Sad news: Tyondai Braxton has left Battles so he can focus on his solo career (and let Battles tour in 2011). According to a statement:
Due to Battles’ ambitions of finishing their second studio album followed by commitments to a full touring schedule in 2011, and Tyondai’s own commitments as a solo artist and his desire not to tour, both Battles and Tyondai have decided to move on without each other.
It is a sad but amicable split.
That was posted at Warp. It’ll be interesting to see how the new album and tour shapes up without Braxton. I’ve picked up from a lot of Progress Report interviews that some people find it nearly impossible to write songs or do any creative work while on tour. Maybe Battles and Braxton can have a Neko Case/New Pornographers-type arrangement in the future.
UPDATE: Braxton posted his own statement on the Warp website:
Aside from making great music for 8 years together John, Ian, Dave and I have been family. We have experienced together what it’s like to start a band and have it blossom into something beyond our wildest dreams and I’m incredibly proud of all we have accomplished.
I know for a fact that this is just a new beginning for Battles. Our model has always had a controlled shapelessness to it and I know John, Ian and Dave are looking forward sculpting an even better way forward.
I look forward to be able to continue my music and am very excited at the prospect of being able to dig deeper in my own work.