Stipe talked about the inspiration behind the book (the merging of analog and digital technology) as well as about one of his earliest heroes: Quasimodo, the hunchback of Notre Dame.
“He was this ostracized outsider that was beloved by me, and probably you, actually,” Stipe told Colbert with a laugh.
Colbert also asked the former R.E.M. frontman what he felt about Donald Trump using the band’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” as a walkout song at rallies. Stipe encouraged the Late Show audience to boo before explaining that, due to licensing issues, the band could only “politely” tell Trump to refrain from using the song.
Still, Stipe said, he managed to tell off Trump one time in the late Nineties. While attending a benefit concert at Joe’s Pub in New York, Stipe was sitting in the VIP section when Trump came in and sat down with his date, loudly talking throughout the whole performance. When Stipe’s friend Patti Smith came onstage, he finally turned to Trump and told him to “shut up,” prompting the real estate mogul to leave.