Here’s an excerpt from Michael’s recent interview with the NY Times:
NY Times: A member of R.E.M. once said that in the early days you guys drank a lot and took a lot of speed. Listening to the older songs on your new retrospective, “Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage,” I was unable to stop bouncing my leg. Is it the speed I’m hearing?
Michael: That certainly contributed. Peter Buck developed a style of guitar playing that was, at the time, very unpopular, picking rather than playing punk-rock power chords. Mike Mills’s favorite band was the Ramones, and with that you got that hyperanimated 16th note and 32nd note. And with speed and beer you get speed. I slowed down my vocal to try to counter the speed and inadvertently developed the vocal style that is still with me.
Read the full interview with Michael at nytimes.com