Longstanding rock troupe R.E.M. have called it a day.
In a post on the band’s official website, the Athens, Ga.-born band said they’ve “decided to call it a day,” with each member explaining their perspective on the move.
“To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening,” said the post, signed R.E.M.
Guitarist Mike Mills said some of his piece. “”We have always been a band in the truest sense of the word. Brothers who truly love, and respect, each other. We feel kind of like pioneers in this–there’s no disharmony here, no falling-outs, no lawyers squaring-off. We’ve made this decision together, amicably and with each other’s best interests at heart. The time just feels right.”
“A wise man once said–‘the skill in attending a party is knowing when it’s time to leave. We built something extraordinary together. We did this thing. And now we’re going to walk away from it,” said frontman Michael Stipe. “I hope our fans realize this wasn’t an easy decision; but all things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way.”
The band’s latest album, “Collapse Into Now,” was released in March, and made it to No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart. Somewhat conspicuously, R.E.M. did not tour in support of the set. Guitarist Peter Buck told the Guardian, at the time, that touring had a grating, repetitive nature.
“I’m not really sure that touring sells records,” he said.
Mills told Rolling Stone something similar, that touring was “exhausting,” and hinted that he, Stipe and Buck all had plans to eventually work on other projects, even hinting at his own solo stint.
“With us, it”s like in every family or every relationship or in every business: You have to consider where you stand, time after time. Because no matter how long you have known each other: chaos happens, and entropy is part of the game, and things [we] drift apart [from each other]…. We are three very different people, and we”re not permanently together. When we”re not working, we”re living very separate lives.”
R.E.M. has released 15 studio albums over its 31 years.