REM frontman Michael Stipe feels his competitive streak appearing whenever he hears a new track by rock band U2.

Although the LOSING MY RELIGION singer is friends with the Irish supergroup's frontman Bono, he feels propelled to continue writing songs after hearing the U2's latest material to prove he can still be part of the music scene.

Stipe, 44, says, "I'm friends with people like U2 and Radiohead. They still make phenomenal music that moves me.

"I've heard what those people are doing right now and I'm so excited about it. And it pushed me to continue because I'm competitive.

"If PJ Harvey writes a great song I'm really annoyed about it - if she can do it, I can do it.

"That's the way I am. That's where the competitive edge comes in and we talk and laugh about it. It's a good thing. Hopefully it's a mutual respect."

03/10/2004 21:11