Titus Andronicus’ bassist departs

The band that could do no wrong in 2010 kicks off 2011 on an unfortunate note. Titus Andronicus (aka the NJ-based outfit who put out our 5th favorite record of the last 12 months and who proved even better live) have announced the departure of founding member/bassist Ian Graetzer. Titus first shared the news during their New Year’s Eve show in Brooklyn (Graetzer’s last with the band), but frontman Patrick Stickles has since took to the band’s blog to further discuss Graetzer’s decision and what it means for the band’s future:

If you were at the show, you also maybe heard me saying something about how it was our dearly beloved bassist Ian Graetzer’s last show with the band. Well, the reason that I said that was that it was true – Ian isn’t in the band anymore. Shocking, I know, considering that Ian has been in the band since the very beginning (in fact, he and I were the two guys who decided to form the group) and been present for every glorious victory, every bitter defeat, and all the innumerable, interminable hours in between. Not anymore, gang.

“What is the deal?” you may be asking, “Do you guys, like, hate each other now or something?” No, we don’t hate each other. In fact, the months since Ian announced his departure plans (yes, the months!) have been some of the happiest and friendliest in all of our organization’s history. The simple fact is that Ian is a man of multitudinous passions, a man who is full of ideas and ambitions and who is always generating plans and schemes and million dollar ideas, a man for whom the road of life is going to be long and carefully, considerately trodden, with many rewards and adventures for the picking along the way. For the past five and a half years or so, we were blessed to have the use of this brain, to be the beneficiaries of these passions and this unstoppable iron will. Ian gave more to our organization than most any band could ask of most any man, but now the time has come for him to spread the wealth around, give some of his other interests and aspirations a chance. Between his future plans (which is not for me to speak of, besides that I don’t fully understand them, but I can say that they have something to do with the world of visuals rather than sounds) and his ongoing position of power and responsibility at the venerable Kingsland Printing, there just aren’t going to be six months of this new year where Ian can put all of his concerns aside and sit around the van like we have always done – at this, his heart would make a mighty protest, and far be it from Titus Andronicus to make another protest at that protest. Know what I am saying?

I guess what I am trying to say, for the record, is that we still have great love for Ian, and the appreciation we feel for his efforts over the years would be slighted by any attempt to condense them into a pithy, internet-ready sound byte. We are still friends, though – in fact, he has agreed to continue making our t-shirts, so you need not fear going to any TA concert in 2011 and being made to feel like you should be a t-shirt that wasn’t Ian Graetzer quality. We shall continue to peddle these shirts because we shall continue to believe in the man, and offer him our sincerest support and best wishes for all of his future endeavors.

What does this all mean for the future of Titus Andronicus LLC? Well, it certainly does raise a lot of questions, most of which are presently without answers. Besides being the bass player, Ian historically handled the lion’s share of our business operations, so his departure leaves two rather gaping holes. We will take moves to fill them swiftly and expediently in this new year, but I don’t have any particulars to share with you now. Soon enough.

Sickels went on to note the band will have some update before their next scheduled performance — a newly announced February 10th benefit concert at the Mercury Lounge in New York City. All proceeds will benefit the Willie Mae’s Rock Camp for Girls and you can grab tickets here. After that, it’s onto a tour with Shane MacGowan and friends. Find all confirmed Titus Andronicus 2k11 tour dates below.

Titus Andronicus 2011 Tour Dates:
02/10 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
03/03 – Chicago, IL @ Congress Theatre *
03/04 – Detroit, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theater *
03/07 – Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live *
03/08 – Washington, D.C. @ 9:30 Club *
03/11 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues *
03/12 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues *
03/15 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5 *
03/17 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5 *

* = w/ The Pogues


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