After a short run of festival shows this month and next—including our festival on September 5—guitarist Chris Walla will leave Death Cab For Cutie, a band he more or less co-founded with singer-guitarist Ben Gibbard and bassist Nick Harmer in Bellingham, Washington in 1997. Though Gibbard is the band’s chief songwriter, Walla has contributed both songwriting and production to the band for nearly its entire existence. A statement that Walla gave to The Stranger makes the split sound amicable: “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.” Death Cab For Cutie is in the process of finishing its eighth album, which is due early next year. The band had kind things to say about Walla as well, in a statement that reads: “We’ve had an incredible 17 years of making music with Chris and are very proud of what we’ve accomplished together,” stated Ben Gibbard, Nick Harmer and Jason McGerr. “We will miss Chris and wish him all the best in the next chapter of his career. We’re excited about sharing new music, and seeing all of you very soon.” So it’s not the end of Death Cab For Cutie, but the end of an era at least. We’ll see you for one of Walla’s final shows on September 5.