"It was always about the music"

After producing music for so many decades, how difficult was it to compile your best songs into one album?
It was a little tricky to pick and choose the few that would go into the album, because we love all the songs, they are all a big part of our career. We’ve picked songs that we think our fans will connect with the most and will remember the best.

Ronnie Wood (Left), Mick Jagger (Center) and Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones perform during The Concert For Sandy Relief, December 12, 2012 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Pics/ AFP

The band is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. What were some of the biggest challenges to keep the band together?
There weren’t so many challenges. I mean, of course, we’ve had members leave and new members come in. But everyone will always be a part of the band. And, the important thing is that it was always about the music. That’s what kept the stones alive for so long.

Things have changed since the band came into existence; was it easy to adapt to changes — preferences, the emergence of other genres and production technologies?
We were never really making an effort to change, we’ve grown as individuals in the course of our career, and I think, our music grew naturally too. Technology will keep changing, but people will still listen to great music.

The new album has two new songs as well. Tell us a bit about them?
They’re great songs, easily identifiable, I think, as something by the Rolling Stones. These are Doom and Gloom and One More Shot. It’s just a little something extra to the album that has some of our best work through the last five decades.

Mick Jagger, lead singer for the Rock group The Rolling Stones performs in Wembley Stadium in London, 10 September 1973

Since many artistes are coming down to India, do you have any plans of doing the same in the near future?
We’re planning so many things to mark our fiftieth year that anything is possible. I have visited India on a few occasions before and would love to be back.

Your last full-fledged album containing new songs, was released in 2005, when will we see a new Stones album?
We’re always coming up with new stuff, so who knows. We’re focused on our tour for now though.

— GRRR! The Rolling Stones, Universal Music, R495. Available at leading music stores. 

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