Although R.E.M. are (unfortunately) no longer an active band, two of its members have been in the media quite a bit recently.

Frontman Michael Stipe and bassist Mike Mills have been doing a number of interviews relating to the band's album 'Monster', which is 25 years old.

The band were arguably at the height of their fame during that period, when Stipe chose to come out during that album's promotional cycle - and he has discussed his decision in a new interview.

Refuting the idea that he was ever 'closeted', he told Billboard: "That’s the thing that’s beautiful about it and I’m so proud of. You can never find a single picture of me pretending to have a girlfriend or being somebody that I’m not. I was never that guy.”

He added: "Any longstanding R.E.M. fan who had not figured out I was queer before that point wasn’t looking very hard."

In the past, Stipe has embraced using the word 'queer' over 'gay'. "I think there's a line drawn between gay and queer, and for me, queer describes something that's more inclusive of the grey areas," he said in a 2004 interview.

Although he had dated women in the past, Stipe's relationships were primarily with men. He later clarified that his preference was "around 80-20, but I definitely prefer men to women."

Stipe has been in a long-term relationship with photographer Thomas Dozol in recent years, and there was speculation that they had married in 2014.