Gavilán Rayna Russom Leaves LCD Soundsystem
The transdisciplinary artist had joined the group in 2008
Published Nov 24, 2021Last night, LCD Soundsystem kicked off a 20-date residency at Brooklyn Steel in New York, effectively ending their "full hiatus." Notably, the group's run of dates will not feature longtime member Gavilán Rayna Russom, who has since confirmed their departure from the band.
Speaking with Pitchfork, Russom confirmed that she made the decision to leave LCD Soundsystem after James Murphy approached her about the aforementioned residency.
"DFA and LCD… they're nice folks and James is a great artist and it's a great label, but it's actually quite different than what I'm interested in creatively," Russom shared. "I'd always felt like I was kind of negotiating. I hadn't really understood how much I had been contextualized and pigeonholed within a world that is not super amenable to who I am and what I create."
"When this offer came up again [to perform at LCD Soundsystem's Brooklyn Steel residency], I had considered it. And when I looked at the reality of this time, I was just like, 'I'm just not able to do this,'" she continued. "My work has grown to a point where I'm not able to put it aside for a couple of years and go on tour with LCD, or double up. A lot of times I'd be on tour with LCD and making my own music in the bus between 7 and noon. It just reached a natural point based on some concerns I've had for a really long time."
Asked if the split was amicable, Russom confirmed, "Absolutely... The entire experience is pretty amicable, It's not about people or personalities. At some point James reached out to me about this new set of shows. I asked for a little time to think about it, and we sat down and had a nice coffee and I basically said that I couldn't do it, but that I was super grateful."
"James is a person who's really supported me and my work, and I think having me be in the band was part of that," she added. "You'd have to ask him, but my sense is that James has been a fan of mine since we met. I have a tremendous amount of gratitude for the fact that he saw me, was a fan, and wanted to support me. Of course I brought a lot to it in ways that are obvious, in terms of writing credits or presence on stage."
Russom joined LCD Soundsystem in 2008, contributing to the group's 2010 album This Is Happening and performing at the "farewell" shows that followed. She would continue playing keyboards and synthesizers upon the band's 2015 reunion, and toured with LCD Soundsystem in 2018.
The interview also notes that Russom's decision to leave LCD Soundsystem follows "a number of personal and professional shifts" in her life, including coming out as transgender in 2017, founding record label Voluminous Arts last year, and contracting a severe case of COVID-19.
You can read Pitchfork's entire conversation with Russom here.
Earlier this year, LCD Soundsystem reissued The Long Goodbye, the live release that captured their April 2011 farewell show at Madison Square Garden.