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R.E.M.

| March 3, 2011 | 0 Comments

I’m finally at a place where I can separate thinking about a lyric and really working on a lyric, versus just allowing something to happen and letting it be what it is. That’s the conscious versus the unconscious voice. It’s really easy to write pop lyrics. It’s falling-off-a-log to write a song that everyone can sing along to, with a great melody and with words that are memorable. But there are enough songs like that in the world. And there are a lot of them that I think are incredibly mediocre, and I just don’t want to contribute to that. I would rather write something like “E-Bow the Letter” [from the 1996 album, New Adventures in Hi-Fi]—something that makes no rational sense to anyone, but that has a visceral feeling and a mood that’s undeniable.

—R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe

Performing Songwriter Issue 81
November 2004

Category: In Their Own Words

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