Mick Jagger has spoken about working with Paul McCartney on The Rolling Stones‘ upcoming new album "Hackney Diamonds".
The legendary band announced their 24th studio record on September 6 and shared its lead single, "Angry". Following on from 2005’s "A Bigger Bang", the LP will mark the Stones’ first collection of original music in 18 years.
Last week, it was revealed that Beatles icon McCartney had played bass on a song called "Bite My Head Off". He’ll appear on "Hackney Diamonds" alongside Lady Gaga, Elton John and Stevie Wonder.
During a recent interview with Q on CBC, host Tom Power asked Jagger how the collaboration with Macca came about.
“Paul was in LA when we were recording, and he was supposed to work with Andy [producer Andrew Watt] one week,” the frontman replied. “Andy said, ‘I’m working on this record ["Hackney Diamonds"], and if it takes six months I’m gonna do nothing else’.
“Suddenly we get to this one week and he says, ‘I forgot to tell you – I’m supposed to work with Paul this week’. So we worked out the schedule and [Watt] said, ‘Why don’t we get Paul to come in and play on something?'”
Jagger continued: “So I said, ‘On what?’ I’ve never played bass with Paul – I’ve sung with him but I haven’t played bass.
“We suggested he played on this punk tune. I didn’t know how it was gonna work out, but he really rocked it and he loved doing it. He said, ‘It’s great playing with a band! Really enjoyable playing with a band’.”
Jagger went on to confirm that McCartney and the Stones were all in the same room together for the session. “I’m playing guitar, Keith’s playing guitar, Paul’s playing bass, Ronnie’s playing guitar,” he recalled.
Power noted how meaningful the collaboration feels in terms of music history, given the perceived longstanding rivalry between The Beatles and the Stones. “Yeah, it does,” Jagger agreed. “And it’s fun. But it seems so natural, you know?”
He added: “Paul was so natural and relaxed and he enjoyed it. We knocked it out really quick.”
Speaking about his personal relationships with members of the Fab Four, Jagger explained: “John [Lennon] was a close friend of mine. He was very acerbic and funny and witty and intelligent and everything. But I also knew Paul who’s a different kind of personality. I’ve always been friends with him.
“We don’t see each other that much but we do text each other and keep in touch. I’ve always got on well with him. And Ronnie and Paul also see each other quite a lot. So we have this sort of communication.”
Back in 2021, McCartney described the Stones as a “blues cover band” which Jagger jokingly responded to onstage. The latter musician had previously said that “there’s obviously no competition” between the two legendary bands.
"Hackney Diamonds" is due for release on October 20 in various formats.
The Rolling Stones’ most recent album came in the form of a blues covers LP, "Blue & Lonesome", in 2016.
Meanwhile, Jagger recently confirmed that the group are already at work on their next full-length record.