Blimey, what a gloomy bunch you lot are!
I thought it was a great interview - I nearly did cartwheels around the living room when he said they were going into the studio next month to start on the new album.
And I laughed myself stupid when the interviewer asked what issue bothered him most at the moment, and he said "Well, aside from global annihilation..." and the interviewer said "Are you really worried about global annihilation?" and Michael said "No, I'm kidding."
As for the future of the band... he just said he can't think further than the next album at the moment, which is perfectly natural for any artist tied up with their current project. And he added that he loves his job - which surely means he has no intention of quitting!
Hummm.....this is all very interesting. I did not hear the interview with Michael Stipe, but it sounds to me like you're saying in the interview that Michael said REM were going back into the studio next month (Sept? Oct?) which I find really, really strange because I just spoke with someone this past week (in Los Angeles) "close" to the band and when I asked him point-blank: "What's going on with REM" he said, "Nothing. There's nothing going on clear until the summer of 2007. We wrote a bunch of songs but Michael never got the lyrics finished, so we have no plans for the moment." Hummm.......