Leading Republicans say that a nuclear agreement with Iran is the end of the world, but R.E.M. doesn't feel fine about the use of its song.
Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz played R.E.M.'s classic song "It's The End of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" at a rally near the US Capitol on Wednesday to denounce the deal.
R.E.M., which disbanded in 2011, said that the use of its song was unauthorized and that it was asking candidates to stop playing it.
But the band added: "Let us remember that there are things of greater importance at stake here."
"The media and the American voter should focus on the bigger picture, and not allow grandstanding politicians to distract us from the pressing issues of the day and of the current presidential campaign," a statement said.
The statement came after frontman Michael Stipe was quoted as sending an email to The Daily Beast website in which he used profanity to denounce the "attention-grabbing, power-hungry little men" who used his song.
R.E.M., which emerged as a favorite of college alternative radio in the 1980s, is known for its left-of-center activism.
Stipe has been outspoken on issues such as gun control and animal rights, causes that are anathema to most conservative Republicans.
Under the agreement with six powers including the United States, Iran has agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for relief from crippling sanctions. President Barack Obama says it will reduce the chance of conflict, while opponents say it doesn't go far enough.
US politicians, especially on the right, have frequently struggled to find campaign songs from sympathetic artists.
Left-leaning musicians Neil Young and the Dropkick Murphys have voiced outrage over use of their songs by Trump and fellow presidential contender Scott Walker respectively.
However, Dee Snider, the frontman of heavy metal band Twisted Sister, gave his blessing for Trump to play the band's angry 1984 anthem ""We're Not Gonna Take It."
AFP contributed to this report.