The Rolling Stones have dropped their first original song in eight years with the sudden, out-of-nowhere release of the new track, "Living In A Ghost Town." Mick Jagger spoke about the song to Apple Music, and revealed he and Keith Richards wrote the tune over a year ago, explaining, "It wasn't written for now, but it was just one of those odd things. It was written about being in a place, which was full of life but is now bereft of life so to speak. I was just jamming on the guitar and wrote it really quickly in like 10 minutes."

He added, "Keith and I both had the idea that we should release it. But I said, 'Well I've got to rewrite it.' Some of it is not going to work and some of it was a bit weird and a bit too dark. So I slightly rewrote it. I didn't have to rewrite very much, to be honest. It's very much how I originally did it."

Keith Richards revealed the band had recorded the new track in L.A. back in early-2019: "It's sort of eerie when suddenly it's coming to life. I mean the ghost comes to life. I had said to Don (Was) about a month or so ago, ‘Hey, this is a time for the ghost town track.' And then Mick called me and said the same thing and that great minds think alike. . . Obviously right now we've got nothing else to do but write some more songs, right?"

Regarding the eagerly awaited Stones album, which would mark the band's first original set in 15 years, Mick Jagger said, "I don't just want it to be a good album, I want it to be great. I'm very hard on myself. If I write something or if I write something with Keith Richards or whatever, it's going to be great. It can't just be good."

Richards said of the material the stones currently have in the can: "We've got another five or six tracks and there's a lot of sort of soul feel about it for some reason without anybody intending to."

The Stones remain off the road having been sidelined by the ongoing pandemic. Mick Jagger remains at a loss for when fans can expect to see the band back on stage: "We don't know when the next tour outside's going to be. You would imagine that playing outside would be more healthy than playing inside, one would imagine, but you don't know. And people are saying, 'Well are you going to be playing in a stadium that's 40,000 people? You're going to have 20,000 people in there,' for instance. But this is all in the realm of conjecture."

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?"

The Rolling Stones were actually recording a new album when the December 2015 sessions morphed into the blues tracks that made up 2016's Blue & Lonesome. Stones producer Don Was maintains that there is ample original material already in the can: "It's really too early to . . . how many songs that we've actually recorded will make a record in the future. Y'know, we cut 30 to get at least 15. So, there's all kinds of stuff. And that's why I say I couldn't even tell you what's going to stand the test of time, and very little of it has gone past the initial tracking date."

AUDIO: DON WAS ON STATUS OF ORIGINAL ROLLING STONES ALBUM
AUDIO: KEITH RICHARDS ON WRITING WITH MICK JAGGER