All materials
© 2005 Static and Feedback
All rights reserved.
Jim O'Rourke leaves
Sonic Youth


According to a report by, Jim O’Rourke
has announced he’s leaving Sonic Youth.

"Jim is going through a lot of different stuff personally
and about where he sees his future," Ranaldo told
Billboard’s Jonathan Cohen. “He's really interested in
pursuing stuff outside the musical arena, particularly
film work. Not necessarily soundtrack work, but
making films and getting involved in that community.”
O’Rourke had been involved with the group since 1998’s SYR3 release, and been a working member of the
band since their 2000 tour and that year’s
NYC Ghosts & Flowers album. His own experimentations with sound
and a re-arranging of the entire singer/songwriter genre fit the band perfectly, and together they were able to
create some of the best music of their careers.

O’Rourke’s touch with the band, first as producer and later as a guitarist/bassist, did not go unnoticed. 2002’s
Murray Street was something of a back-to-basics album for the band, honing the noise jams into more concise
songs, which freed the band to really explore sound the way they had years earlier. In 2004,
Sonic Nurse was
released, displaying a progression that most bands couldn’t after nearly 25 years together.

The first rumors of an O’Rourke departure took hold after he was
absent from a Sonic Youth show in Providence
earlier this year. But the official announcement is still a sad one. Ranaldo left the door open for an O’Rourke
return, noting in the story, “there was never any kind of binding agreement with us. We want what is best for him.
That's not to say either individually some of us won't continue to work with him, or that in a group setting he won't
ever be involved again. But for the next phase though, we're developing all this new material without him. He
won't be involved in the production.”

In addition to his own solo work, O'Rourke was also a member of Gastr del Sol and Loose Fur and worked with
several artists behind the board, most famously with Wilco on their albums
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost Is

Sonic Youth, by all accounts, will continue on as a four piece through their South American tour dates this fall
and work on a new album with a spring 2006 release date.
Sonic Youth, from left: Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore, Jim
O'Rourke, Lee Ranaldo, Steve Shelley