REM to get back to work

Rock giants make plans after a year off

REM are set to resume work on a new album before the end of 2006.

The rock legends have been lying low since their ‘Around The Sun’ world tour ended in London last July.

This ended a frenetic two-year period for the band, during which they released a ‘Best Of’ compilation (2003’s ‘In Time’) and the ‘Around The Sun’ LP in 2004, as well as undertaking two world tours.

But now drummer Bill Rieflin has disclosed that they want to get back in the studio.

He told Billboard: “The band’s on hiatus. The idea at the end of the last tour, which ended in July, was really to take a year off, without having to even think about it.

“There was a three-year period of quite intense work, [so this is] some needed time off. There’s some discussion about cranking things up in autumn, maybe winter.”

The three founding members of R.E.M still in the group – Peter Buck, Michael Stipe and Mike Mills – have reconvened twice in the last year with former drummer Bill Berry to play a seven-song set at a friend’s wedding in October 2004, while last month they played one song after a performance by Buck’s side project The Minus 5.