Work on the Rolling Stones' new album continues with the band's first original studio set earmarked for the New Year. As usual, it was guitarist Ron Wood who gave fans an update on the still-untitled album, telling The Sun, "The new album is like a puzzle, we still have to piece together the missing pieces. We look forward to launching it in 2020 and then continuing our world tour."

The Stones have been working in fits and starts on the new set over the course of the past seven years. The band's 2016 Grammy Award-winning Blue & Lonesome covers collection was actually tracked during sessions for the still-unfinished album. Two early songs from the current crop of new Mick Jagger - Keith Richards co-writes were plucked for the 2012 Stones comp, GRRR!

Back in November, Keith Richards spoke to Rolling Stone and revealed how the ongoing sessions for the new album are coming, explaining, "Mick and I got together for a few days a month or so ago in the studio, just playing around. Apart from that, there might be a session sometime in December, but I'm not crossing my fingers on that. . . It was great, man. We knocked out a few songs together with (producer) Don Was. We're just working things through. We had a great time -- got some nice stuff out of it."

When asked if there was a release date for the album, Richards said, "Oh man, no. Like I say, early stages. I would say if I'm looking at it, we're going to do this tour, so maybe this time next year, I would say. Maybe. That looks like a reasonable projection."

Keith Richards explained that throughout all of the Stones' greatest works -- no matter what distractions were outside the studio -- the songwriting process remained free form and cosmic: "You kind of tend to write songs no matter what else you're doing. I mean, it's not one of those things where you sit down and say, 'Oh! Songwriting time! It's just something that happens during the day. You might pick up a guitar to tune it -- and before long you've got a song, if you're lucky. I never pushed songwriting, an idea comes in like an antennae -- incoming transmit."

Back in 2016, Stones producer Don Was explained that the band has been entering the studio and tracking tunes in less concentrated amounts of time than in the past: "There's lot of them. Maybe we had three songs -- we might've been on the third or fourth of them and we took the blues detour in December -- but we went back in June and recorded more. And it's still pretty early. Y'know, in the past, it's been a year (laughs). We don't actually toil, y'know, for 12-hours-a-day for a year, but it's a lifestyle record. You shape your life around making a record, and really, so far, there hasn't really been an appetite for that. So, we've been doing it in a couple of little bursts."

AUDIO: DON WAS ON THE ROLLING STONES RECORDING IN SHORT BURSTS
AUDIO: KEITH RICHARDS ON NOT FORCING SONGWRITING