Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, 61, has sunk into a deep leather chair in a huge hotel room in Toronto. In the corner hundreds of jazz CDs cover the walls. The table is strewn with old snapshots. Watts coughs and straightens his brown jacket.

The skinny, gray-haired drummer follows my glance across to the room to a piano near a window. Sunbeams manage to break through half-drawn curtains and illuminate the piano, as well as dust particles circling above it. Watts chuckles a bit and visibly relaxes. "Yeah man, I have been in this room for some five weeks now. So I am allowed to have a few things here to make me feel at home don't you think." Music is playing on a radio in another corner of the room. "This channel airs jazz all day," Watts says while getting up to turn the volume down a bit. "I never turn it off."

This interview takes place some time before the kickoff of the "Forty Licks" tour. Charlie Watts and his buddies — Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ron Wood — have come to Toronto for rehearsals. There is a little theater within a stone's throw of the hotel, where the band have been fiddling with their repertoire for the last five weeks. The Stones' tour follows the release of the double CD "Forty Licks," which in addition to 36 Stones classics also contains four new tracks.