R.E.M. have explained why they will never reunite as a full-time band, saying that it would “never be as good” if they did.

All four original members of the iconic alternative rock band – singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills and drummer Bill Berry – appeared together last night (June 13) as they were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

The band split amicably in 2011, while Berry had left the group during the height of their commercial success in 1997. However, at the ceremony, the quartet gave a surprise acoustic performance of their 1991 classic ‘Losing My Religion’, the first time the four have played live together since their 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction.

Watch fan-shot footage of the performance below:

Ahead of the ceremony, the quartet also gave a rare interview to CBS News, in which they were asked about the possibility of reforming again in the future.

They remained resolute that it would not be happening, with Buck quickly replying: “It’d never be as good”.

When asked what it would take to get them back together, Mills quipped “a comet”, while Berry added, “superglue”.

Elsewhere in the interview, the former bandmates also discussed what it means to have their songwriting recognised in such a way.

“We lived and died on the strength of our songs, so this is a huge honour,” said Buck.

“it is the hardest thing that we do and it’s the thing that we’ve worked on most from the very beginning,” added Mills.

“Because we had to. I mean really early on, just to put food on the table we had to write songs as fast as we could,” said Berry.

Members of the band have fielded questions about possible reunions in the past, always making clear that they never see it happening. In 2021, Stipe said they will “never reunite”.

“We decided when we split up that that would just be really tacky and probably money-grabbing, which might be the impetus for a lot of bands to get back together. We don’t really need that, and I’m really happy that we just have the legacy of the 32 years of work that we have,” he added.

A year later, Buck clarified that he “wouldn’t change” anything about the band’s time together, before adding: “But I’m not going to go back to it”.

Back in February, R.E.M. reunited on stage during a tribute gig celebrating their 1983 debut album ‘Murmur’, although they did not perform live.

At the 460-capacity 40 Watt Club, where they first established their name on the local circuit in their hometown of Athens, Georgia, all four were present at a show by actor Michael Shannon and musician Jason Narducy where they played ‘Murmur’ in full.

Clips later surfaced of Stipe saying, ““Speaking on behalf of Bill and Mike and Peter, we are so fucking thrilled to be here tonight.”

In 2019, Mills told NME about unheard, unreleased songs that are sitting in the R.E.M. vaults, after the release that year of ‘Fascinating’.

“There are other things floating around but not that much,” he said. “With most of it, if it was worth putting out then we’d have put it out by now.”

In 2023, the bassist went further, saying there were “plenty” of tracks left in the vaults, but added, “there’s a reason you haven’t heard most of it”.

The post R.E.M. explain why they’ll never fully reunite: “It’d never be as good” appeared first on NME.


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