Vulture

Skip to content, or skip to search.

it's the end of the world as we know it

Michael Stipe Is Finally Free of the Shackles of R.E.M.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Musician Michael Stipe attends the Patrick Ervell Spring 2012 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Milk Studios on September 11, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Skip Bolen/WireImage)

Michael Stipe says he doesn't know what he's going to do now that R.E.M. is no more, but he can rule out becoming a solo act. "It's unfathomable to me right now," he tells Rolling Stone. Plus, he finally has what everyone, artist or no, dreams of: Delicious, delicious liberty! "I had been under contract since I was 22," he says. "I'd been in a band since I was 19. [The day the band broke up] I was experiencing something profound for the first time: freedom. Suddenly, I was a free agent." Stipe says that bassist Mike Mills also called the band's dissolution "liberating." Be careful what you wish for, aspiring rock stars.

Photo: Skip Bolen/2011 Skip Bolen