Peter Buck Thinks R.E.M. Disbanded At The ‘Right Time’

Even after a phenomenal run filled with success and accolades, there comes a time when a unanimous decision ends the band that has touched fans’ lives one way or another. R.E.M. was one of those bands that enjoyed commercial success, but once it got too big, the band decided to disband amicably in 2011. Guitarist Peter Buck shared with Classic Rock that it was the right time to say goodbye to the band and fans who had supported them throughout the years.

Although R.E.M. disbanded at a time when they still had the attention of fans and were playing for large crowds, the guitarist approved of their decision. “I think so,” said Buck when asked whether they disbanded at the right time. “The last two records, 2008’s ‘Accelerate’ and 2011’s ‘Collapse Into Now,’ were really strong.”

“But I just felt like no matter how good our last record was, it wasn’t really our time anymore,” the guitarist continued. “And that’s fair; I understand that. And we were lucky. On the last tour we did, we were still playing to huge amounts of people. We went to South America, which was like being The Beatles. So everyone felt like this is a really good stopping point.”

Although Buck had the chance to experience the highest of highs with R.E.M., whether it be playing in Glastonbury or selling millions of records and playing for crowds of people, the novelty wore off at some point. The guys were left with the sense of not enjoying the fame that came with their success which took away the enjoyment of making music with friends.

Thus, their decision to disband in 2011 was a natural result. However, for what it’s worth, Peter Buck and the rest of the band were very grateful to experience that level of success with their records.