January 13, 2001 20:06

REM, FOOS AND GUNNERS MAKE READY FOR ROCK IN RIO

REM to debut new songs live at Rock In Rio

REM, FOOS AND GUNNERS MAKE READY FOR ROCK IN RIO
REM held a press conference in Rio earlier today and confirmed that they will perform a couple of songs from their forthcoming album, 'Reveal', when they take the main stage at the third Rock In Rio festival tonight.

Talking about the new album, Mike Mills told the conference: "To me, the
new record sounds a bit like a cross between 'Automatic For The People' and 'Up'. We are very proud of it." Michael Stipe added: "Lyrically it's about a way to live, it's about spiritual life and the way to deal with it. And musically it's an attempt
to skip right forward from our last record."
As for playing the Festival, Stipe said the band were delighted to be in Rio at last. "We wanted to play here for the longest
time", said the singer. The band wouldn't play here before because most of the main festivals were sponsored by tobacco companies.

Barefoot and looking as if he had just stepped out of the swimming pool, Dave Grohl was his usual charming self during the Foo Fighters' press conference. He drank
beer and burped on the journalists' microphones. Asked if there was a chance that
his girlfriend, bass player Melissa Auf Der Maur (Smashing Pumpkins, Hole) might join the band onstage, Grohl said that unfortunately she was booked for the Britney Spears concert next week adding: "Britney and Madonna were supposed to do a duet. But Melissa is just
so much better than Madonna".

With temperatures soaring over 35 degrees Celsius, neither the heat nor the traffic jams congesting the main roads in Rio could not deter an estimated 180,000 crowd from attending the first day of Rock In Rio III.

The party started with a performance by the Brazilian Symphonic Orchestra, on
the main stage, at 6pm (Brazilian time), and ended with Sting, the following morning, at 3:30am. The highlight of the first day of the Festival came courtesy of the audience who, at 7pm, waved 250,000 white flags, distributed at the entrance of the main gate, and stayed silent for three minutes in a symbolic act for global peace.

Earlier in the day, Guns N' Roses' Axl Rose managed to skip out the backdoor at the airport and dodge the press, taking a helicopter stright to the Intercontinental Hotel, where he spent most of the afternoon sunbathing by the swimming pool.

Security at the hotel is very tight, and no one is allowed near the star. Meanwhile, the rest of the band spent most of the afternoon rehearsing in a
private studio.

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