Ten years and four albums later, best-selling rock band Alexisonfire are breaking up after two guitarists quit – including musician Dallas Green, who left to focus on his solo project, City and Colour.
The post-hardcore rockers from St. Catharines, Ont., announced the split in an online post from frontman George Pettit.
"Was the break up amicable? Not really. Was it necessary? Probably. Regardless, the members of this band are my family and I wish them nothing but good fortune," Pettit wrote.
The band first earned buzz for its 2002 self-titled debut, but really broke out with 2004's platinum-selling Watch Out, which peaked at No. 6 on the charts and earned the band a Juno Award for Best New Group.
Their third album, 2006's Crisis, hit No. 1 with platinum sales and a Juno nomination for Group of the Year.
At the same time, guitarist and vocalist Green garnered solo success under the City and Colour banner by showing a softer side that set him apart from the hard-edged Alexisonfire. His 2005 album Sometimes, including the hit Save Your Scissors, won acclaim and was followed up with two more albums in 2008 and 2011.
Keeping up both acts became too much for Green, and he informed his bandmates last year that he would be leaving, according to Pettit.
"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. He said the decision was made for Green to exit following the tour to support Alexisonfire's 2009 album, Old Crows/Young Cardinals.
The rest of the band was prepared to soldier on and find a replacement guitarist, Pettit says, but that search was delayed by personal issues and guitarist Wade MacNeil accepted an offer to join another band.
"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 wrote.
Alexisonfire says they are discussing a possible final tour and special releases to celebrate their 10th anniversary, but everything is in the planning stages. The band played their last show in their hometown of St. Catharines on Dec. 19, 2010.