R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe spoke with RollingStone.com in a Q&A, where he talked about the veteran group disbanding, how it was first discussed in 2008, how his friendships with bandmates Peter Buck and Mike Mills has changed, and how it was important for R.E.M. to be finite.
“I had been under contract since I was 22. I’d been in a band since I was 19. I was experiencing something profound for the first time: freedom,” Stipe said about his feelings the day they announced the news. “Suddenly, I was a free agent. Mike and I met up two nights later, and he said to me, ‘This feels liberating.’ [Sighs] I was like, ‘He feels the same way.'”