May 20th will see the wide release of an R.E.M. unplugged set, and bassist Mike Mills has teased that there are more archival releases from the band on the way. “We have a lot of stuff in the vaults, a fair amount of stuff that’s never been released,” he tells Billboard. “We all want to do something with this stuff. We know we’ve got some really good things hanging around.”
Whatever the next release is, Mills says that the band wants to “make it be special, rather than just dumping out the vaults.”
“We just want to put them out in a way that makes them as special as possible,” he explains, “because they’re special to us. I mean, if we’ve been sitting on stuff for this long, why go cheap with it now?”
Going through the unreleased material has given the bassist a sense of nostalgia. He says, “It’s nice in the sense that it keeps our breakup from being a cold, hard ending. It softens the landing a little bit. It’s like, no, I don’t get to record with Peter (Buck), Bill (Berry) and Michael (Stipe) anymore, but we get to just remind ourselves of how much fun we had.” Elsewhere, Mills says that he and the rest of the band, which broke up in 2011, are “happy pretty much as clams” and aren’t interested in a reunion.
“Everybody’s busy and really having a great time,” he says. “It’s a nice relief in a way; as much fun as it was, it’s nice to not have to be on the hamster wheel anymore.”