Fans of the Rolling Stones received an unexpected treat on Thursday when the band released a surprise new single, “Living in a Ghost Town”.
Stones frontman Mick Jagger joined Zane Lowe of Apple Music’s Beats 1 to discuss the new single and explain how it came to be.
“It wasn’t written for now but it was written about being in a place which was full of life, and then now there’s all bereft of life, so to speak. And when I went back to what I’d written originally lyrically, it was all full of plague terms and things like that,” said Sir Mick of the eerily prescient song.
“I never actually used that, but it was all there. It was very close to the times that we’re living through now. But Keith Richards 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. I was just jamming,” he added.
As Lowe pointed out, it’s been 15 years since the Stones last released an album of original material, and the 76-year-old rock icon explained the reason for the holdup.
“Long time ago. Last original Stones. Yeah, it was so long. And I think one of the problems I personally have with it is that it’s suddenly that you want it to be really good. So I don’t just want it to be a good album, I want it to be great. You know? Yes, I’m very hard on myself,” he said.
“If I write something or if I write something with Keith Richards or whatever, it’s going to be great,” he adds. “It can’t just be good.”
The full interview, which also includes Stones guitarist Keith Richards, will be released on Friday, April 24.