New R.E.M. album due next spring
Michael Stipe came out of the studio in May feeling relieved. "The last album was so difficult, and this album has been just the opposite," says the R.E.M.
frontman. "It's been a joy."
Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck and bassist Mike Mills spent a month in Vancouver fiddling with new material and laid down basic tracks for more than twenty songs. "Some are super-embryonic, and others are completely self-realized," says Stipe. "It kind of picks up where Up
left off. Some of it is pretty strange, and that's the stuff that appeals to me. It's my job to either make it even more strange or to make it really pop."
The album, due out next spring, is being produced by Pat McCarthy, who worked on Up
and engineered Madonna
's Ray of Light
. Joey Waronker will play drums, and Buck's friends Scott McCaughey and the Posies
' Ken Stringfellow will be on hand to help out with "whatever Mike and Peter don't want to play."
In other Michael Stipe news, the singer joined Iggy Pop
, Chuck D
, Chrissy Hynde and Edwin Starr
as contributors for the next Utah Saints
album. Stipe phoned-in vocals for four tracks for the as-yet untitled album, which is due in September.
Written by JENNY ELISCU for RollingStone.com News