Death Cab For Cutie guitarist Chris Walla leaving the band after 17 years

It's the end of an era for Death Cab for Cutie.

Founding guitarist Chris Walla announced on Wednesday that he'll be leaving the alternative rock band after 17 years, in a statement released to Seattle-based music blog Slog. His last concert with the group will take place at Victoria, BC's Rifflandia Festival on September 13.

You can find the full text of Walla's statement below, and further down a response from his Death Cab bandmates Ben Gibbard, Nick Harmer and Jason McGerr:

“Short version: I”m leaving Death Cab for Cutie. My last show with the band will be September 13, 2014, at the Rifflandia Festival in Victoria, BC. I hope you guys can make it.

Longer version: I think I long for the unknown. It might be that simple.

I will miss being a quarter of this band, and will support whatever course Death Cab for Cutie chooses from here. I am profoundly grateful to Ben, Nick, and Jason, for the experiences that define my adult life. Truly grateful, beyond words. Thank you.

I am also grateful to, and deeply humbled by, all of our fans. Without you, music would be mere ‘content”, and nothing could possibly be sadder than that. Thank you all, so dearly.

We”ve just finished our eighth album, which is our first with an outside producer. That producer is a fellow named Rich Costey, and working with him in this capacity is one of the greatest joys of my professional life. Thank you, as well.