R.E.M plan to play some new album material at the Tibetan Freedom Festival in Washington on June 13...

R.E.M plan to premiere some new album material in amongst their established classics when they appear at the Tibetan Freedom Festival in Washington on June 13.

Michael Stipe, Peter Buck and Mike Mills will be accompanied by Beck’s drummer Joey Waronker, Screaming Trees’ Barrett Martin on bass and percussion and Young Fresh Fellows Scott McCaughey on guitar.

Guitarist Peter Buck told Canada’s Jam TV website: “It’ll be interesting. It’s been three years since we’ve played in public. We lost an original member, we’ll be playing with at least one member of the ensemble who will have had four hours to rehearse with us, and we’ll be playing in front of 70,000 people doing songs that no one’s ever heard.”


Meanwhile, the band are adding the final touches to their new album, due out on October 26, which Peter Buck describes as “more dissonant and demented than ‘Automatic For The People’.” REM have recorded 15 songs in San Francisco’s Toaster Studios and the tapes are said to feature a handful of songs heavily influenced by The Beach Boys.

Buck says he plays drums on two of the tracks and Mike Mills plays drums and saxophone on another song. Buck has apparently recorded most of the bass parts on the album with Mike Mills moving mainly to keyboards. Michael Stipe is rumoured to have recorded a guitar solo on one song.

The full running order for the Tibetan Freedom Festival is:

Saturday, June 13: Tibetan monks and nuns, Money Mark, Mutabaruka, speaker – Wei Jingshen, Live Chaksam-Pa, Patti Smith, KRS-One, speaker – Palden Gyatso, Dave Matthews, Herbie Hancock and Guru with the Headhunters, Tracy Chapman, Sonic Youth, Drepung Loseling Monks, REM, Beck, Radiohead, Tibetan monks and nuns.

Sunday, June 14: Tibetan monks and nuns, Buffalo Daughter, Sean Lennon, speaker – Xiao Qiang, Pulp, Luscious Jackson, Nawang Khechog, Blues Traveler, speaker – Palden Gyatso, Wyclef Jean, Kraftwerk, The Wallflowers, A Tribe Called Quest, Drepung Loseling Monks, The Verve, Beastie Boys, Pearl Jam, Tibetan monks and nuns.

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