Watch Original R.E.M. Members’ 1st Television Interview In 30 Years

“We lived and died on the strength of our songs. So this is a huge honor,” Peter Buck on Songwriters Hall of Fame induction.

By Nate Todd Jun 13, 2024 10:36 am PDT

R.E.M. recently sat down for a rare interview with CBS’ Anthony Mason. The legendary band’s first televison interview in 30 years coincided with their induction into The Songwriters Hall of Fame tonight (June 13).

“We lived and died on the strength of our songs. So this is a huge honor,” R.E.M guitarist Peter Buck said of the SOF induction.

“It is the hardest thing that we do,” bassist Mike Mills added, “and it’s the thing that we’ve worked on the most from the very beginning because we had to, really early on, just to put food on the table. We had to write songs as fast as we could.”

On the Athens, Georgia-born band finding their now iconic and highly influential sound, vocalist Michael Stipe said, “It felt like kismet when it happened. It felt right.”

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R.E.M. disbanded in 2011 and Buck talked about why.

“I think the main reason was that at that point there wasn’t anything we could agree on really musically: what kind of music, how to record it, are we going to go on tour. We could barely agree on where to go to dinner.”

He added on the current status of the band’s relationship, “Now we could just agree on where to go to dinner.”

An emotional moment came when drummer Bill Berry discussed the difficult decision of leaving the band two years after suffering a double brain aneurysm on stage in Switzerland in 1995. Additionally, R.E.M. talked about the chances of a reunion.

Watch the quartet’s first television interview in 30 years below:

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R.E.M are set to be inducted into The Songwriters Hall of Fame during the awards gala tonight in New York City. Their fellow 2024 inductees include Steely Dan, Hillary Lindsey, Timbaland and Dean Pitchford. Presenters include Trey Anastasio, Jason Isbell, Missy Elliot, Nile Rodgers, Carrie Underwood and more.

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