While the band launched their covers collection Blue & Lonesome in 2016, fans have been waiting for their first record of original material since A Bigger Bang in 2005.
And in a new interview with the Wall Street Journal, Richards says things are happening behind the scenes.
He says (via UCR): “I’m going to sound like Trump – ‘It will happen, don’t worry about it’ – but it’s in the early stages.
“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.”
Richards adds: “I find it an interesting challenge to write for Mick. 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 fucking 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.’”
Producer Don Was has also spoken about their new material, and adds: “The songwriting that Keith and Mick did recently was really something to behold.
“The three of us sat in a room, with them facing each other, five feet apart, with guitars, and there’s something magical that happens that’s still as fresh as when they started.”
Earlier this week, the Stones announced UK and Ireland dates on their No Filter tour – and they’ve now added a third show in London, which will take place at the London Stadium on May 25.
Find a list of their 2018 tour dates below.