Shocking news from Death Cab For Cutie, as founding guitarist Chris Walla has announced that he's leaving the band following their current run of tour dates.

The guitarist, multi-instrumentalist and producer states via Seattle's the Stranger that he'll be leaving Death Cab For Cutie following their performance on Sept. 13 at the Rifflandia Festival in Victoria, B.C.

An original member of Death Cab since forming in 1997, Walla played on all of band's albums including their upcoming eighth full-length -- the first that Walla didn't produce himself. He's also ascended to become one of the most in-demand producers in the indie scene, having helmed albums by the likes of the Decemberists and Tegan and Sara. He also released a solo album, 'Field Manual,' in 2008.

Walla's statement:

Short version: I’m leaving Death Cab for Cutie. My last show with the band will be September 13, 2014, at the Rifflandia Festival in Victoria, BC. I hope you guys can make it.

Longer version: I think I long for the unknown. It might be that simple.

I will miss being a quarter of this band, and will support whatever course Death Cab for Cutie chooses from here. I am profoundly grateful to Ben, Nick, and Jason, for the experiences that define my adult life. Truly grateful, beyond words. Thank you.

I am also grateful to, and deeply humbled by, all of our fans. Without you, music would be mere ‘content’, and nothing could possibly be sadder than that. Thank you all, so dearly.

We’ve just finished our eighth album, which is our first with an outside producer. That producer is a fellow named Rich Costey, and working with him in this capacity is one of the greatest joys of my professional life. Thank you, as well.

There are so many others to whom I am grateful—our crew, our management, our families, the Atlantic, Barsuk and Elsinor labels, the Billions team. Thank you all.

Deciding to leave the band was not, and is not, easy. It’s really, really sad. I love my bandmates, and I’m proud of what we’ve done, and mercifully, those things don’t change with my departure. Moving forward, my plans are simply to continue making music, producing records, and erring on the side of benevolence and beauty whenever possible.

Darkness may find me, but I shall never choose it.


Death Cab For Cutie confirmed the news with the following statement: "We’ve had an incredible 17 years of making music with Chris. We are very proud of what we’ve accomplished together, including our eighth studio album which we have just put the finishing touches on. We will miss Chris and wish him all the best in the next chapter of his career. We are excited about sharing new music, and seeing all of you very soon.”

Check out the band in happier times performing last month at the Big Red Music Fest on Prince Edward Island:

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