"It would have been so messy" if he had stuck it out to record a second album, says keyboard player Gus Unger-Hamilton

Alt-J have said they will be “just fine” without their former bassist Gwil Sainsbury, who left in January.

Sainsbury took the ‘personal decision’ to leave the Mercury Prize winning band at the beginning of the year. In a message posted on their Twitter page, the group said they support his decision to leave.

Speaking to BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe, keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton has said the band is “going to be just fine” without Sainsbury (pictured right).

“He left just before we started making the new album,” he said. “He realised that he was really just not enjoying aspects of the lifestyle of being in a band. I think he did the right thing of just saying, ‘You know what? Before we start a new record I’m just going to leave now and let you guys concentrate on the second album.’ Which is really good of him because I think if he tried to stick it out for this album it would have just got to him and it would have been so messy.”

The band will remain as a three-piece, with extra musicians joining them on tour, he confirmed.

Earlier this week, Alt-J revealed their new single ‘Hunger Of The Pine’, which features Miley Cyrus on guest vocals. It is the first track from their forthcoming second album, which is due for release on September 22.

The band will tour the UK this autumn. The first Manchester and London dates have sold out but a second Manchester date will now take place on September 20.

Alt-J will play:

Glasgow O2 Academy (September 18)
Manchester Apollo (19/ 20)
Wolverhampton Civic Hall (22)
Brighton Centre (23)
London Alexandra Palace (24)
Dublin O2 Arena (27)

The ‘This Is All Yours’ tracklisting is:

‘Intro’
‘Arrival In Nara’
‘Nara’
‘Every Other Freckle’
‘Left Hand Free’
‘Garden Of England’
‘Choice Kingdom’
‘Hunger Of The Pine’
‘Warm Foothills’
‘The Gospel Of John Hurt’
‘Pusher’
‘Bloodflood Pt II’
‘Leaving Nara’

To check the availability of Alt-J tickets and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/TICKETS now, or call 0844 858 6765.