R.E.M. has the uncanny ability to exist in and out of time. It’s probably because Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Bill Berry never treated their listeners like a bunch of dummies, even when the group managed to conquer the mainstream with their potent and beautiful songs. “We never thought of anyone as the leader,” says Mills, the band’s bassist. “Everybody had their strengths and it allowed us each to utilize those areas of authority. Peter was the one who had most of the vision about direction. Michael was the one who had vision about image and perception. Mine was the strength of translating abstract ideas into musical reality. Bill’s was the strength of economy, or knowing when we’d gone too far and when to reduce.”
Read the full interview here.