REM Broke Up To 'Walk Away As Friends'

Following last week's surprise announcement that REM were breaking up, the band has opened up about why it decided to suddenly call it quits after 31 years.

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Following last week's surprise announcement that R.E.M. were breaking up, the band has opened up about why it decided to suddenly call it quits after 31 years.

"It's not because we have to or we can't stand each other or we suck," bassist Mike Mills said in an interview with Rolling Stone's David Fricke. "We're happy. But we're done."

Mills also revealed that the band, which also includes singer Michael Stipe and guitarist Peter Buck, had discussed the end as far back as 2008: "We'd say things like, 'We have X number of records in the contract. By the time we finish, we'll be X number of years old. Do we still want to be out there flogging it?'"

So why wait to walk away after releasing their 15th album, "Collapse Into Now," in March? As Mills revealed, the band wanted to prove that it could still put out worthwhile material, especially following 2004's poorly received "Around The Sun."

"We needed to prove, not only to our fans and critics but to ourselves, that we could still make great records, and we made two," he said, referring to "Collapse" and 2008's "Accelerate." "We thought, 'We've done it. Now let's do something no other band has done: Shake hands and walk away as friends.'"

Fans won't have to wait long to hear R.E.M.'s final recordings. The group will release three new tracks on their upcoming hits compilation, "Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage: 1982-2011." The record is due out from Warner on Nov. 15, with "A Month Of Saturdays," "We All Go Back To Where We Belong" and "Hallelujah" rounding out the 40-song double album.

Thanks for the report to Spinner.com.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    everjump
    GaryBillington wrote: Think I'm the only person in the world who actually liked Around The Sun!
    You're not alone
    69balltongue69
    One of the first songs I learned how to play was by these guys. Never really into them, but great that they aren't ultra dramatic about the end.
    DickHardwood
    BigHombre wrote: walking away and final release is a greatest hits album? Sounds like they had one more contractually obligated release and opted to go the GH route and make a little retirement cash. good for them - good band.
    They released Collapse Into Now in March..so not only a GH album.
    Rimfrost
    GaryBillington wrote: Think I'm the only person in the world who actually liked Around The Sun!
    I liked the outsider, but i havent been able to get into the rest of the songs. But i loved Reveal and Accelerate
    BigHombre
    walking away and final release is a greatest hits album? Sounds like they had one more contractually obligated release and opted to go the GH route and make a little retirement cash. good for them - good band.
    AltarageR
    Around the Sun is far, far superior to Accelerate and Collapse Into Now, which were just boring albums tbh. Up, Reveal and Around the Sun are among of the most sonically amazing albums I've ever heard. New Adventures in Hi-Fi is criminally underrated too.