REM hire Bloc Party producer for new album

Jacknife Lee says the band's new songs are 'exciting'

R.E.M are to record their 14th studio album with Grammy-winning producer Jacknife Lee, the man behind recent LPs by Bloc Party and Snow Patrol.

Singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck and bassist Mike Mills hope to release the follow-up to 2004’s ‘Around The Sun’ before the end of the year.

The band had used Pat McCarthy as producer on their last three albums, but have decided on a change for the new record.

Lee said of his new challenge: “R.E.M are consistently one of the great bands, if not the greatest. The new songs they’ve written are some of their most exciting and visceral yet. They’re a beacon for any band wishing to remain honest and challenging.”

R.E.M’s Mike Mills admitted: “We are psyched to work with Jacknife Lee. We’ve got a great batch of songs, and can’t wait to put them down.”

The band’s original line-up – Stipe, Buck, Mills and original drummer Bill Berry, who quit in 1997 – will today (March 12) be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder in a ceremony at New York‘s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

And the original line-up have recorded their fist song together since 1996, a cover of John Lennon’s ‘#9 Dream’ for Amnesty International.

It will be available as a download from tomorrow (March 13) from