R.E.M. gives fans a chance to remix their song 

As major labels implode and artists are left to their own inventive self-promoting devices, bands are finding unique new ways of getting their fans more involved.

Like R.E.M. (who still record for a major, however), who are now making their audience a fun interactive offer to pave the way for “Collapse Into You,” their upcoming Jacknife Lee-produced effort that hits shelves March 8.

It’s a full, and decidedly fun, remix project revolving around the song “It Happened Today.”

Think you can do a better job on it than Lee did? Go to the band’s website to download the 16 raw-source tracks as a Garageband file for Mac or stem audio files for other platforms, take ingredients like Peter Buck’s mandolin, Michael Stipe’s vocals, or the cameo crooning of Eddie Vedder and Hidden Cameras leader Joel Gibb, and run with them.

With no reverb, no mixing, no effects at all, the song is yours to reimagine then post on the site for R.E.M. — and fans alike — to hear and respond to.

Clever, eh?

“It Happened Today” is also available as a free instant download when you preorder “Collapse” on iTunes.

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Tom Lanham

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