Chris Walla Leaves Death Cab for Cutie

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(Autumn de Wilde for Atlantic Records)

(Autumn de Wilde for Atlantic Records)

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By Marissa G. Muller

As Death Cab for Cutie continue working on the followup to 2011’s Codes and Keys, guitarist Chris Walla has announced his departure.

Walla, who’s been with frontman Ben Gibbard since the beginning — as a producer for DCFC’s first release, 1997’s You Can Play These Songs with Chords, which was then Gibbard’s solo project that he decided to expand into a band — broke the news today in a goodbye letter on Seattle’s Stranger blog.

Walla’s reason for departure? He “longs for the unknown” and wants to continue building his music career outside of Death Cab for Cutie — which he’s already had success with, having produced for The Decemberists, Tegan & Sara, Nada Surf, and the Postal Service, among others.

“Deciding to leave the band was not, and is not, easy,” he wrote. “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.”

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