R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck on why he hates the music business

R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck discusses the band’s extensive archive, his friendships with his fellow members and why he’s happy to be done with major labels.

When the three remaining members decided to break up, Buck marked the occasion by compiling a list of the things he had come to hate, during R.E.M.’s lifespan, about the music business. “It was five pages long,” Buck said.

And what was on that five-page list? “Everything,” Buck replied curtly, sipping orange juice in a bar as his friends the Jayhawks were conducting a soundcheck across the street. “Everything except writing songs, playing songs and recording them. It was the money, the politics, having to meet new people 24 hours a day, not being in charge of my own decisions. But more than anything else, I hate the business, and I didn’t want to have anything to do with it.”