The guitarist will make his final performance with the band at the Rifflandia Festival in Victoria, BC on September 13.
Death Cab for Cutie is parting ways with guitarist Chris Walla after 17 years of making music together. Announcing it on the Seattle alt-weekly paper The Stranger, he notes that "deciding to leave the band was not, and is not, easy."
"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," he said. 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."
His bandmates said in a statement, "We've had an incredible 17 years of making music with Chris...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."
Chris plans to continue "making music" and "producing records." He previously produced music for the Decemberists and Tegan and Sara. He also produced Death Cab's albums and contributed to the band's next studio installment which is due 2015.
"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," he said.