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R.E.M. Members Working With Producer Mitch Easter for First Time in 30+ Years

They're at work on a new album by The Baseball Project in North Carolina

R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and Mike Mills are in the studio with producer Mitch Easter for the first time in more than 30 years, according to a Twitter post. The musicians are recording a new album at Easter’s Fidelitorium Recording studio in Kernersville, N.C., with The Baseball Project, their long-running group featuring former R.E.M. sideman Scott McCaughey, The Dream Syndicate’s Steve Wynn and drummer Linda Pitmon.

Easter produced R.E.M.’s 1981 single “Radio Free Europe” and its 1982 debut EP, Chronic Town, at his Drive-In studio in Winston-Salem, N.C., and went on to produce the group at other area studios for its 1983 full-length debut Murmur and its 1984 follow-up, Reckoning. Easter has been working out of Fidelitorium since the mid-1990s and has consulted on anniversary reissue editions of those R.E.M. projects in recent years.

“They were not what I expected at all,” Easter told MusicRadar in 2021 of his first impressions of R.E.M. at the “Radio Free Europe” session more than 40 years ago. “They had a lot more references to older music than I expected. They came in the night before the session, and they stayed over at my house and we played records. I remember thinking, ‘This is great,’ because I’ve never met these guys before but instantly it was comfortable, and we were having a good time.”

The Baseball Project has not released an album since 2014’s 3rd. McCaughey, Buck and Wynn are also members of The Minus 5, who have toured as recently as 2019.