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Sunday 18 March 2018

REM split 'not about bruised egos'

Mike Mills reckons it was just the right time for REM to go their separate ways
Mike Mills reckons it was just the right time for REM to go their separate ways

REM's Mike Mills has said there were no dramas or bruised egos behind the group's recent split - just that "you have to stop sometime".

The bass player from the chart-topping band also said that there was no-one else behind them calling it a day - just himself, singer Michael Stipe and guitarist Peter Buck.

"We are far too stubborn to do anything we're told to," he said, insisting it was their decision, and their decision alone.

"If it ever looked like we ought to break up because of internal problems, or external, that was always an incentive to carry on and work it out," he added.

Mike said they also hadn't quit because their music was no longer as good: "I think [2011's] Collapse Into Now is as good as almost anything we've done, and [2008's] Accelerate was a great record we were really happy with," he said.

"But we really started looking at ourselves during the 2008 tour and thought we had some decisions to make."

Mike alluded to the fact their 2008 show at Twickenham Stadium was poorly attended, while a planned concert at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium had to be downsized.

While he rebuts the allegation that bruised egos led to the band's break-up, he wasn't unaffected by the events. "As a human being, you feel those things," he said.

He added: "You have to stop sometime. We're as on top as we could be after 31 years, we're all happy and content in our personal lives and with each other, so why not underline the career right now and say, 'This is it'?"

:: REM's career retrospective Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982-2011 is out now.

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