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Chris Walla quits Death Cab For Cutie

on August 13, 2014, 12:42pm

Guitarist Chris Walla has announced his departure from longtime band Death Cab For Cutie.

Walla broke the news today, saying he “longs for the unknown” and that it was time for him to move “forward” after nearly 20 years with the group. His last concert with Death Cab will be their Rifflandia Festival appearance on September 13th. According to Walla, his departure comes just after the group recently finished working on their 8th studio album and follow-up to 2011’s Codes and Keys.

Read Walla’s full “goodbye” letter, which appeared on Seattle’s Stranger blog this morning:

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.

In a separate Facebook post, the remaining members of Death Cab For Cutie offered their own parting words, saying:

“We’ve had an incredible 17 years of making music with Chris. We are very proud of what we’ve accomplished together, including our 8th 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.” – Ben, Nick and Jason

While there’s no telling what Walla’s next project will be, it’s worth noting that he’s made a healthy career out of producing for the likes of The Decemberists, Tegan & Sara, Nada Surf, and even The Postal Service.

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