Tidbits of information have been emerging in the blogosphere of late concerning R.E.M.'s upcoming 15th LP. Officially titled Collapse into Now, the band once again brought Garret “Jacknife” Lee to handle production duties. In an interview with Spin, bassist Mike Mills revealed more information about the record; namely that it will feature guest spots from Eddie Vedder, Peaches and once again, Patti Smith.
Mills also disclosed the directions Collapse into Now has taken via Spin.
"With Accelerate, we were trying to make a point by making the songs as short and as fast as possible," he said. "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."The bassist also declared that the album promises to be "very personal, very human," a departure from the more direct and openly political Accelerate.
This time out R.E.M. switched up their method by scheduling sessions in different cities -- Berlin, Nashville, New Orleans -- with breaks between to write and rewrite songs.
"It's also fun for us to go to the cities we really love and spend some time," says Mills. After a day's work in the studio, the band would go out to dinner. "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."
There's no word as to the exact release date, but it is expected to be out sometime in spring 2011. (Nor was there any explanation for Peter Buck’s new Prince Valiant haircut... ed.)