Death Cab For Cutie's show at the Rifflandia Festival in Canada will be guitarist Chris Walla's last with the band, according to a letter he penned to Seattle's The Stranger blog earlier today. After close to 20 years recording and touring with the band—from work on Ben Gibbard's first cassette release, You Can Play These Songs With Chords, to their untitled next album due early 2015—Walla claims he's now in search of the unknown instead.
"Deciding to leave the band was not, and is not, easy," he wrote in. "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."
Walla said in the letter he has no concrete plans for the future. He's previously produced albums for Ra Ra Riot, Tegan and Sara, Telekinesis, Nada Surf, the Decemberists, and, of course, Death Cab for Cutie, among others.
The other three members of the band responded with a letter on Death Cab's website that reads "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."
Death Cab For Cutie most recently reissued their 2003 LP, Transatlanticism.