Daily Distraction: Read Michael Stipe on REM's 'New Adventures in Hi-Fi'

Stereogum recently sat down with the former REM singer to discuss the 25th anniversary of the band's 1996 studio album

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
R.E.M. released "New Adventures in Hi-Fi" in 1996.

With the album New Adventures in Hi-Fi celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, former REM singer Michael Stipe recently sat down with Stereogum to talk about everything from writing and recording while on the road to how a thunderstorm and the late River Phoenix collided to inspire the song "Departure."

"['Departure'] was inspired by a storm that I’d seen from an airplane. I can still picture it, and I can tell you what seat I was in. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen," Stipe said. "And I was really upset when I landed. I was also insanely jetlagged, but I was really upset that I couldn’t reach out to River and just tell him about it. That’s the kind of thing that he would have really dug. So the lyrics just fell out of me, from all that regret."

Read the whole interview here and listen to Hi-Fi track "How the West Was Won and Where It Got Us" below.