The Sleater-Kinney buzz has been thick this year, as the Portland-based punks get ready to unveil their highly anticipated new album next month. But on Monday morning word came that the riot grrrl greats will be forging on without longtime drummer Janet Weiss.
Weiss announced through social media that she’s leaving the band after 24 years, citing Sleater-Kinney’s “new direction.”
“After intense deliberation and with heavy sadness, I have decided to leave Sleater-Kinney,” Weiss wrote. “The band is heading in a new direction and it is time for me to move on. I will never forget the heights we reached or the magnificent times Corin [Tucker], Carrie [Brownstein] and I shared. We were a force of nature.”
The timing is somewhat surprising with the band having recently completed its ninth studio album — the much-hyped “The Center Won’t Hold,” produced by art-rock hero St. Vincent. The record is slated for an Aug. 16 release through Mom + Pop Music followed by a fall tour. It’s not yet clear who will be behind the kit when the Olympia-born group hits Seattle’s Paramount Theatre on Nov. 23-24.
Less than two weeks ago, Weiss and Sleater-Kinney performed its new single “Hurry on Home” on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
“The Center Won’t Hold” is Sleater-Kinney’s second studio effort since the band’s 2014 reformation after a seven-year hiatus. Their Sub Pop-issued comeback album “No Cities to Love” was widely praised, and the news that the trio had tapped St. Vincent to help with the follow-up had fans salivating.
Despite her departure from Sleater-Kinney, don’t expect Weiss to disappear from the Northwest music scene. The steady-handed drummer anchors the rhythm section for a number of Portland troupes, including Slang and Quasi.