In a new interview with Spin, R.E.M.’s Mike Mills spills on the band’s upcoming album, ‘Collapse Into Now’. Due early in 2011, Mills says the record is a bit of a reaction to the fast-paced 2008 rocker Accelerate. “With Accelerate we were trying to make a point by making the songs as short and as fast as possible. So we wanted this new one to be more expansive. We wanted to put more variety into it and not limit ourselves to any one type of song. There are some really slow, beautiful songs; there are some nice, mid-tempo ones; and then there are three or four rockers.”
He added that Collapse Into Now is a “very personal, very human record. Not only to [singer] Michael [Stipe], but personal and human in the sense of the narrative of the songs, the protagonists of the songs.”
Mills revealed that the new song “It Happened Today” features a vocal appearance from Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, while Patti Smith makes her second appearance on an R.E.M. song with album-closer “Blue.” An as-yet-untitled new tune features Smith’s guitarist Lenny Kaye and electro-clash artist Peaches.
Mills told Spin that the band recorded in Berlin, Nashville and New Orleans to enjoy some of their favorite cities while they worked. “It’s really important to go out, get great food, shrug off the debris of the day, and just be friends and have a good time. In Berlin you drink beer and eat wurst. In New Orleans you eat Cajun food and drink Sazerac. In Nashville we ate a lot of fried chicken.”