Michael Stipe, frontman of the iconic alt-rock band R.E.M. has put an end to any notion that the group will be reuniting. He has insisted that the band’s famous split ten years ago was a permanent decision. In a recent radio interview, in which Stipe was discussing the new Velvet Underground tribute compilation, he described fan’s speculation that R.E.M. might reform as “wishful thinking at best”.
During the interview, Stipe told All Of It host, Alison Stewart: “We 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.”
To really hammer it home, following the interview, R.E.M. decided to re-post the announcement they made when they split up in 2011. On their Instagram page, R.E.M. posted a picture with the tagline: “To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band.”
“We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening,” the message read.
From 1980 to 2011, R.E.M. recorded 15 studio albums and released their final LP Collapse Into Now in March of 2011. While the band never actually toured that final record, they did reunite for a private party in France for their manager Bertis Downs.
Elsewhere, R.E.M. have announced a 25th-anniversary edition of their album New Adventures In Hi-Fi. The reissue is set to be released on October 29th and forms part of the band’s 40th-anniversary celebrations.