November 14th, 2011
04:03 PM ET

R.E.M.'s Stipe: We love each other, but it's over

Don't call it a breakup, call it a disbanding, musician Michael Stipe explained to CNN's Shanon Cook on the end of R.E.M. as we knew them.

When the iconic and influential group announced in September that they were "calling it a day as a band," the Internet seemed to go into mourning, and Stipe says the blogosphere erupted with theories.

"Everyone has their opinion on when R.E.M. should have, or might should have, broken up, but we don't even call it breaking up, we disbanded," Stipe says. "Between the three of us, we kind of arrived at it at the same time...there's no animosity, there's no weirdness...we love each other, and have huge respect for each other. We reached a point where it didn't feel like it made sense to carry on any further, and we happened to do that at a very high point in a 31-year career of highs and lows."

But there's no getting around that this is "the end of the road as a touring and recording entity," adds Mike Mills, and "as far as creating more stuff."

They had to formally quit rather than just take a break, Mills said, because "If you do that, then you've got constant questions of when's your next record, your next tour, and in a way that would inhibit whatever it is we plan to do going forward."

Says Stipe, "For ourselves, I think we needed and wanted that closure and clarity."

The former members of R.E.M. don't know what they're going to do next, but fans shouldn't pin their hopes on a comeback tour.

"Never say never, but we're not going to do it," Stipe said at the thought of touring. "If we ever did, we would tell you exactly why, and it would be because one of us for some reason or other really needed money. But I don't see that happening. We're being really honest by saying it's over, we love each other, we love what we did, [but] it's done."

soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. boocat

    REM will be back....guarantee it.

    November 15, 2011 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  2. itchy

    They are yucky. And way ooooold. I was born on 1997, so these dooders were trying to rap when my grandparents were young. Maybe even in the 60s.

    November 15, 2011 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
  3. Stan

    I guess it's human nature but I don't understand why people can't recognize that 30 plus years is a really long time for a band to exist. Most bands just last a few years tops. A band is just an artificial construct, it's not like someone died when a band decides to retire. What can die if a band stays together too long are friendships, and that really is a sad thing.

    November 14, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Beautiful Vixen

    Just want to say hi to you @Evel. Hope you are having a great night luv. Later..mwwaahh! :~)

    November 14, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Juantavius G

    His moms named him stripe because he always left a stripe in his unnerwear.

    November 14, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Juantavius G

    Yeah. They were cruddy rappers. Never talked about hooes or guunz or anything.

    November 14, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. u all suck

    especially you, evel.

    November 14, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. eel

    Divorce, "Hollywood" style!

    November 14, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Evel Knievel

    They've sucked since the first time you could understand the words Stipe was singing.

    November 14, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Anomic Office Drone

    I like REM, but I think it's nice that they're recognizing that it's time to stop without there being an ugly breakup.

    November 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Juantavius G

    How does everyone like my new name? Pretty imaginative for a white girl, huh? Shows Ive got soul and stuff.

    November 14, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Juantavius G

    I liked em.

    November 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. chantal

    YES ! I dont like their rap music anyways. It doesnt rhyme at all. Probably some of the worst hip hop ever. Plus these guys arent even black.

    November 14, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andre

      Rap Music? What are you talking about, REM have never preformed rap music, granted some of their songs have a spoken word element to them, but I would hardly categorize them as rap artists. Also, way to stereotype since when has rap music been the exclusive property of black people, if memory serves correct The Beastie Boys are one of the pioneering bands of modern hip hop and all of them were white.

      November 14, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • zombie kid

      I like turtles.

      November 14, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |

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