Hold Steady keyboardist Franz Nicolay has just announced via his website that he is officially ending his run with The Hold Steady. For serious fans, he was the man who shifted the band to a much bigger sound when Separation Sunday came out. For casual fans, he was the dude with that long mustache at their shows who looked like he was having a ball every time. Nicolay says he played his last show with them around Thanksgiving in Minneapolis a couple months after he announced he would be leaving. He says he "dotted the t's and crossed the i's this week" and is now officially done with the band after a five year tenure.
We'll still hear plenty from Nicolay. The man has a solo career, a gypsy punk band, a short story collection (due next month) and is producing for younger bands. Still, aside from some pretty impressive chops on his own instrument, the dude is responsible for pretty much every Hold Steady background vocal you ever drunkenly belted out with your friends. And it's sad to know one of our favorite mustaches will never be at the place we met it again. (Via: P4K)
(Portrait by Grant Siedlecki)