Michael Stipe reveals first new music since REM split

Singer has soundtracked friend Tom Gilroy's film 'The Cold Lands'

Former R.E.M frontman Michael Stipe has revealed his first new music since REM split in 2011.

Stipe – who recently inducted Nirvana into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – has soundtracked a film called The Cold Lands, which is directed by his friend Tom Gilroy. “This is, in fact, the first thing that I’ve done musically since REM disbanded. So, of course, I wanted it to be for something that meant a lot to me. That was important… I knew I wasn’t going to sing, so that made it easier,” said Stipe to Salon, who are currently streaming a clip from the film, which features a snippet of Stipe’s soundtrack.

When speaking about his ideas for the soundtrack, he added: “I tried to bring groove… I probably would have done something much quieter. But I knew that he [Gilroy] wanted something that had a beat, so that was great because it really pushed me. I’m happy with where it landed. It felt to me like a great first project.

Stipe also commented on the fact that he was spotted at a show in Athens, Georgia last November watching his former bandmates Bill Berry, Mike Mills and Peter Buck play the REM song ‘Don’t Go Back To Rockville’ at the 40 Watt. He said people were “walking up and asking me when I was going to get up on stage and I said, ‘I’m not. I’m here to see my friends do what they love to do.'”

When the band split Stipe said it was “unfathomable” that he would make a solo album. “It’s unfathomable to me right now. What would it sound like? Watered-down R.E.M?” he commented. Peter Buck also admitted he was sad that the band would never play together again, but insisted he couldn’t imagine them changing their minds over the decision to split.

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