R.E.M. On Why They're Not Getting "Up" For New Tour

R.E.M. is hoping to rebound from the disappointing commercial response to its last record, 1996's "New Adventures in Hi-Fi," when the group releases its eleventh studio album, "Up," next week.

The band has already released "Daysleeper" [28.8 RealVideo] as the first single and video from the new album, which also features what frontman Michael Stipe calls his first true love song, "At My Most Beautiful," a sentimental tribute to the aborted Brian Wilson-Van Dyke Park "Smile" sessions dating from 1966.

MTV News' Tabitha Soren sat down recently with Stipe, Peter Buck and Mike Mills to talk about the new record, during which Buck explained why the band wouldn't be heading out on the road for a full-fledged tour in support of "Up."

"It might very well be bad for the band," Buck said, "if we go on the road and if we don't enjoy it, are totally

stressed out and play badly, we might break up. As it is, we're at this point where we are all looking forward to doing these things. We will be doing some performances next year, we've got new songs we're working on, and we'll do some soundtrack work, we'll do another record. We've really come to terms with what it's like to be this band as we are, figuring out who will play what instruments. I mean, I'm serious -- it'll be like a circus [when we play live]." [28.8 RealVideo]

On Wednesday night, R.E.M. performed at New York City's Bowery Ballroom for a taping of "Live from the 10 Spot," scheduled to air next Wednesday at 9 p.m, and for the first time in many years, the band did its 1981 classic, "Radio Free Europe."

"This song came out before our drummer was born," joked Stipe as he introduced the song, referring to the band's youthful touring drummer, Joey Waronker.