Sometimes I'm confused by what I think is really obvious. But what I think is really obvious obviously isn't obvious.— Michael Stipe
The most professional Michael Stipe quotes that are little-known but priceless
I've always felt that sexuality is a really slippery thing.
In this day and age, it tends to get categorized and labeled, and I think labels are for food. Canned food.
Super casual music listeners. That's most of the people in the world. And you have to understand, that's why Top 40 radio exists. It's not there for people who seek out music and who love music.
A wise man once said, 'The skill in attending a party is knowing when it's time to leave.'
But I think the one thing that I can say about us is that we're very consistent about certain things and part of that is our desire to do the very best work that we can and not rest on our laurels, or not allow formula to come into what we do.
I've never written a song that's hopeless.
I'm not a hopeless person. I'm crazily optimistic. I crazily see the good in people. I crazily see the way out of a terrible situation. I crazily try to be the diplomat. If there are two warring factions in my life, I want them to agree to disagree at the very least.
So, we went from being an Athens band to being a Georgia band to being a Southern band to being an American band from the East Coast to being an American band and now we're kind of an international phenomenon.
Sometimes before we make a record I go back and listen to a few.
It's equally humbling and uplifting.
Be yourself. Follow your heart. I know it sounds obvious, but it's the best advice at anyone ever. Take advice from other people, but take from it what feels right for you.
There tend to be two different drives that lead young people toward music.
One is that music provides an escape; it takes you away from the unhappiness or torture of where you are and makes you feel less alienated-you believe there is a place you fit in somewhere else. The other is a sort of transcendent, spiritual feeling in the purity of music.
My feeling is that labels are for canned food... I am what I am - and I know what I am.
Never eat broccoli when there are cameras around.
By nature I will find hope in everything.
Even if it's the most incredibly hopeless situation or circumstance. That's just me... I'll never be able to see things any other way.
I'm tired of being this solemn poet of the masses, the enigma shrouded in a mystery.
There is always something of the writer in the work but I don't think Melville had to be swallowed by a whale to write a great novel. If I had lived the lives of all the characters of the songs I've written, that would truly be an extraordinary story.
So, when you divide the world into music lovers, music fans and then those people who are just very casual about their music, it's wallpaper to them, it's elevator music, it's just the thing that's playing in the background that helps them through their day.
I remember traffic jams Motor boys and girls with tans Nearly was and almost rans I remember this, this ... At the edge of the continent
Because the casual music listeners are the ones who turn on the radio and they don't really care what's playing, they just know that they kinda like it or it's easy to drive to or it's easy to sing along to or whatever.
When I write, I tend toward melancholy, and the few times that I've tried pure joy in music, it doesn't really work that well. The joy can be through catharsis. I think that's what I do well, and observation.
The whole punk ethic was do-it-yourself, and I've always been very literal, especially as a kid. When they said that anybody can do this, I was like, 'OK, that's me.'
My iPod that was programmed by Peter Buck. It has 7,000 songs hand-picked for me by him.
We toured that record for a year, which turned out to be the culmination of ten years of being constantly on the road. We were sick to death of touring.
So, we just kind of created our own thing and that's part of the beauty of Athens: is that it's so off the map and there's no way you could ever be the East Village or an L.A. scene or a San Francisco scene, that it just became its own thing.
I am not an autobiographical writer. I'll take little elements here and there from things that I've actually experienced-counting eyelashes on a sleeping beauty, for example.
When we first started, we were a band from Athens and that was so off the map.
If I'm tired of me, I'm sure the public is as well.
On planes I always cry. Something about altitude, the lack of oxygen and the bad movies. I cried over a St. Bernard movie once on a plane. That was really embarrassing.
I went through this difficult time [in the 1984] when we were making our third record where I kind of lost my mind. That's when the bulimia kicked in. And that's when I got really freaky.
And I don't expect anyone can bring about a revolution in the way that Bob Dylan did - and really didn't - in the 1960s.
There was a point in the '80s when I looked out at my audience and I saw people that - were I not on the stage - they'd sooner slug me as they walked by me on the sidewalk. And I realized that I was way beyond the choir.
If you disagree with me, fine! Because that's the great thing about America, we can disagree!
Peter was sick of being a pop star, the guitar god, and so he decided to teach himself other instruments. Among the instruments that he picked up was the mandolin.
I think my apocalyptic feelings went deeper than [heavily influenced by Reagan and AIDS]. I'm really at peace with how afraid I am.
They spoke truth and a lot of people listened.... that voice, Kurt we miss you.
I was a teenager, we were pretty much fully indoctrinated, thanks to sexual scare tactics. I remember so many public-health commercials with a B-actor in a fake alley background warning us to use protection or telling us the only real safe choice was abstinence. We were highly frightened of sex from day one. There was no free-swinging '90s.
I knew [Kurt Cobain] and his daughter.
And Courtney [Love] came and stayed at my house. R.E.M. worked on two records in Seattle and Peter Buck lived next door to Kurt and Courtney. So we all knew each other. I reached out to him with that project as an attempt to prevent what was going to happen.
I really wanted to be on Six Feet Under as a corpse. That would be hysterical.
We don't get groupies.We get teenagers who want to read us their poetry.
Our generation was supposed to be about trying to deal with nuclear concerns and environmental disasters.
I distinctly remember a conversation with my band in the van where I was having a complete meltdown. It was 1984, I think, and I was huddled in the back corner of our van and saying, "I can't do this. I can't do this. I can't do this." I didn't want to play any more shows. I just wanted to stop.
At the [teenage] time, I did have an inkling of my sexuality.
And I had an inkling that I was different from other people in ways beyond my sexuality. But I didn't get into music because I thought, Oh, these people will understand me.
You don't need to be talented. You don't even have to play the guitar to be a guitar player in a punk-rock band. So I, in a very naïve and teenage way, said, "That's it. I'm going to be in a band."
For every great thing we did, there is a very public moment of falling on our faces. But everything that came through us as a band was a distinct vision of R.E.M.
I had to get a driver's license and drive to St.
Louis to find the punk-rock scene that was happening there. And there was a punk-rock scene. It was sweet. It was real. It was like everywhere else in the county. It was a handful of people who were feeling the same pull, and, of course, it was like the Island of Misfit Toys in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer . Just the freaks, the fags, the fat girls, the unbelievable eccentrics .
I started lip-synching with "Losing My Religion.
" There were a few horrendous mistakes we made, but I own those mistakes. I'm embarrassed by them. I always say when I look back at anything I've ever done, it's with equal dollops of humiliation and triumphant glory.
I'm not homosexual, I'm not hetrosexual, I'm just sexual.
Anything you do as a group is fraught with compromise.
.. But everyone 's got to do that, right? It's part of being a good parent, or a good boyfriend, whatever.
I went through a period where I was really tired of seeing and reading about myself.
The punk-rock ethos was "Do it yourself. Anyone can do this. We're not sent from the heavens."
I'm just not that fascinating a person to have had all those lives that I've written about.