As we continue to gear up for R.E.M in Dublin, Ireland this summer, we’ve been keeping our eyes open for signs of activity from some of our favorite bands, one of which is Conor Oberst’s Bright Eyes. Bright Eyes just wrapped up touring the United States with another good friend of the HQ, Andy Lemaster of Now It’s Overhead on bass. If you missed them in the States never fear, Bright Eyes will soon begin a lengthy tour of Europe in support of their latest record Cassadaga so be sure to check them out if they come near you.

In addition there is a really good interview with Conor in the latest issue of The Big Takeover, one of the finest, if not THE finest magazine out there edited and run by Jack Rabid. The Big Takeover and Conor talk about his new record, touring, New York City, Omaha, Saddle Creek, and R.E.M., and Bruce Springsteen (Bright Eyes played with the Boss and R.E.M. during 2004’s VFC Tour) among other things.

Congratulations to Bright Eyes for their recent inclusion in Q Magazine’s Top Ten Most Exciting Bands in the World Right Now poll.

Excerpt From The Big Takeover:

TBT: How were the shows opening for R.E.M.?

Conor Oberst: Amazing. Those guys are so generous and thoughtful and encouraging. Really great people. All of them. Michael Stipe, especially is just a great friend of mine, and a really sweet person through and through, and very intelligent. I admire him a lot musically and for how he conducts his business–conducts himself with the causes he champions and the issues he chooses. He’s a good role model for people in that middle-age of a rock career…I feel like he’s still kind of creating his canon of music and his legacy as a musician is still being formed.

Pick up the latest issue of The Big Takeover (Shins cover story) to read the rest of this interview.