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R.E.M. confirm they'll never reunite for "tacky, money-grabbing" reunion tour

Michael Stipe of REM
(Image credit: Jon Furniss/WireImage)

Michael Stipe has dismissed the prospect of R.E.M. getting back together for a reunion tour, describing the idea as "really tacky and probably money-grabbing".

In conversation with radio station WNYC to discuss his contribution on the new Velvet Underground tribute compilation – which will see the likes of Sharon Van Etten, St.Vincent, Iggy Pop and more performing every song on The Velvet Underground & Nico album – Stipe issued his thoughts over a potential R.E.M. reunion. The frontman disregarded the idea – which was proposed in a Rolling Stone article from 2019 –  as "wishful thinking".

He explains: "We will never reunite. 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.

"We don’t really need that, and I’m really happy that we just have the legacy of the 32 years of work that we have".

As one final nail in the R.E.M. coffin, after the interview, Stipe posted a reprise of the statement the band originally released when they broke up in 2011, which read "To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished.

“To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening.”

In other news, R.E.M. will be releasing a reissue of their lauded 1996 album New Adventures In Hi-Fi, in celebration of its 25th anniversary, due out October 29.

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Elizabeth Scarlett

Elizabeth (Lizzie) is a music-obsessed creative soul with a love for all things heavy. In her spare time you’ll probably find her designing music magazines, playing the bass and most likely fantasising about Lemmy.