Bill Berry On Refusing To Record An Album Similar To R.E.M.

Bill Berry was just walking down the street on what seemed to be any other day when he came across Mike Mantione, the frontman of Five Eight. Well, upon seeing Berry, Mantione got right down to business as he asked the musician if he would like to play in what he thought of as a solo album. So, as the drummer took on the offer, and after a few hangouts and rehearsals later, Bill left Mike’s house one day, thinking, ‘I think I’m in a band again.’

So, Berry recently chatted with Uncut to discuss his new band, the Bad Ends, how the recordings of their brand new album, ‘The Power and The Glory’ had gone, and also why it differed from any of his works with R.E.M. Well, for Bill, the album’s concept was different from the works he had made as a young artist because the record was about death and losing friends.

“Lyrically, the common thread on this record is death and dealing with it,” said the drummer before further diving into the record. “Would I have wanted to produce a record like that 40 years ago? Absolutely not. But at my current age, the concept of death occurs to me with greater frequency than when I was in my twenties. Many of my friends have died. Mike [Mantione] just wrote about it so beautifully.”

Thus, it is safe to say that Berry has a new musical direction and improved himself as a rocker since his perception of life and music changed over the years with his age. The co-founder of R.E.M. was quite determined and clear that this current material differed from his previous works and of R.E.M. as he started to understand and reflect on the motive of death in the record.