Apparently, the chaos of NBA free agency has spilled over into the indie-rock world. And to use analyst parlance, Sleater-Kinney just lost their "glue guy."
Drummer Janet Weiss announced on social media this morning that she is leaving the legendary Portland-bred three-piece after 23 years, writing that the band is "heading in a new direction" and that it is time for her to "move on."
The remaining band members issued their own collective response to the news, expressing sadness over her departure and wishing her "all the best."
Weiss joined Sleater-Kinney in 1996. She was the band's fourth drummer, but it was her addition that propelled them from riot grrrl upstarts to "the greatest rock band in the world" (c) Greil Marcus—not to mention helped facilitate their move from Olympia, Wash., to Portland.
It is a curiously timed departure, given that Sleater-Kinney recently announced The Center Won't Hold, their second album since reforming after a nine-year hiatus in 2015, and a fall tour. The first singles, produced by Annie Clarke, aka St. Vincent, do suggest a slinkier, dancier sound than they've employed in the past. And their glammy new press photos certainly indicate a change of pace as well.
No word yet on who will be replacing Weiss on the upcoming tour, which comes to Crystal Ballroom for two nights in November. The Center Won't Hold releases on Aug. 16.
As for Weiss, she isn't without other projects to keep her busy—that includes her band Slang with Kathy Foster of the Thermals. But who knows? Maybe she's leaving to pursue her true passion—Portland Trail Blazers beat reporter.