Michael Stipe says the follow-up to 'Reveal' is influenced by the "current state of the world"...

REM’s new album will be hugely influenced by the “current state of the world”, according to singer MICHAEL STIPE.

The album, the follow-up to their 2001’s ’Reveal’, is set for release in October.

Stipe said that world events are having a “profound impact” on his writing style.

he told Rolling Stone: “This isn’t a downer of a record. Even the most depressing REM song is going to have a glimmer of hope in it. That’s just me, I can’t help myself. But there’s some stuff on here that’s pretty hardcore, and fairly political.

“At this time, as an American, I feel like the angriest pacifist in the world, and I don’t think I’m alone in that. It’s not an easy time to live through.”

One of the songs confirmed for inclusion is ‘Final Straw’, a protest song the band made available for download last year while the US were at war with Iraq.

Working titles for the songs include ‘Leaving New York’ , ‘Wanderlust’ and ‘I’m Gonna DJ’. Tour dates are currently being planned.