Michael Stipe Talks R.E.M. Break-Up

It was a sad day in the music world when the announcement came a couple months ago that [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]R.E.M.[/lastfm] would be no more, but frontman Michael Stipe said the announcement was “liberating.”

Stipe recently sat down with Rolling Stone magazine to discuss how he felt with saying good-bye to R.E.M., a band he fronted since it’s formation in Athens, Georgia in 1980.

He says the time was right, “…we were at the end of a record contract. We are all in our fifties and have other lives. And R.E.M. has always been about the rule of ‘no.’ We always knew what we didn’t want to do.”

He also goes on to say his relationship with fellow band mates guitarist Peter Buck and bassist Mike Mills is still strong.

However, the question was posed to why make the split official.

[pullquote quote=”…we were at the end of a record contract. We are all in our fifties and have other lives. And R.E.M. has always been about the rule of ‘no.’ We always knew what we didn’t want to do.” credit=”Michael Stipe on why R.E.M. parted ways now”]

“It was important for R.E.M. to be finite, not let it become this thing that might or might not happen. We needed this not to be the elephant in the room: ‘Why has it been three years and you’re not talking about a tour or a new album? You haven’t signed a new deal.’ We had to put it behind us,” Stipe said.

For their last hooray, the band recently released a greatest hits compilation titled, Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage: 1982-2011 a two-disc set complete with old school R.E.M. favorites and even a few new singles.

When asked what song he’ll miss the most preforming, Stipe said, “‘Man on the Moon’ – watching the effect of that opening bass line on a sea of people at the end of a show. And that is an easy song to sing. It’s hard to sing a bad note in it.”

One thing in for sure, the band may have called it quits, but the music lives on.

Too cliche?

Anyways, here are a few of our favorite R.E.M. tunes and big “Thank You” to Stipe and Co. for 30 years of great music. Enjoy…

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