Michael Stipe has been talking about his first new music since R.E.M. split up in 2011.
Stipe has written a soundtrack to the film The Cold Lands, directed by his friend Tom Gilroy. Speaking to Salon, Stipe said: “This is, in fact, the first thing that I’ve done musically since REM disbanded. So, of course, I wanted it to be for something that meant a lot to me. That was important… I knew I wasn’t going to sing, so that made it easier.”
Discussing his concepts for the music to the film, Stipe said: “I tried to bring groove… I probably would have done something much quieter. But I knew that he [Gilroy] wanted something that had a beat, so that was great because it really pushed me. I’m happy with where it landed. It felt to me like a great first project.”
When R.E.M. split Stipe said it was “unfathomable” that he would make a solo album. “It’s unfathomable to me right now. What would it sound like? Watered-down R.E.M?” Peter Buck also admitted he was sad that the band would never play together again, but insisted he couldn’t imagine them changing their minds over the decision to split.