Alt-J member takes ‘personal decision’ to leave the band

Mercury Prize winners say they support Gwil Sainsbury's 'personal decision'

Alt-J have announced Gwil Sainsbury has left the band.

In a message posted on their twitter page, they said it was a personal decision by their guitarist and bass player, and they support his decision to leave. There is no further news on what remaining members Joe Newman, Thom Green and Gus Unger-Hamilton will do and whether a replacement will be sought. A spokesperson for the band said no further statement will be made for the time being.

With regret, Gwil is leaving alt-J. This is purely a personal decision and as our best friend we support him completely.

— Δ (alt-J) (@alt_J) January 11, 2014

The band, who formed in Leeds in 2007, released their debut ‘An Awesome Wave’ in May 2012. It went on to win the Barclaycard Mercury Prize that same year. After composing the score for last year’s ‘Leave To Remain’, a film starring Toby Jones, the band were busy working on their second album.

Speaking to NME at the end of 2012, keyboard player Unger-Hamilton said they were writing new material, but that they wouldn’t be heading into the studio to start work on the follow-up until at least September 2013 after finishing up touring and festival commitments. Unger-Hamilton added that the band had named five tracks which “sounding exciting”. They played a new song called ‘Warm Foothills’ at live shows earlier this year. You can see the song below.