Against Me! bassist Andrew Seward has parted ways with the band after more than 10 years of service. The announcement came via Seward's Twitter: "I've left AM!. No drama here. I reached a point where I need to focus on other things. Respect to Laura [Jane Grace] and James [Bowman]. The last 10 years ruled."
That message also appears on Against Me!'s website, along with statements from guitarist James Bowman and lead singer/guitarist Laura Jane Grace. "It’s been an honor and privilege to stand on stage with Andrew for the past 10 years," Bowman is quoted as saying. "I am sad to see him go, but I wish nothing but the best for him moving forward."
From Grace: "It’s heartbreaking to know that Andrew won’t be standing next to me out on stage the next time I stand upon one. I realize that at this point there’s a possibility that it may look pretty ridiculous to carry on playing under the name Against Me! If I didn’t feel like I had something that I really needed to say with the album we’ve been working on for the past year then I’d humbly hang the hat and move on. Andrew’s been a solid partner. Some of the best sleep I’ve ever gotten has been in the back of a 15 passenger van with him behind the wheel. He’s got a steady hand and has always been someone I’ve trusted. The definition of a good friend. I wish him all the best in his journey."
Currently, Grace and Bowman are the only two official members of Against Me! Drummer Jay Weinberg announced that he was leaving the band in December 2012, writing on Twitter, "I want to let you all know that I am leaving Against Me!, and I wish them all the best."
Against Me! are currently at work on their sixth full-length album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues. Last November, Seward described the album — which is inspired by Grace's personal experience with the titular condition — as "fucking killer." He said, "It just sounds fucking killer... I don’t know if ‘brutal’ is the right word, but it just sounds really fucking tough, and good." The upcoming LP will be the Florida punks' follow-up to 2010's White Crosses. Grace is reportedly acting as recording engineer and producer on the forthcoming effort.