Keith Richards busy planning the Rolling Stones latest album. The still untitled set, which is the followup to 2016's Grammy-Award-winning Blue & Lonesome collection, marks the first new original album from the band since 2005's A Bigger Bang. Richards spoke to Rolling Stone from his home in Connecticut, revealing, “I’m preparing more than anything else, putting material together. Sometimes it’s not as much writing as listening to what’s been written and figuring it out, and honing and all kinds of stuff.” Richards went on to joke: “It’s very boring. It’s like a carpentry shop.”

Regarding the Stones upcoming 16-date North American jaunt, he said, “It’s what I do. To play back in the States again, it’s fantastic. It’s been a while. I always think of it as our really early hunting grounds. Although we had already done it in England, to work over a whole continent was pretty astounding. So I’ve always had a soft spot for working in America.”

When pressed about the Stones undertaking one of their legendary secret pre-tour warm-up club gigs, Richards said, “I’m hoping. We haven’t in the last couple of tours. We still wanted to. I think it was a matter of logistics. Finding the right venue or whatever didn’t happen. So it’s definitely on the menu, let’s put it that way. Hors d’oeuvres!”

Richards was asked whether he's ever gotten tired from hitting the stage with the band: “Not at all. I mean, hey, how bad can it be? You get up there and do what you love to do, and fortunately so do millions of others. It’s not something to turn your nose up at, y'know? And it’s what I do. It’s the way the band feels. You can only do this if everybody is absolutely on. And the fact that they all are is an incredible tribute to the lads. They just want to do it. I think it’s also, how can you stop? Because I think it has to be written in a different way, whatever the ending is.”

Much like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones' early days as trailblazing rock musicians is the stuff of legend. Keith Richards was asked how crazy it really got back on the road during the 1960’s: “You ask other people that (laughs), y’know? You can’t describe your own wildness, but off and on, fairly (crazy). After all, you’re a bunch of guys that are just thrown into the deep end. Nobody else knew what to do. Nobody had been through situations like this. You had to make things up as you went along (laughs). It was fun.”

In the case of the Stones back in the 1960's, simply going to work could be the most dangerous part of the day. Richards remembered some of the hairier situations he’s found himself in: “I mean, I’ve been scared a few times — I’ve been shot at a few times — nothing’s scared me as much as being caught in a crowd of 13-year-old girls, who have just lost it. I mean, they’re tearing you to bits. . . But if there’s one way to die (laughs), y’know, ‘might as well be it, pal!”