REM plan rockier new direction

The band get back to basics

R.E.M are planning a rockier new direction as they get down to work on their 13th studio album.

The US giants’ last album LP, 2004’s ‘Around The Sun’, was a relatively mellow affair. Bass player Mike Mills has revealed that it’s likely the band will react to that by going the other way on the follow-up.

He told Billboard: "We'll start rehearsals probably some time in the next month or two.

"I think [guitarist] Peter [Buck] and I probably both have a ton of stuff, but we haven't sat down and played it for each other yet. I don't think in terms of directions, but I think this next record might have a little more rock to it. I like 'Around The Sun’ but I think, honestly, it turned out a little slower than we intended for it to, just in terms of the overall speed of songs."

R.E.M this week (September 11) released a best of compilation and DVD from their early years on the IRS label, called ‘And I Feel Fine…The Best Of The IRS Years’. The bonus CD contains several previously unreleased tracks, suggesting the possibility of a box set in the future.

Mills stated: "We don't have any set plans, but I wouldn't be surprised if one day well into the future one or more of us will probably start digging through the pile and seeing if there's anything worth putting out. And if there is, maybe we'll do a fun box set with all kinds of even weirder stuff than this."

Mills, Buck and singer Michael Stipe will reunite with ex-drummer Bill Berry, who quit in 1997, to rehearse for R.E.M's induction into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Atlanta on Saturday (September 16). The band will play three as-yet-undecided classics.

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