Michael Stipe’s R.E.M. bandmate does not expect him to launch a solo career.

The ‘Everybody Hurts’ group announced last month that they are to separate after 31 years together but bassist Mike Mills thinks the singer will concentrate on other projects rather than continue to pursue a musical career.

He told Mojo magazine: “I don’t think that music is where his passion lies. I think he wants to be in the visual arts. I imagine Michael will do a lot of sculpture and photography. I think those are his big interests now.”

Mike recently admitted he doesn’t think R.E.M. – which also includes Peter Buck – will ever share a stage together again.

Discussing their split, he said: “There is sadness because I will never play on the same stage as Peter and Michael again. We’re doing this for good reasons, and we end up looking back at all the fun, the joy and the incredible opportunities we had.

“It’s not because we have to or we can’t stand each other or we suck. We’re happy, but we’re done.”

To mark the end of their career, the band are to release a new greatest hits compilation, entitled ‘Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage: 1982-2011 ‘, next month.