Lead guitarist for R.E.M., Peter Buck, has ceded that he will never be a part of a reunion for the band. Buck co-founded the “Losing My Religion” band back in 1980 and remained a member until they called it quits in 2011.
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Buck told Classic Rock Magazine that he struggled to get enjoyment out of the group once they got “really big.”
“When the non-musical stuff became so intense, it took away some of the pleasure for me,” Buck said. “It’s just the stuff where you kind of wake up and go, ‘God, I don’t really want to have my picture taken today. And I don’t really want to pretend to be an actor in some video where I can’t act.'”
Despite finding discomfort in the public eye, he did express there were a few moments throughout their run that gave him a buzz.
“I loved playing Glastonbury and playing in front of lots of people and selling multiple copies of records, but it was never the reason I did it,” he added. “And when we got to the point where we decided that it was the end, it felt like a great shared experience. I wouldn’t change it, but I’m not going to go back to it.”
For Buck, the group ended at exactly the right time, riding out on a high.
“The last two records were really strong. But I just felt like no matter how good our last record was, it wasn’t really our time anymore. And that’s fair, and I understand that,” he said. “And we were lucky. The last tour we did, we were still playing to huge amounts of people. We went to South America, which was like being The Beatles.”
R.E.M. “called it a day as a band” (as they phrased it on their website) on Sept. 21, 2011. The group went on to say they hoped their fans would realize it wasn’t an easy decision. “All things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way,” they wrote.
They rounded out their efforts as a band with the compilation album, Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982–2011. After their break-up, a number of subsequent compilations and box sets were shared by the group. Lead singer Michael Stipe mirrored Buck’s sentiments last year saying, “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.”
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