Michael Stipe on his new music, photography and more
This week we’re talking with Michael Stipe, who fronted the band R.E.M., about discovering his voice and the punk rock that inspired him to become a singer in high school.
Raised a military brat, Stipe was frequently relocated as a kid, from Germany to Texas and Alabama. His family settled in Southern Illinois as he entered high school, where he developed a love for punk rock. After a brief stint at the University of Georgia, he met Peter Buck and started the beginnings of what would become R.E.M., one of the most acclaimed bands in rock history. Over 30+ years, they sold over 85 million albums and Stipe was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Outside of R.E.M, which broke up in 2011, he’s collaborated with Warren Zevon, Patti Smith, Billy Bragg, KRS-One, Tori Amos and so many others. Stipe has also been working on photography, collaborating with artists like Aaron Dessner and Justin Vernon.
Recently, he’s begun recording his own material again. Slowly and deliberately, when inspiration strikes. His latest single is called “Drive to The Ocean.”
About the show
Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.
Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.
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