The music industry moves quickly, especially now that digital streaming is available. Bands such as U2 and R.E.M., on the other hand, have withstood the test of time. The two bands have also become friends along the road, with R.E.M. vocalist Michael Stipe telling The Telegraph in 2004 that Bono was the one who got him out of a slump with his songwriting. So, while Stipe was having writer’s block, Bono provided him advice that changed his outlook. The singer revealed that Bono was instrumental in his creative rebirth trip while he worked on the band’s 13th studio album, ‘Around The Sun.’ Michael spoke on Bono’s counsel, which prompted him to reconsider his approach to creating lyrics. He remembered: “I am not a prolific writer, and I have to tap myself to get the lyrics out.” It has never been simple. But Bono sat me down and said: ‘Think of it as being like a brick layer. Let’s simply keep doing what we do best: writing tunes.
They don’t have to be fantastic. Just send them an email and see what happens.” Stipe said, “I followed the words of U2 and put pen to paper without thinking about the numbers.” He went on to say: “So he gave me some very wise advice, which I took and ran with.” I just kept writing and writing and writing. I gave up on making a perfect record and concluded that if some of the songs are B minuses, that’s fine; the ones that will rise to the top will be A pluses. I pulled a lot of songs out, and I’m very sure I can keep doing that.” Michael also said that with this new approach of creating albums and writing lyrics, he was less scared by the prospect of creating a follow-up album. The singer went on to say: “For the first time in 24 years, I didn’t collapse at the end of the last verse of the last song we recorded with that I’ll-never-be-able-to-do-it-again feeling that has haunted me for every record we’ve ever made.” Even though Stipe had doubts about his ability to write songs for a while, Bono lauded the singer in his biography, ‘Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story,’ which was published last year. Bono had this to say about Michael’s influential songwriting: “R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe’s lyrics changed the way we see America.” He also has one of the best voices in geography. This was a band that made the entire globe want to visit Athens, Georgia.”