Thirty-one years and fifteen albums after forming in Athens, Georgia, the rock icons of R.E.M. are calling it quits. The trio, whose latest album Collapse Into Now came out earlier this year, broke the news in a statement on their website explaining that they “walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all [they] have accomplished.”
Bassist Mike Mills left a personal note going deeper into the reasoning.
“During our last tour, and while making Collapse Into Now and putting together this greatest hits retrospective, we started asking ourselves, ‘what next’?” the bassist wrote. “Working through our music and memories from over three decades was a hell of a journey. We realized that these songs seemed to draw a natural line under the last 31 years of our working together.
“We have always been a band in the truest sense of the word,” he continued. “Brothers who truly love, and respect, each other. We feel kind of like pioneers in this—there’s no disharmony here, no falling-outs, no lawyers squaring-off. We’ve made this decision together, amicably and with each other’s best interests at heart. The time just feels right.”
Rumors spread that the band recently spent time in the studio, though there is no word if material from the session will surface.