Although Rolling Stones fans are clearly thrilled with the prospect of the band's spring 2019 stadium tour, a new album of Mick Jagger / Keith Richards songs remains high on the collective wish list. Keith Richards spoke about the new material he and Mick Jagger have been cooking up for the still unfinished album, telling The Chicago Tribune, "You jump into this familiar spot, even if we’ve been away for months. It’s comfortable kicking around ideas. We’ve been doing this for a while, so it’s not difficult to start up again. Mick is a great rhythm guitar player -- I always enjoyed playing guitar with him because we’re both rhythm guys really. We’re writing with two guitars, and I might throw piano or bass on here and there."

When asked if streaming and the digital revolution has rendered new music a low priority for the band, Richards said, "The world changes, and what’s the point of complaining about it? You just do your body of work. Stream it, whatever. I do find it encouraging that the vinyl side of things has increased immensely. That’s still the apex of stuff -- analog recording is the best sound you’re going to get. Digital does wonderful things, visually and in every other area. But in sound, it ain’t quite the thing -- too sanitized. You lose substantial parts of the music. That’s why we always record analog, but unfortunately it comes out digitally (on-line). We’re stuck with it, so there’s no point in whining about it."

In terms of the actual sessions for the new album, Richards revealed: "Mick and I got together the last few months with (producer) Don Was in the studio, and we’ve been knocking up some ideas. We want to do some more sessions, but not sure when. We might do something in February and March. It’s progressing. All I can say, there are a couple of nice things happening, with the promise of a lot more, and we’re having fun doing it. We get together, and it’s always, 'Got anything new?' 'Did anything else occur?' And a couple of songs always pop up."

Keith Richards says that he and Mick Jagger still rely on spontaneity every time they sit down to write new material for the Stones: "Mick and I, sometimes just before we start making an album, say 'Well, what kind of album do we wanna make?' (Laughs) and I say, 'Mick, a Rolling Stones album (laughs).' It's about as far as I can narrow it down. It's really a matter of surprising yourself as about what's coming out. I mean, if I knew everything that was to be played, it'd probably sound as dead, as dead as a door nail, y'know?"

AUDIO: KEITH RICHARDS ON WRITING WITH MICK JAGGER