Until last night, R.E.M.’s final concert took place at the Auditorio Nacional in 2008. Then, just a few hours after Mike Mills said on CBS that it would take “a comet” to reunite, Michael Stipe, Mike Mills, Bill Berry and Peter Buck gathered at the Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in New York City and played “Losing My Religion.”

This is the first time that all four original members appeared together since 2007, when R.E.M. was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Bill Berry left the band in 1997 after a brain aneurysm, and according to the interview, “it may have lowered my energy a little, and I just didn’t have the drive I used to,” Berry said. “I didn’t regret it at the time and sort of regretted it a little later.

In his speech, Stipe said, “Writing songs and having a catalog of work that we’re all proud of—that is out there for the whole world for the rest of time—is hands down the most important aspect of what we did as a band. Second to that is that we managed to do so for all these decades and remain friends, and not just friends, but dear friends—friends for life.”

He continued by reinforcing the band’s values. “We are four people who, very early on, decided that we would own our own masters,” Stipe said. “We would split our royalties and songwriting credits equally. We were all for one and one for all. We set out to do our work accordingly. It turned out good, sometimes great, and what a ride it has been.”

He made sure to thank everyone involved with R.E.M., from fans to fellow artists to Bertis Downs, their advisor. Though not returning anytime soon (they swear this time), R.E.M. has been re-releasing albums like the vinyl reissue of Up, as well as live recordings like R.E.M. at the BBC.

(h/t Variety, CBS Mornings)

R.E.M. reflects on band's beginning, breakup and more in rare interview