Michael Stipe communicates with fans through REM's official website to bring update on new LP.

REM are currently finishing off their new album in MIAMI – and MICHAEL STIPE has given fans an

insight into what has been inspiring him with an extensive diary entry on their official website,www.remhq.com.

He says: “I’m thinking about the relative calm of Dublin, and Tel Aviv, and how on earth we wound up here in

Miami for the final chapter of ‘the making of’, and it all seems somehow perfect.”

He described the Radiohead gig in Dublin which he attended as “amazing, unbelievable and gorgeous.” He enthused:

“‘Idioteque’ is Johnny Rotten with legs and the whole band’s doing great and looking great and they should be. It was

fantastic.”

He also compares their performance on the Saturday Night Live TV show as being, “like when Sinead sang

‘Last Day Of Our Aquaintance’ and when Patti (Smith) was on with ‘Gloria/My Generation’ –

mindblowing, beautiful and rare. We can’t let these gifts go unnoticed.”

Stipe also described how reading an “exciting and thoughtful and downright inspiring” article about U2 and getting a preview of their new album inspired him, as “I’m still squeaking out lyrics for the final songs.”

He said: “I heard their record a couple months ago in France and I was whooping and jumping, it’s really challenging, esp. for me since

I’m still squeaking out lyrics for the final songs. Anyway, it is a g- r- e- a- t- record, esp. for me ‘Elevation’ and I love

‘Beautiful Day’ as a first single. Guts and brains and brawn and smarts and super hooky. When Bono plays you their songs

he sings in your ear. The whole time. Loud.”

Stipe also rated the new PJ Harvey and Patti

Smith albums, and thanked fans who had supported the “save the trestle” campaign, saying: “It meant a lot.”