Michael Stipe still isn't ready to make a solo album.
The 58-year-old singer - whose band REM disbanded in 2011 - was ''surprised'' at how comfortably he settled back into the recording studio while producing Fischerspooner's new LP 'Sir', but he insists the experience wasn't enough to make him want to set down his own track.
He said: ''[Producing 'Sir'] definitely brought me back to music in a very unexpected way. I had had a good five years off, away from writing and composing.
''And it surprised me how easily I found myself in a studio with ideas and wanting to put them down right away. So, yeah, it did surprise me.''
Asked if that was enough to make him want to record an album, he said: ''I wouldn't go there quite yet. But thanks for asking, ha ha.''
And the group's Casey Spooner praised his former lover and producer for encouraging him to be direct and keep his lyrics ''simple''.
He told the i newspaper: ''I had rules about not using words like 'love', 'baby', 'Jesus'. Michael made me throw those out. He convinced me to be simple.''
And some of the record was inspired by the breakdown of Casey's marriage, with one track, 'Stranger Strange' inspired by a month-long ''affair'' he subsequently had with a man in Madrid.
He explained: ''The crazy thing is, the first night we met - he picked me up off of [the app] Scruff - he whipped me. I'd never been into S&M, but he'd been a master in a dungeon. He used the whips very delicately, but it was interesting because it triggered childhood memories. Because my dad used to whip me with a leather belt.
''So I was in this place in my life where I'd lost all stability, my relationship, my identity. And all of a sudden this stranger whipped me - and I had this intense sense of comfort, because it took me to these memories of my father.''