In just a few days we’ll be able to finally hear R.E.M.’s fifteenth album Collapse Into Now in its entirety! The release dates are different – some countries will be getting the album on the 4th March, some a few days later; and those who have a premium subscription for Spotify will be able to listen to the entire album starting from Monday 28 February. Also, NPR will play the album on Tuesday 1 March starting from 2pm. After that, we’ll have a new discussion thread here. winking Yay, can’t wait!

Many thanks to the awesome Kirsten for translating the latest feature from the German Rolling Stone. As most of you have already heard, the printed version of German RS contains a 12-page spread on Collapse Into Now; and among the excerpts published online, one finds this countdown-style discussion of all tracks from the album by the bandmembers themselves. So, here’s the first reviewed track, “Überlin”:


Track by track through the new R.E.M. album: Stipe and Mills about “Überlin”

From now on we’ll be working towards the release of R.E.M.’s new album „Collapse Into Now“ on March 4 – track by track, together with the band. Anyway R.E.M. are an important topic for us in the next several days. There’s an extensive special in the latest issue, several prize draws in the course of the release, and just before the big (holi)day for all R.E.M. fans you will be able to listen to Collapse Into Now here at full length.

But now here we go with our track by track-interview that Birgit Fuß led with the band. And what would be more obvious than starting with a song that for one thing takes place right on our doorstep, and for another thing can already be found in the Net along with a lyric video:

Mike Mills: We couldn’t believe that this pun isn’t used more frequently! The song’s protagonist – at least that’s my interpretation – has had a lot of trouble, many problems and goes to Berlin to get out of it. I can still empathize very well with people that have ordinary jobs and struggle with everyday life and wait for the evening to come. I have cleaned toilets, mucked out horse barns, worked at McDonald’s. I remember the daily grind, just like Peter and Michael do. Those who forget that, they have a problem. Besides, we only really started making money with music quite late in the 1980s – thus I have worked from the age of 15 until almost 30, although already being in the band.

Michael Stipe: I wanted to picture an almost blunt outsider’s perspective – the experience of a guy who is walking through a city that is completely new to him and still very unfamiliar. I have combined these two words to express that. I don’t pretend being a German or a Berliner. Not at all. I just tried to figure out the mind of this outsider. The city could as well be New York. In each of these big, great cities, you can be completely alone. This is the guy up to the last verse, when he finds somebody and says: “Let’s try to make something happen. Tonight. Right now.” I write fictional life stories. It’s about thoughts and emotions and fears people have. Expectations and optimism and desire. That’s not hard [to figure out]. People always project a lot onto public figures and perhaps they think that I only hang out with Eddie Vedder and Patti Smith and Gwyneth Paltrow, but it’s not like that. My life is different. I don’t know many people who set themselves apart from the so-called normal life. And even these people come from ordinary backgrounds and have become famous coincidentally and luckily. But I don’t see myself that way. I ride the U-Bahn like everyone else.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Thank you so much Kirsten – you’re a star! And here’s another article (probably a shorter version of the full feature from the printed magazine).

Finally, here’s another track-by-track review of CIN, courtesy of The Quietus. The review concludes with these wise words: “Perhaps more radical moments like this wouldn’t have gone amiss, but Collapse Into Now is the sound of a band revisiting the ground that they know best – and at this point in their career, it’s probably better to be safe than sorry.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

UPDATE: And again, many thanks to Kirsten who has scanned the entire R.E.M. spread from Rolling Stone! So, this “Überlin” preview is definitely part of the printed feature. If you know German, you can now read explanations and descriptions of all songs; if not, we’ll try to provide translations asap. View the scans below, and I’ve also added them to our Press Archive. For the best viewing quality, right-click on each thumbnail, open in a new tab/window, and zoom in.

Rolling Stone (German), March 2011

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28 Responses to “Two Michaels Discuss Überlin; CIN (p)reviews – UPDATED with scans!”

  1. Ivana Says:

    Kirsten, can I share this with people on Facebook and/or Murmurs? happy

  2. Ivana Says:

    Oh and I hope that the website loads faster now – the previous version of WordPress was so bad, it took ages to load pages or change anything on the site.

