The ex-REM frontman talks us through his new collection of photographs – and explains why he’s giving all profits from his new single to Extinction Rebellion
Michael Stipe pops his head around a pillar. “Hello! It’s Michael!” he says, though we’ve met before and he’s very famous. It’s early evening and we’re in the lobby of Stipe’s London hotel, two minutes’ walk from the Extinction Rebellion protest in Trafalgar Square. All is shiny, stately and calm, though we can hear the occasional police helicopter above our heads. This pleases Stipe. He’s a supporter of the protest; in fact he’s just released his first solo single, Your Capricious Soul, with a pay-as-much-as-you-like price tag, all monies going to Extinction Rebellion.
“I mean,” he says, “I came into London today, and I can’t think of a better excuse to be late for a meeting than a bunch of people who are literally looking at the end of us – and we’re taking a bunch of species with us if we go – and trying to do something about it … Oh! Have one of these!” He digs into his bag and gives me his own specially designed XR sticker.