The Smiths’ legendary guitarist Johnny Marr has quit The Cribs, a band he had been playing with for for several years, but the band’s brothers, Gary, Ryan and Ross Jarman insist it’s all amicable. Posting a message on their website, they say:

Hey guys,

So, as some of you may know by now The Cribs are gonna be a 3-piece again. That is a slightly less dramatic way of saying that Johnny Marr is no longer in the band. We don’t want it to be seen as a split, that just has so many negative connotations and really doesn’t represent the way everyone is feeling right now.

The truth is that, as Johnny said, we did more than we ever set out to do together really – we were initially just playing together as friends, and decided it might be fun to do a trademark Cribs ‘surprise one-off seven inch’ or something of that ilk, but as we went along we just kept writing. First it was a single, then an EP, we just happened to really enjoy playing together and ended up writing a full album. We were/are all really proud of the work we did together and we did mean it in our assertions that Johnny was very much a full-time member of the band. There were definite intentions of continuing on together and making another record – we even went into the studio with Edwyn Collins again last spring and started recording some stuff, but it just wasn’t really working. We were all pretty burnt at that point and that is why we decided that after 8 years (I know, crazy!) and 4 records we should take some time off.

During that time we all intended on working on other projects (Ryan started producing and writing with Edwyn, Gary contributing to All Smiles etc) and at some point late last year, we just casually got together out in Portland as a 3-piece and it was so much fun. Johnny had started working on a solo record in the time off, and it just seemed like the right time to go our separate ways. It’s not like “JOHNNY LEAVES!”, or “BAND SPLIT!”, or any of that drama – just a good time to do something else really.

No one is down about this in our camp. It’s actually the start of a really exciting phase for everyone. Johnny has gone back to The Healers and is writing a new record, and we are really honestly loving being back together as just 3 brothers literally playing in the basement/garage again. Right now we are in Portland and demoing in Gary’s basement and it feels so liberating. We have a bunch of new songs and are embracing the lo-fi again. It never was about fancy studios and LA and all that. We are back in our usual environment and feeling good about it. We’ve got everything we need.

We are also really looking forward to the shows we have coming up. We miss you guys.

Best regards – your friends Gary, Ryan and Ross (THE CRIBS).

Marr played on their 2009 release Ignore The Ignorant, which saw him following on his habit of joining existing bands. He had previously played and collaborated with Modest Mouse. Marr told an interviewer “”Touring and recording with Ryan, Gary and Ross has been fantastic and ‘Ignore the Ignorant’ is something I’m really proud of. We ended up doing much more than we originally set out to and I’ve made three good friends.”