TORONTO - Keith Richards says he thinks the Rolling Stones "are still sort of finding themselves, in a way."
The Stones guitarist was at the Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday for the world premiere of the documentary "Keith Richards: Under the Influence," directed by Oscar winner Morgan Neville ("Twenty Feet from Stardom").
Asked by a reporter what his relationship with frontman Mick Jagger is like these days, Richards gave a broader response about the dynamics within the whole group.
There's "a lot of excitement in the band," the British rocker said in his signature rasp, sporting a mustard-coloured snakeskin jacket, reflective aviator sunglasses and a multi-coloured headband.
"You'd think you'd peak somewhere but as a band, musically and within the band, I think there's a feeling of ... 'there's more in there yet.'
"There's more to find out, about music and about the Rolling Stones, and probably about ourselves."
Richards's comments came a day after he said on an iHeartRadio ICONS broadcast that the Stones have "definite plans" to record next year after a tour of South America.
Meanwhile, Richards will release "Crosseyed Heart" — his first solo album in 23 years — on Friday.
"It's a hats off to a lot of great influences on my musical career," he said of the project, adding his longtime collaborator Steve Jordan "was 50 per cent of the album."
"He's a great friend of mine and we've worked together from way back now. We worked with Chuck Berry and Aretha Franklin," he said, laughing, before adding: "We have credentials."
Yet Richards didn't intend to make an album.
"It really just organically grew in its own little greenhouse — and I'm not telling you what grows in there," he said, cracking up the room full of reporters.
That's how the documentary grew as well.
"It came to be by accident, really," said Neville. "This was not supposed to be a documentary."
Neville, who has also worked as a journalist, said it started when he got a call from a producer asking if he'd like to speak with Richards about his music.
Neville went to Richards's house with a turntable and "a pile of vinyl albums" and they eventually came to make the doc.
When Thursday's press conference moderator said he'd heard Richards "had kind of growled" at the idea of having camera crews following him around, the guitarist quipped: "I growl at everything, man."
Thursday's press conference touched on a wide variety of topics.
Asked about his cameo appearance as the father of Captain Jack Sparrow (played by Johnny Depp) in "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," he said: "I did it for Johnny, and it was great fun to do. The makeup took forever!
"Making 'Pirates,' I enjoyed very much being Captain Teague."
On young artists he's interested in today, he said: "Ed Sheeran I really like. He's a little one-man band. I liked his attitude toward things.
"James Bay is another young cat that I've been interested in lately."