Mick Jagger, Joss Stone, Damien Marley, Dave Stewart join forces secretly to record new album.
The Rolling Stones’ 50th anniversary is fast approaching, and while fans are hoping for some kind of tour or celebration, Mick Jagger has other tricks up his sleeve. He has actually been working with a new band, dubbed Super Heavy, that features The Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart, soul singer Joss Stone, Reggae artist Damian Marley and Indian film composer A.R. Rahman. The band has been recording together under the radar over the past 18 months, and their debut album could drop sometime around September.
“It’s different from anything else I’ve ever been involved in,” Jagger revealed to Rolling Stone. “The music is very wide-ranging – from reggae to ballads to Indian songs in Urdu.”
The idea started with Jagger and Stewart talking about doing some kind of fusion project together, and after lots of brainstorming and phone calls around the world, they decided to work with Stone, Rahman and Marley, whose rhythm section helped flesh out the band. They first gathered in a Los Angeles studio about 18 months ago, but none of them had prepared any music.
“We didn’t know what the hell we were doing,” Stewart said. “We were just jamming and making a noise. It was like when a band first starts up in your garage. Sometimes Damian would kick it off and then Joss would sing something on top of it. We might have a 22 minute jam, and it would become a six minute song.”
Jagger played guitar and harmonica in the studio, along with doing some of the singing. He says that while the music is different, he believes that Stones fans will embrace it. “It is a different kind of record than what people would expect. It’s not all weird and strange though,” he explained. “I think Stones fans will think it’s a bit odd, but they’ll find most of it accessible. They’ve heard me play harmonica before and a lot of it is pretty high energy.”
As for the Stones, Keith Richards seems intent on bringing the band together for their 50th anniversary. In a new interview with USA Today, Richards said, “Something’s blowing in the wind. The idea’s there. We kind of know we should do it, but nobody’s put their finger on the moment yet. This is what we have to ask each other: Do we want to go out in a blaze of glory? We can, if Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts feel like I do, that we can still turn people on. We don’t have to prove nothing anymore. I just love playing, and I miss the crowd.”
But when Rolling Stone asked Jagger, he coyly stated, “I don’t have any announcement to make at the moment. I’m just doing this right now.”