WHOA! STIPEY!

And, according to singer Michael Stipe, the new stuff is "getting wilder and louder"...

REM have rehearsed 70 songs for their forthcoming European tour, according to singer MICHAEL STIPE.

The band kick off the tour in Utrecht, Holland on June 21. The jaunt includes a headline slot at the Glastonbury Festival on June 27.

As previously reported on NME.COM, the band will be joined for the tour by new drummer Bill Rieflin, who has previously worked with industrial acts such as Ministry and Nine Inch Nails. The band will also be joined by regular live contributors Scott McCaughey and Ken Stringfellow for the tour.

Speaking on the band’s official website [url=]remhq.com, Stipe said the band were rehearsing extensively, as well as putting the packaging together for the forthcoming ‘Best Of’ compilation, due out in September.

He said one new track – called ‘Animal (The Whoa Song)’ – was “massive”, and explained that the other new material was “getting wilder and louder”. A new studio album is expected in 2004.

The group’s European dates are as follows:

Utrecht Tivoli (June 21)

Amsterdam Heineken Music Hall (22)

London Brixton Academy (24,25)

Glastonbury Festival (June 27)

Werchter Festival (29)

Hamburg Volkspark (July 1)

Odense Midtfym Festival (3)

Berlin Waldbuhne (4)

Munich Konigsplatz (5)

Locarno Piazza Grande (7)

Vienna TBA (8)

Warsaw Gwardia Stadium (10)

T In The Park (12)

Manchester Move Festival (13)

Dublin Marlay Park (16/17)

Wiesbaden Bowling Green (19)

Vieilles Charrues Festival (20)

Padova Stadio Euganeo (22)

Ancona Stadio Del Corero (23)

Naples Neapolis Festival (24)

Vienne Cotes Du Rock (26)