The album will be Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck and bassist Mike Mills' follow-up to last year's Reveal and their third recording since the departure of drummer Bill Berry. R.E.M. spent a week in June doing pre-production in their hometown of Athens, Georgia, and plan on resuming recording when Buck finishes touring with the Minus 5 in the opening slot on the Wilco bill.
While fans wait for the record to move toward completion, R.E.M. plan to re-release Reveal and Automatic for the People in DVD audio format on October 15th. Both DVDs will feature behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the albums.
Stipe completists can also look ahead to the October 1st release of To Understand: The Early Recordings of Matthew Sweet. Included in the compilation is the song "Tainted Obligation" a Stipe/Sweet duet recorded under the name "Community Trolls," which features Stipe on accordion.
(September 6, 2002)