Janet Weiss, one of the greatest rock drummers in the world, became one third of Sleater-Kinney in 1996. She joined before they recorded their third album, the classic Dig Me Out, and her confident boom and backup vocals gave a whole new dimension to an already-great band. Weiss has been a crucial part of Sleater-Kinney for the past two decades, including the time since the band ended its eight-year hiatus in 2014. And now Janet Weiss is leaving Sleater-Kinney.
Weiss made the announcement on Twitter this morning. She writes that “the band is moving in a new direction and it is time for me to move on.” Sleater-Kinney is getting ready to release the new album The Center Won’t Hold, which they recorded with producer St. Vincent. “Hurry On Home” and “The Future Is Here,” the album’s first two singles, certainly suggest a different musical direction. Weiss performed with the band on The Tonight Show a week and a half ago, and it’s a real shame that we presumably won’t see her play with them again.
Here’s what Weiss has written:
A Letter To The Fans
After intense deliberation and with heavy sadness, I have decided to leave Sleater-Kinney. 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, Carrie and I shared. We were a force of nature. To the dearest SK fans — you’re the raddest fans in the universe and I love you. Experiencing the music together has been the honor of a lifetime. Thank you for sustaining me the past 24 years and for proving without a doubt that love and connection are what saves us.
Weiss is also one half of Quasi. She has played with Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks, the Shins, Wild Flag, and many others.
UPDATE: The remaining members of Sleater-Kinney have shared their own statement on Weiss leaving the band, which reads like so:
We are saddened by Janet’s decision to leave Sleater-Kinney. It has been an incredible privilege to work with such a talented musician and drummer over the course of so many albums, including The Center Won’t Hold.
We thank her for joining us on this journey many years ago; we will always cherish our friendship and our time together. We wish Janet all the best as she starts a new chapter in her life.
We are so excited for everyone to hear the record, and to see you on the road this fall and beyond.