Peter Buck says R.E.M. have “never” been in the entertainment industry to make money.
The band announced their break-up in September after 31 years of making music together.
R.E.M. – also consisting of lead singer Michael Stipe, 51, and bassist Mike Mills - have released 15 albums and have completed decades of touring.
Peter insists the split was the right decision.
“We could be out there right now making a billion," he told British newspaper The Guardian. "But we'd be doing it for the money, and we've never done anything for the money. I hated rich people when I was young, and I still kind of do. Being one myself, it's a little contradictory, but hey, I can live with that."
R.E.M.’s single Losing My Religion from their 1991 album Out of Time catapulted the band into the international sphere.
When suggested that their success after the release of the song “must have at times felt like being in an iron lung,” Michael refuted such claims.
The star says it’s unfair to compare their career to something that keeps you alive, but also confined.
"Well, I could apply that to public transportation if you want to take it further. It gets you where you want to go [even though] it might not be the happiest ride. Or sweaters. They keep you from catching colds. Come on, really, that's a little harsh,” he retorted.
"I wouldn't compare my 31-year career with my best friends to dialysis."
Peter has described the band’s varying ways of working. The guitarist says there were clashes between their preferred methods.
"The three of us have … not different goals [but] different ways of approaching what we want to do," he explained.
"And mine is radically different from the other guys. I've found as I get older that I like to work quickly and spontaneously. I don't like doing the same thing over and over again."
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