Ben Gibbard and Chris Walla playing together at last year's Bumbershoot performance of Transatlanticism.
Photo by Morgen Schuler/InsideRightWrist.com
This morning Chris Walla, guitarist, writer, producer, mixer, and engineer for local sweethearts Death Cab For Cutie (DCFC), announced on The Stranger's Slog he's decided to part ways with the Bellingham-born group. Walla states plainly in his short but sweet post, "I think I long for the unknown. It might be that simple." There is a twinge of uncertainty in his announcement but after nearly seventeen years with the same three dudes and such incredible success, it's not surprising he's feeling hesitant.
Frontman, singer/guitarist Ben Gibbard tends to be the frontman in the media, but Walla has been integral to the band's success. Obviously, after Walla's long-time involvement in every aspect of its music (from writing to final mixing of the albums), DCFC will be a completely different beast moving forward. The real question is, will its music be similar to what fans have come to expect over the last seventeen years, or will it take this opportunity to try something new, venture into the unknown as its now-departed band mate looks to be doing on his own? Only time will tell, but the remaining members of DCFC responded to Walla's post without even a hint of bitterness if not a bit reserved, "We will miss Chris and wish him all the best in the next chapter of his career."
Walla tried to soothe the blow by letting everyone know his last show with DCFC will be at the Rifflandia music festival in Victoria, BC September 11-14 (actual date of performance not posted yet). The band has also just completed its eighth studio album to be released in early 2015, so at least he's leaving us with parting gifts. Some fans on Facebook are taking it pretty hard, some are looking toward the future, and others... well, see for yourself below.
Reaction from a local music writer:
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