SPIN: “R.E.M.’S Bill Berry Is Back Behind The Kit In New Band”

Today is the premiere of the first music video from new Athens, GA band The Bad Ends, which features Bill on drums. In addition to Bill, the band is made up of four long time Athens and Atlanta scene musicians, including songwriter Mike Mantione of Five Eight (vocals/guitar), Dave Domizi (bass), Christian Lopez (guitar), and Geoff Melkonian (keyboards). The song, “All Your Friends Are Dying,” is from the band’s debut record The Power And The Glory which will be released on New West Records this coming January 20, 2023.

Spin Magazine’s Jonathan Cohen covered the premiere and here’s an excerpt from the piece including a quote from Bill about how the project came together (you can read the full article here).

From Spin Magazine:

“R.E.M. is a hard act to follow, which explains why drummer Bill Berry has never been in another full-time band since his 1997 departure — until now. Berry has teamed with Five Eight’s Mike Mantione in The Bad Ends, whose debut album, The Power and the Glory, will be released Jan. 20 on New West Records.

The Bad Ends are rounded out by bassist Dave Domizi, keyboardist Geoff Melkonian and guitarist/mandolinist Christian Lopez. The project was initially a means to work on songs for a potential Mantione solo album, but a run-in with Berry in their shared home base of Athens, Ga., led to a series of jam sessions and a pivot to a group project.

“In very early 2017, a chance pedestrian encounter in downtown Athens found me face to face with one Mike Mantione,” Berry recalls. “At that point it had been over two decades since I’d involved myself with the record-making process and here was a man Peter Buck recently described as ‘the unsung hero of Athens rock and roll’ offering an opportunity to play in the game again. It was energizing to once again play with top-notch musicians. This record is unique for me in that it was the only one with which I was involved, that was written, rehearsed, recorded, produced and mastered in Athens.”