Peter Buck opened up about whether he ever wanted to reunite with REM
The band parted ways on September 21, 2011, posting a statement on Instagram saying “as lifelong friends and collaborators, we have decided to call it a day as a band,” adding that they were leaving with ” a great feeling of gratitude, purpose and wonder for all we have achieved”.
Now, in a new interview with Classic Rock Magazine (via Louder Sound), former guitarist Buck has once again confirmed that the band’s split is permanent.
“When the non-musical stuff got so intense, it took some of the fun out of me,” Buck said, reflecting on the band’s success after they got “big”.
“It’s those things where you wake up and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, I don’t want to get my picture taken today. And I don’t want to pretend I’m an actor in a video that I can’t act.’ ‘”
He continued: “I would have loved to play Glastonbury and play in front of lots of people and sell lots of copies of records, but that was never why I did it.
“And when we got to the point where we decided it was the end, it felt like a great shared experience.
“I wouldn’t change it, but I’m not going back to it.”
The musician went on to say that he felt the band ended things at the right time and at a high point.
“The last two records were really strong,” he said. “But I felt as good as our last record was, it wasn’t our time anymore. And that’s fair, and I understand that.
“And we got lucky. The last tour we did, we were still playing to a huge crowd. We went to South America, which was like being the Beatles. So everyone was like, ‘Yeah, it’s this is a good starting point. Stop ‘”.
Last year, singer Michael Stipe dismissed any suggestion that REM might reunite.
On the other hand, Stipe and REM bassist Mike Mills told NME in 2019 that the band still has “unheard” material that has never been released.
“There’s not much that’s perfect because [‘Fascinating’]was full and mixed but we couldn’t put it on record,” said Mills.
“There are other things floating around, but not so much. With most, if it was worth pulling out, we would have done it already.”