.
“It’s fun to have children, at any age. But if you’re working, and always away, you don’t get to enjoy it quite as much. [When Devereux was born] I wasn’t working so much, so I was able to spend more time. And then we had the lockdown – he’s only six, and two of those years I did almost nothing [with the band],” he said.