Michael Stipe recently released his first two solo singles, “Your Capricious Soul” and “Drive To The Ocean.” The R.E.M. singer also has a new photo book called Our Interference Times: A Visual Record combining digital and analog imagery. He sat for an interview on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert last night to discuss all this and more.
The subject of Donald Trump came up because he’s been using R.E.M. songs at his rallies against the band’s wishes. “It’s a licensing problem and there’s nothing we can do except respectfully request that they not use it,” Stipe explained. This led to an anecdote about how Stipe once told Trump to shut up during a Patti Smith concert at Joe’s Pub in NYC. There was also talk about how the climate change protest Extinction Rebellion inspired his return to music, the photo book’s aim to exemplify the seemingly irreconcilable culture clash of our times, and Stipe’s doctor’s advice that he stop watching the news.
Because Thom Yorke recently told Colbert about his favorite R.E.M. song (“So Central Rain”), the host asked Stipe for his favorite Radiohead song. Stipe replied that he loves “Pyramid Song” and would love to cover it sometime. We should note that Vulture critic Craig Jenkins already gathered this information from Stipe a few months ago, but Stipe did add one new tidbit: His favorite Yorke solo song is “Traffic” from last year’s ANIMA.
Watch the two interview segments below.