British indie rock export Alt-J have officially announced the departure of bass player and founding member Gwil Sainsbury, breaking the news to their fans via their official Twitter account and insisting that the decision is “purely a personal” one, that comes with the full support of the band.
“With regret,” the band begins, “Gwil is leaving alt-J. This is purely a personal decision and as our best friend we support him completely.” The Mercury Prize-winning band had a busy 2013, with Songkick naming them one of 2013’s hardest-working acts behind Local Natives and rapper Kendrick Lamar, though the band had in fact travelled the furthest, covering 251,443km in 2013.
The band formed in 2007 in Leeds, while the members — Swainsbury, Joe Newman, Gus Unger-Hamilton, and Thom Green — were in university, and had a top ten album in Australia with their highly-acclaimed 2012 debut, An Awesome Wave, which broke the Top 100 in the US Billboard 200.
With regret, Gwil is leaving alt-J. This is purely a personal decision and as our best friend we support him completely.
— Δ (alt-J) (@alt_J) January 11, 2014