R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe Admits He Never Felt Like A Rock Star

Michael Stipe recently recalled and talked about the band’s 1996 album ‘New Adventures in Hi-Fi’ during an interview with Salon. In the interview, he admitted that he doesn’t consider himself a rockstar but more like a punk rocker who uses pop music.

R.E.M reached their peak point in 1996 with ‘New Adventures in Hi-Fi.’ Unfortunately, they experienced an artistic decline between 2000 and 2011. Unlike its contemporaries, the album was concerned with themes that weren’t widely spoken back then, such as grief, gender, and self-destruction.

It was an inspiring record that sold seven million upon being released and was applauded for exploring unchartered territories, especially in terms of lyrics. Hence, the band decided to re-release the record recently and in order to remind their devoted fanbase of their talents.

The band’s vocalist Michael Stipe joined Salon for an interview and talked about the album. While mentioning it, he made a surprising confession by saying that he doesn’t think of himself as a rockstar. He described himself as a ‘punk rocker hippie’ that used pop and alternative music’ which helped them carry the ‘this idea of an alternative’ to mainstream music.

Here is how Stipe claimed he’s not a rockstar:

“But part of what I appreciate about it, you know, I’ve never really aligned myself with rock and roll. I’ve never felt like a ‘rock star,’ and I’m putting giant parentheses around that. I am just much more like a punk rocker hippie who used pop music and alternative.

We helped spearhead this idea of an alternative to the mainstream, but to push our very specific ideas of what we had to offer through the mainstream.”

Although R.E.M disbanded in 2011, they have continued to cherish their career as a band by re-releasing albums and box sets. The band has no plans to reunite for new works or shows in the future, and they seem to have closed a chapter with the re-release of ‘New Adventures in Hi-Fi.’