Big Thief announces departure of founding member Max Oleartchik: “Our love for each other is infinite”

Big Thief has announced the departure of their bassist and founding member Max Oleartchik.

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The indie-folk band took to Instagram to announce the news, writing: “After many beautiful years together, Max is no longer in Big Thief. Our love for each other is infinite, and we are so grateful for all we have shared these many years together since the beginning of our journey as a band.

“We wouldn’t be who we are without Max,” they continued. “This separation marks the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one for Big Thief.

“This change was made for interpersonal reasons with mutual respect in our hearts. It’s a big change for us and the four of us ask for your trust, respect, and care as we grow into the next chapter of our lives.”

The band then shared a carousel of photos together with Oleartchik – see their full statement below:

Though it is not known whether this influenced Oleartchik’s decision to leave the band, the band has previously courted controversy for planning two shows in his hometown of Tel Aviv, Israel.

In a statement, Big Thief explained why they had planned the two shows in July 2022, writing: “We are well aware of the cultural aspect of the BDS movement and the desperate reality of the Palestinian people. In terms of where we fit into the boycott, we don’t claim to know where the moral high ground lies and we want to remain open to other people’s perspectives and to love beyond disagreement. We understand the inherently political nature of playing there as well as the implications. Our intention is not to diminish the values of those who support the boycott or to turn a blind eye to those suffering. We are striving to be in the spirit of learning.”

The message concluded: “With this in heart, the show’s profits will be donated to NGOs that provide medical and humanitarian aid to Palestinian children, including joint efforts between Palestinians and Israelis working together for a better future.”

The band eventually cancelled their planned gigs, with them apologising to “those we hurt with the recklessness and naïveté of our original statement on playing Israel.

“We hope those who were planning to attend the shows understand our choice to cancel them.”

The post Big Thief announces departure of founding member Max Oleartchik: “Our love for each other is infinite” appeared first on NME.

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