  3. Kirsten Says:

    Yes, of course you can share this on Facebook and Murmurs. Spread the word! Just credit me as the translator and I’m happy winking
    If you want to, you can also mention my Facebook URL for reference of who I am (since I’m not registered at Murmurs), plus I always welcome new Facebook friends (fellow R.E.M. fans or not winking )

    I also posted the translation as a note on my Facebook site, as it was way too long to fit into a wall post (I would’ve had to split it into like 10 parts or so).

    Ah yes, the website was very slow-loading sometimes, and some other night I couldn’t access any of the picture galleries because it just wouldn’t load at all – glad to hear there’s a new WordPress version now. Thanks for the update!! happy

  4. Kirsten Says:

    Thanks (again) so much for the credit and the kind words (and for posting my translation on Facebook and Murmurs)! *blushing AGAIN* blushing

    I did the translation very quickly, and I also tried to stick close to the German text, so please forgive me if it sounds Denglish (Deutsch-English = Denglish) and not very eloquent here and there winking

    And Ivana, you’re crazy for almost pulling an all-nighter for us in order to get the scans uploaded tongue
    Thanks a billion big hug

  5. Mark Says:

    Fantastic. Thanks to both of you for posting this.

  6. Tweets that mention Mike Mills Tribute » Blog Archive » Two Michaels Discuss Überlin; CIN (p)reviews – UPDATED with scans! -- Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by saki_1138, Ivana & Elena. Ivana & Elena said: R.E.M. featured in German Rolling Stone – scans: [...]

  7. Kirsten Says:

    Mark, you’re very welcome happy

    Oh Ivana, I’ve just seen that a mistake has slipped into the translation!

    In this sentence:
    “There’s an extensive special in the latest issue, several prize draws in the course of the release, and just before the big (holsleepyday for all R.E.M. fans you will be able to listen to Collapse Into Now here at full length.”

    –> it has to be (holi- )day, the server made a smiley into this word in my original post in the comments because of the character string “i – )”

    Would be great if you could change it here (and maybe on Murmurs when it’s up) winking

  8. Ivana Says:

    Done! As for Murmurs, I’ve just checked and the news submission hasn’t been approved yet. Nevertheless, I also linked this post in a separate thread, so the fans don’t have to wait. happy

  9. Auctioneer Says:

    Kirsten, you’re brilliant! A perfect translation, and a much-needed glimpse into the minds of our favourite songwriters. happy Thank you!

    I’m so tuning in for the live streaming of CIN, even if I have to stay up all night for it. Lots of fizzy drinks all round! tongue

    Yours truly,

    P.S. Your bootleg will arrive early tomorrow morning. Sorry for lateness once again, had a pretty hectic day.

  10. Dol Says:

    Thanks for the scans and translation, Kirsten!

    Just one week, 7 days, 168 hours, 10.080 minutes, 604.800 seconds and “Collapse into Now” will be in my hands. Can’t wait…

  11. Kirsten Says:

    Awww, thanks so much for the kind words Auctioneer! blushing

    Ta-dah, here are two more translation snippets (I started with the first two songs in the article):


    Mills: The song might link directly to “Accelerate” in so far as it has dirty, crashing guitars. We like to start with a rocker. Not always, but often. We knew from very early on that we wanted to let the album start with it. This time, determining the song order was surprisingly easy.
    Stipe: “Up” for example was too long, eleven, maybe twelve songs would have been sufficient. Back then, in the final stages of the recordings, we just weren’t on the same communication level on which we would have been able to discuss and change that, so it happened that way, and that was that. But this time we communicated on so many levels, Mike, Peter and me, that it was clear what shall be on the album and what not. That was good. A couple of good songs didn’t make it, but whatever.

    “All the Best”

    Mills: Funnily enough, I don’t even know anymore where we recorded what. Actually almost everything was recorded everywhere – in New Orleans, Berlin and Nashville. After Berlin we felt pretty confident of how we wanted the album to sound. However Michael still had to do quite a lot of vocal recordings, including this.

  12. Auctioneer Says:

    Wow… that was quick! happy How do you manage to translate so quickly?

