R.E.M. UP FOR IT!

Frontman Michael Stipe says the band are "surprising themselves" with their progress...

R.E.M have returned to their hometown of ATHENS, GEORGIA, to continue work on their new album, with vocalist MICHAEL STIPE saying they are “surprising themselves” with their progress.

R.E.M. spent much of May at The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, recording what will become their twelfth studio album. Now, in a posting on their band’s official website, www.remhq.com, the band have revealed that vocalist Michael Stipe and bassist Mike Mills have gone into the studio with producer Pat McCarthy to work on vocal tracks for the follow-up to the band’s 1998 album, ‘Up’.

Speaking about the progress on the record, Mills describes the recording as “exciting”. He said: “It’s a really exciting phase at this point to see the vocals join up with the basic tracks. Michael is outdoing himself.”

Vocalist Stipe added that the band are also working on the record from their portable studio – a similar process was used when the band recorded their 1996 album ‘New Adventures In Hi-Fi’. He continued: “We’ve spent a lot of the time experimenting with different approaches to each song, writing new songs, and experimenting with arrangements; we’ve also been trying out our portable studio which we’re going to be kind of taking from place to place and recording with, whenever and wherever we feel the inspiration. We’re surprising ourselves.”

R.E.M‘s new album is expected to be released in the spring.