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Radiohead, R.E.M. Hit the Studio to Work On New Albums

May 18, 2009 12:27 PM ET

A pair of the biggest bands in rock, Radiohead and R.E.M., hit the studio recently to begin work on their next albums. While both groups are in the beginning stages of writing and recording, they offered up some early details in a series of interviews.

Radiohead have reconvened with longtime producer Nigel Godrich to start work on the follow-up of 2007's In Rainbows. "It was very noisy and chaotic and really fun," bassist Colin Greenwood told BBC's 6 Music of the band's recording session. "It's at the stage where we've got the big Lego box out and we've tipped it out on the floor and we're just looking at all the bits and thinking 'What's next?' I'm very impressed and grateful for Nigel our producer and his ability to make it all sound vaguely plausible."

 

Greenwood had some more vague details for NME.com, adding, "It's really cool and everything is sounding great. It's early days and it is a bit like having a scrapbook at the moment because everything is up in the air, but it's good to be back in the studio." Considering the recent report that the band was encouraged by their management to "split up" during the tumultuous recording of In Rainbows, we're glad to hear that things thus far are going smoothly. While the band provided no specifics, one of the tracks that may get the studio treatment is "Super Collider," which Radiohead premiered during concerts on their In Rainbows tour.

As for R.E.M., guitarist Peter Buck spoke to Pitchfork about the early stages of recording their follow-up to last year's Accelerate. Buck and bassist Mike Mills recently entered a Portland, Oregon studio to record skeletal tracks that they written wrote touring behind their recent album in the hopes of making some music that would "excite Michael [Stipe] about getting inspired." Unlike the stripped-down Accelerate, Buck says, "This record, I want it to be broader; I think Michael [Stipe] is into that. So there are some really pretty acoustic things, some really total noisy rock, and some kind of poppy stuff. It runs the gamut." While Jackknife Lee will likely serve as producer again, Tucker Martine, who produced the Decemberists' Hazards of Love helped Buck and Mills lay down the demos.

Related Stories:

Radiohead Advised to "Split Up" Prior to "In Rainbows"
R.E.M. Play Surprise Song at Tribute to Their Three-Decade Career
From Art School to the Hall of Fame: R.E.M. Give a Tour of Their Discography

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

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Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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