    Just had a read of that review on The Quietus – that is NOT a well-written article. Quoted lyrics are often wrong (I count at least 5 occasions where he makes mistakes), and the reviewer even gets a song title wrong… “Mine SMELLS Like Honey”? That isn’t right! sad

    Apart from that, I guess it’s good that we have a positive review, but my blood boils when someone doesn’t do their research. Still, at least he’s not being hugely critical, otherwise I might’ve just written a letter! tongue

  13. Kirsten Says:

    Well, actually I’m not really quick in doing anything big grin
    I just love languages, and I love to translate, I guess that’s why I did another one right away happy

    ***Mistake watch***

    “we just weren’t on the same communication level on which we would have been able to discuss and change that”

    should be:
    “we just weren’t on a level of communication on which we would have been able to discuss and change that”

  14. Linda Says:

    I noticed that as well Auctioneer. I don’t think the reviewer has very good listening skillsthumbs down. Kirsten, you have done all of us a great service in translating for us! Well doneapplause I am really getting excited to hear the entire album! The reviews seem to be positive, yet as usual, the critics hold back. After all, they are paid to criticise phbbbbt It seems that the theme of positivity despite adversity is throughout the album…that is really wonderful to hear. It would seem as well that the guys are all in a better place together(i.e. back to form in their personal relationships with one another) and that is really good news for all of ushappy I have a feeling that there will be another album ( note the mention of a couple of really good songs that didn’t make it on the album) and that the band will record and market on their own label and on their own termsnail biting

  15. Linda Says:

    WOOT WOOT WOOT!!!REMHQ have just posted a new live, in studio video for “Mine Smell Like Honey!!!” Stipey actually smiles ( st Mike?) and there are great shots of the guys, including some great shots of our Mikebig grin

  16. Linda Says:

    Here is the link:

  17. Auctioneer Says:

    Another new story from the HQ has just appeared. Nothing we didn’t know before, but a live chat too? That sounds cool!

  18. Kirsten Says:

    Wow, GREAT, another Live in Studio video!! happy Thanks Linda, and thanks for the kind words!

    A live chat, interesting, but would be a lot more interesting with one or more band members participating big grin
    Thanks Auctioneer for the info!

    Aaaaand a new Mike interview *yaaay* (found it via Murmurs):

    Mike also says that he expects to see a 25th anniversary edition of “Lifes Rich Pageant” this year!
    That’s awesome, I’ve been hungering for that! big grin
    So then there’d only be Document left to get a special edition re-release…

  19. Dol Says:

    Finally there is one cover.

    Tomorrow I will buy it and scanned for you.

  20. Kirsten Says:

    A cover, and scans for us, great! thumbs up
    Thank you Dol!!!

    But only a Michael interview? Hope there’ll be something about the others, too happy

  21. Ivana Says:

    Hello folks whoever is still awake! I’ve been stuck in an archive all day long, only just made it back home. Will repost all this in a minute.
    Btw if anyone is interested in joining the staff here, just let me know! I’ll create a profile for you and explain how to post news and other stuff – it’s quite simple! That way you wouldn’t have to wait for me if I’m away. happy

  22. Kirsten Says:

    In case of doubt it’s me who’s still awake big grin

    Count me in, I’d be glad to join the staff. I’ve never before blogged or created a website or anything, but I hope I’ll get it quickly, I think much of it is quite self-explanatory happy

  23. Linda Says:

    Technically challenged, old girl here…….not sure if I can help or not, but send me the info as to how to do it, and I can soldier along! big grin

  24. Janet & Anton Says:

    Did I forget to thank you for showing us this wonderful article?
    Thank You!
    A great German friend made us very happy today with a ‘real’ copy of this RS, but when we had not seen it here, we had not known it was this elaborate.

  25. Kirsten Says:

    You’re very welcome Janet & Anton! Glad you enjoyed the scans and translations happy

  26. Linda Says:

    Kirsten and Dol…you have done amazing work on the translations. I am always amazed what you can do with english as a second language. When Kirsten asked me to look over her translation, I was blown away. There was barely a correction to be made. It was so well done!applause Wish I had your talent for languages ladies( as I sit here and struggle through my Spanish For Dummies)happy

  27. Dol Says:

    Thank you Linda! I try to do my best, but someone (read: Ivana) did a good job of proofreading tongue

  28. Kirsten Says:

    Thank you so much for the kind words Linda!! blushing blushing blushing

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