R.E.M. Try To Remain Cutting Edge

bassist Mike Mills spoke with the Boston Phoenix about the band’s challenge to put out new music while competing with their own legend. “That’s the double-edged sword of past success,” he said. “Yeah, it’s great to hear we’ve had a positive influence on people, and I certainly understand if people want to hear the songs they’re familiar with. There are probably several bands where I like their first record best as well. But that can’t stop you from continuing to create, and we do feel pretty excited about what we’ve yet to do.” His bandmate and guitarist Peter Buck added, “I talk to enough people who say the first three R.E.M. records changed their life, but then, a lot of people feel the same way about our mid-period stuff. So we’ve been pretty lucky in that regard. We don’t have just one album that everybody tends to focus on. It definitely matters to us that our work is still as good as it can be: at our age, we need to make good or great records. And I am guardedly optimistic that we rode out the heavy-metal idea of what alternative was supposed to be. It gives me hope when I hear the White Stripes on the radio now, or the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. It makes me feel not quite so out of touch.” The full story at Bostonphoenix.com has since been removed.

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