Michael Steep’s relationship with his REM bandmates is incredible.
The group was formed in 1980 by guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, drummer Bill Berry who left in 1997, and lead vocalist Stipe, and although they “called it a day as a band” in 2011, Stipe says they closer than ever. …
When asked what his relationship with his bandmates is like, Stipe, 61, told the New Yorker, “Unlimitedly incredible. I just spent three weeks of Mike Mills in Europe promoting [the ‘Monster’ reissue]… Phenomenal. And then Peter and I texted all day yesterday. Something happens in our life, so we rely on each other.
“Bill is a farmer. He’s a real weirdo in the band. The most beautiful, intelligent, truly grounded person. He was just tired of traveling. He wanted to write music, but he didn’t want to do everything else.
“Bill is in Athens. I go there quite often to visit my family and I have a house that I bought when I was 25 years old. I love being there. I call it my Hampton. New York is my home, Berlin is our second home, and then my boyfriend is from Paris, so the south of France is where his big family lives, and we spend a lot of time there. And Athens is where my family lives, so I spend a lot there. time. They are all very different. “
And Michael says the band has “a wonderful, really deep, deep love and respect for each other,” which has only intensified since REM’s breakup.
He explained, “The core of REM’s music was the band. Friendship. General love for music, and then these guys who gave me these incredible pieces of music to do something. They always came first and I had to do something. It was a partnership that worked great – kismet-ly. Like, how did it happen that we got together and created this thing? We are talented, but not that talented. Together we were strength. And then there’s the friendship that people who don’t know us can’t take for granted. But there is this beautiful, really deep, deep love and respect for each other that allowed us to get through and become maybe even best friends after that, because now we don’t have to quarrel and argue about which direction that or whatever. “