R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe shares update on solo album

Virgin Radio

22 Dec 2022, 08:32

Michael Stipe

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Michael Stipe has spoken about bringing out new music, and has given fans an idea of when they might hear the first solo album from him.

And the good news is that the R.E.M. frontman has said that a record “should come together next year”.

In an interview with Departures, Stipe said: “I’m working on a solo album, my first. I’m collaborating with a bunch of different musicians and each of those songs, if I get my way, which I think I will because I’m paying for it, will be very different.”

Talking about the creative freedom he is experiencing while working on the record, he explained: “I have no management. I have no label. For the first time in my adult life, I don’t have a contract with anyone except myself. So I get to do whatever I want.” 

He told Departures that there will be “a visual representation for each of the songs, and it should come together next year. I’m hoping to build slowly.” 

Speaking about life after R.E.M., the vocalist explained: “When the band disbanded, I couldn’t imagine continuing with music, and it took five years before I could come back to the idea of it.”

Stipe also spoke about how he is putting together an art show in Milan at ICA, which will involve sculpture pieces and photo-based portraiture. He also said: “My next book with Damiani will come out as a loose program of the show. And I’m doing something that I’m completely terrified of and not sure that I’m capable of. Actually, I know that I’m incapable, but I’ve started painting.”

Earlier this year, R.E.M.’s classic album Automatic for the People celebrated its 30th anniversary. The eighth studio album by the American alternative rock band landed on 5th October 1992 in the UK, and a day later in the United States.

The record from vocalist Stipe, drummer Bill Berry, guitarist Peter Buck and bassist Mike Mills features a number of iconic singles, including the timeless Everybody Hurts, as well as Man on the Moon, Drive, The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite, Find the River, and Nightswimming.

R.E.M. went on to release another seven albums, the last being 2011’s Collapse into Now. Guitarist Buck recently spoke out about the chances of the band getting back together, telling Classic Rock Magazine: “I wouldn’t change it, but I’m not going to go back to it.”