The Canadian rock band Alexisonfire said Saturday it is splitting up after two members decided to leave the group in a break up that frontman George Pettit said is “not really” amicable.
The band announced its decision in a lengthy note posted to its website. The note was written by Pettit.
“There is no good way to put it so I’m just going to say it,” he wrote. “After 10 years, Alexisonfire has decided to part ways. ... Was the break up amicable? Not really. Was it necessary? Probably.”
The band issued its self-titled debut album in 2002 and followed up with 2004’s platinum-selling breakthrough Watch Out. A moody fusion of emo, metal and hardcore, Watch Out won the group a mass audience that identified with its searching, angst-ridden lyrics. In 2005, they won a Juno – Canada’s version of the Grammy’s – for Best New Group of the Year.
The group’s third album Crisis in 2006 opened in the top spot on the Canadian charts en route to platinum sales, while 2009’s Old Crows/Young Cardinals – which could now stand as their final full-length – opened at No. 2 and also sold briskly.
But as the band was gathering commercial and critical steam, singer/guitarist Dallas Green was winning just as much acclaim with his solo project, City and Colour.
Beginning with 2005’s platinum-selling Sometimes, Green’s project earned him two Junos. With this success, his solo work was coming in conflict with work demands from Alexisonfire.
Green’s third album, Little Hell, debuted at No. 1 on the Canadian charts when it was released in June and reached 28th spot on the U.S. Billboard chart.
Pettit said that Green privately revealed his intention to leave Alexisonfire almost a year ago due to the burgeoning success of City and Colour.
“Trying to balance his life between touring with us and, at the same time, quelling the success of City and Colour was a task too difficult to continue managing,” Pettit wrote.
Then guitarist Wade MacNeil accepted an offer to join another band, and at that point, the group decided to dissolve completely.
“Replacing one guitar player/singer/writer was something we thought was possible, but replacing two would run the serious risk of perverting the legacy of what we had achieved,” Pettit said.
“So we all took a good hard swallow and decided to end it so it would never get old and ugly.”
Pettit said that the future for him and drummer Jordan Hastings was “largely unwritten”.
There was no mention of the split on City And Colour’s website. The band is set to perform Sunday at Lollapalooza in Chicago before a slot at the Ottawa Folk Festival on Aug. 26.