REM have entered the debate on the ongoing drama of the US presidential elections with frontman MICHAEL STIPE claiming to be “loving the chaos”.
The band are currently putting the finishing touches to their forthcoming new album in Miami, Florida, the US state where a recount is ongoing and that will decide the next president or as Stipe has put it , the “epicentre of the questioning of the democratic process”.
In a posting on their official website [url=]www.remhq.com, each member of the trio has written their thoughts on what they, a band often viewed as one of the most overtly politicised in world rock, feel about the current situation.
“Its been wild in the streets here,” says Stipe, “I think that the events of the past several days is much further reaching than who will be our president for the next four years.
“I don’t think anyone could have expected that protests would be going on today (November 9) over potential voter fraud, miscounts, civil rights violations, closeness of the candidates numbers in one county, or the electoral college and whether or not it is relevant or necessary to today’s process.”
And referring to the wafer-thin difference in the current number of votes held by the candidates Democrat Al Gore and George W. Bush, he added: “As I watch TV tonight, I realise that Bertis Downs, REM manager, probably spoke to at least 229 people on election day, to urge them out to the polls, to vote. Certainly, after this, no one could ever again say, ‘my vote doesn’t matter’.”
Guitarist Peter Buck was restrained in his thoughts, saying simply, “In a time of constitutional crisis, making the record has been an interesting experience. We’ll see how both things turn out.”
The band’s third cog, Mike Mills, likened their situation to being in the eye of a storm.
“Usually the hurricanes that hit South Florida are of a different variety than the one in which we find ourselves,” he said. “It’s as big as the entire United States, and it feels odd to be in the middle of it. We are in the eye, and everyone is looking in our direction.”
REM watchers can also click through to the site to see a series of photographs of the band taken as they watched the election coverage live on television. And Bertis Downs has also commented that ‘Disappear’, a track the band have recently completed while in Florida, is “just gorgeous”. The album is slated for release early next spring.