The 80-year-old Stones frontman is preparing for the release of the band’s latest album, Hackney Diamonds – their first collection of original tracks since 2005’s A Bigger Bang.
“The only thing I want the Stones to be remembered for is being a good rock band,” he explained simply.
“There is going to be the Beatles and there is going to be the Stones and together they will represent the rock era.
“The Stones are much longer lived, obviously.”
Elsewhere in the profile interview, published on Saturday (14 October), the “Satisfaction” vocalist recalled his friendship with Paul McCartney, and his take on a comment the Beatles musician made about the Stones.
“He said the Beatles were better than the Stones because the Stones were really just a blues cover band,” Jagger told journalist Will Hodgkinson.
However, Jagger stressed that he didn’t harbour any bad feelings towards McCartney or his comment, claiming that McCartney’s band began in a similar fashion.
“Well, the Beatles were also really just a blues cover band when they started out. Every band is a cover band at the beginning, because that’s how it goes,” Jagger said.
“When we’re on tour I like to say that someone is in the audience when they’re actually not, to create a big moment, so I said one time, ‘Paul McCartney is here tonight. He’s going to come up on stage and play some of our blues cover tunes.’ I texted Paul to say thank you for his comment because it has given me a lot of comic material.”
Earlier this week, guitarist Keith Richards discussed how Jagger’s “angst” was used as fuel for the album, and noted the importance of singers being enthusiastic about a record’s material.
“Mick, given a song that he’s not really interested in can really make it bad,” Richards laughed. “That’s maybe one of the reasons it took 18 years – because Mick’s waves of enthusiasm come and go.”
In The Independent’s review of Hackney Diamonds, critic Mark Beaumont praised the production quality of the album and its youthful essence, despite Jagger, Richards and bassist Ronnie Wood being in their seventies and eighties.
He wrote: “With producer Andrew Watt giving the whole thing a gleaming contemporary sheen and most tracks building to bombastic rock climaxes, Hackney Diamonds bristles with such sonic and emotional turbulence.”
Hackney Diamonds is released on 20 October.