Interviews: Mike Mills (R.E.M.) blasts Coulter

(excerpts)

Weekly Dig: I noticed that one of the older tunes you’ve exhumed for this tour is “Exhuming McCarthy.” Would that song choice be in any way a reaction to the revisionist theories being bandied about lately by ultra-conservative Ann Coulter, who believes that McCarthy was the misunderstood victim of liberal muckraking?
Mike Mills: God, she’s an asshole. I cannot believe that woman … she’s out of her fucking mind! She must literally be insane. Actually, we try to ignore Ann Coulter whenever possible. It’s funny; we just played it because we liked it, but it’s weird that there are several songs that we’re playing that could have been written yesterday, in terms of their timeliness. It’s like … didn’t we write these like 15 years ago? And they apply just as much today, if not more.

WD: Wherever musicians are rallying to a cause, R.E.M. has often been found on the front lines. So it was no surprise that the band had its own contribution (“Final Straw”) to the brief Internet anti-war protest song phenomenon earlier this year.
Mills: We already had it pretty much written at that point, and then when Bush invaded Iraq, we said, “Well, I think we have to say something about this. You know, we have to let people know that if they’re opposed to this war, they’re not alone.” So that’s what we did. You know, the Internet is good and bad, but one good thing about it is the immediacy of it, so we just threw the song up there, as did Lenny Kravitz and a few other people … you know, just to make a statement. When you’re upset about things, sometimes you just have to let it out, so that’s what that was.

WD: I understand you’re working on your next full album of new material. Do the newer songs have a strong political bent?
Mills: Yeah, there are a couple that are extremely political. But there are some really slow, beautiful ones, and then there’s some kind of almost psychedelic, mid-tempo stuff. But we’re still writing. We’ve still got a lot of work to do before the next CD. It’ll hopefully be out by fall of next year.

Originally published on 3 October 2003 by Weekly Dig (the link has expired)
Source: Democratic Underground


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