Portrait of the band REM, left to right, Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Michael Stipe, and Mike Mills in Athens, Georgia, April 8, 1985. (Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

In 1997, Bill Berry decided to leave R.E.M., a move he later admitted to “sort of regretting.” Recently, Berry and the other founding members—Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Michael Stipe—discussed this period during an interview with CBS Mornings, marking their first reunion in over two decades.

Berry acknowledged having second thoughts about his exit, saying, “Of course, I did. That was a weird time for me, and I made it weird for these guys, too.”

The drummer’s departure was influenced by a life-altering incident on March 1, 1995. While performing in Switzerland, Berry collapsed on stage due to a brain aneurysm. Although he eventually recovered and rejoined R.E.M., this health scare impacted his passion for the band.

“I’m not gonna use that as an excuse,” Berry elaborated. “Maybe it reduced—maybe that thing in Switzerland—brain aneurysm, and successful surgery—it may have lowered my energy level. I was type A, hyperactive until that, and I just didn’t have the drive I once did to do this.”

Reflecting on his decision, Berry said, “I didn’t regret it at the time. I sort of regretted it a little later. That was a long time ago. That was over a quarter of a century ago.”