Ex-R.E.M. drummer Bill Berry playing in new band, The Bad Ends; debut album due in January

New West Records

Founding R.E.M. drummer Bill Berry is back. He’s in a new group called The Bad Ends, who, like his former band, hail from Athens, Georgia.

The Bad Ends also feature singer/guitarist Mike Mantione of the veteran Athens band Five Eight, as well as Dave Domizi on bass and vocals, Geoff Melkonian on keyboards and vocals, and Christian Lopez on guitars and mandolin.

The group will release its debut album, The Power and the Glory, on January 20, 2023. The first track from the record, “All Your Friends Are Dying,” is available now as a digital single.

The Bad Ends have also debuted a music video for the tune, which you can watch on the New West Records label’s YouTube channel.

The clip features cameos by R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills and Pylon singer Vanessa Briscoe Hay, and much of the footage was shot at Berry’s home near Athens. The video includes scenes of The Bad Ends members driving ATVs and performing around a swimming pool, where they eventually appear as zombies.

Berry, who hadn’t played in a full-time band after leaving R.E.M. in 1997, recalls in a new SPIN article that he wound up joining The Bad Ends after “a chance pedestrian encounter in downtown Athens” with Mantione in 2017.

“At that point it had been over two decades since I’d involved myself with the record-making process and here was a man Peter Buck recently described as ‘the unsung hero of Athens rock and roll’ offering an opportunity to play in the game again,” Berry explains. “It was energizing to once again play with top-notch musicians.”

The Bad Ends will make their live debut at the Athens Uncovered concert in Athens, GA on November 27.

You can preorder The Power and the Glory now.

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