Sleater-Kinney, with Weiss (center).
Sleater-Kinney, with Weiss (center). Charlie Engman
This morning, Janet Weiss announced she is leaving the band Sleater-Kinney. The drummer had been with the Olympia-born, Portland-based group—whose other members include guitarist/vocalists Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker—since their 1997 album Dig Me Out and was the fourth and longest-lasting drummer Sleater-Kinney have had since forming in 1994.

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In a statement posted to social media, Weiss writes:

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.

The Drummer,

The timing of Weiss's announcement is somewhat surprising. Sleater-Kinney's 10th album, The Center Won't Hold, is scheduled to be released on August 16; it's their second LP since the band re-formed in 2014 after a lengthy hiatus. Sleater-Kinney also has a long American tour planned for October and November, and European dates scheduled for February 2020.

The forthcoming The Center Won't Hold was produced by St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark), and its two advanced tracks, "Hurry on Home" and "The Future Is Here," do indeed suggest a new direction for the guitar-oriented group, with more keyboards and synthesizers than previous work.

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Weiss is a busy drummer outside of Sleater-Kinney; she currently plays with the Portland bands Slang, Roseblood, and Quasi. Her lengthy résumé also includes time drumming for Wild Flag, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, the Shins, Bright Eyes, the Go-Betweens, and more.

An announcement has not been made about Weiss's replacement. Sleater-Kinney are scheduled to play the Paramount on November 23–24. Here's Sleater-Kinney's final performance with Weiss from the June 20 episode of The Tonight Show.