Sleater-Kinney fans got some unexpected news at the beginning of July when long-time drummer Janet Weiss announced that she was leaving the group.
What made the announcement odd--and hinted at some major internal strife among band members--was its timing.
Sleater-Kinney--now reduced to singer-guitarists Corrine Tucker and Carrie Brownstein--announced in January of this year that the trio had entered the studio with the formidable Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) in the producer's chair. Early singles from those sessions-- “Hurry On Home” and “The Future Is Here"--showcased a band that was decidedly slicker and more radio-friendly than in the past, with synths added to the mix.
Weiss announced that she was leaving just as Sleater-Kinney was gearing up to do promo for the album that resulted from those sessions. The Center Won’t Hold is scheduled for release on August 16, which will then be followed by a touring cycle where the band will need a drummer.
In announcing her decision to leave, Weiss stated, somewhat cryptically, "The band is headed in a new direction and it is time for me to move on."
Sleater-Kinney, which helped invent the riot-grrrl movement, responded with a simple and not terribly illuminating "[We] wish Janet all the best as she starts a new chapter in her life”.
And that was it. Until yesterday, when Brownstein got into details of the dummer's departure while interacting with fans on her Instagram page.
The sometimes Portlandia star's answer started with "what am I supposed to say? She left. We asked her to stay".
Brownstein also seemed to express disappointment that Weiss didn't make her objections known if she was unhappy in the studio with Clark, noting "she’s raved about this album to us and to Annie."
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