By Scott T. Sterling

The Rolling Stones will release a new album of original material in 2018.

Related: The Rolling Stones’ Charlie Watts Ready for the Band to End

That’s the word from the band’s guitarist Keith Richards, who revealed to the Wall Street Journal that the Stones have spent around three weeks total in the recording studio over the past two years crafting the next full-length (when he wasn’t busy guarding his beloved shepherd’s pie).

“I’m going to sound like Trump — ‘It will happen; don’t worry about it’ — but it’s in the early stages,” Richards cracked. “We have some stuff down, which is very interesting. It’s more difficult for us to write together the further apart we are, but it also has its benefits in that we come back to it from a different angle.”

“Mick and I live off this fire between us,” Richards added. “I find it an interesting challenge to write for (him). There’s no point in my giving him a song that’s beyond his range or that he’s not comfortable with. What I really like to do is write a song where Mick goes, ‘Yeah, right, I’m in!’ That’s what I try and do, because I’m writing for the lead singer of the Rolling f—ing Stones, and that is my job — to give him a riff that he leaps on and goes, ‘Right, I know what to do with this.’”

Richards also used the occasion to poke fun at his longtime partner with which he’s had a notoriously contentious relationship.

“Mick’s a randy old bastard,” Richards quipped about the 74-year-old singer continuing to have children, the most recent (his eighth) born in 2016. “It’s time for the snip — you can’t be a father at that age. Those poor kids!”

Just one day after the cheeky statements about his singer were made public, Richards has already walked back the comments.

“I deeply regret the comments I made about Mick in the WSJ which were completely out of line,” Richards posted to Twitter. “I have of course apologized to him in person.” See the tweet below.

The Stones’ last release, Blue & Lonesome, was an all-covers affair that scored the group a GRAMMY for Best Traditional Blues Album at this year’s ceremony.

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