Foster The People Drummer Mark Pontius Leaves Band to Focus on Fatherhood: 'I'm Saying Goodbye'
Foster The People is going to continue without one of its founding members.
On Wednesday, drummer Mark Pontius, 36, announced that he will be leaving the group after more than a decade to focus on being a dad to his 2-year-old daughter.
"I'll just rip off the band-aid and say that I've decided to leave the band I helped start 11 years ago, Foster the People," he wrote in a statement posted to the band's Instagram and Twitter. "As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of our first record Torches, I've been flooded with memories of sudden success, achieving all of my career aspirations in a few short years and the beautiful moments spent with my brothers in the band. What a privilege it all was, I'm eternally grateful for all of it."
Pontius — who formed Foster The People with Mark Foster, Sean Cimino and Isom Innis — wrote that he has "grown up a lot" since the group started and that his "whole life has changed in every way."
"I've had a lot of time to myself to reflect on what truly matters. Among those things, I became a father to a now 2-year-old daughter who has really changed the way I feel about living my life on tour," Pontius wrote. "I find myself drawn to things closer to home. I've seen the world (a couple of times) and I really checked everything off my career bucket list. Now my aspirations are more about hanging out there in nature and watching my child grow up."
He continued: "These last 2 years have been about closing out huge chapters in my life and after a lot of back and forth, I've accepted that I'm ready for this one to close as well. I'm saying goodbye and moving on as of today."
Pontius then thanked his bandmates, whom he called his "family forever."
"I'm sure we will work together again one day. As for me, I've got a few ideas for the future but I'm just going to take it one day at a time for now," he ended his note. "Thank you to everyone who supported the band over the years, I love you."
The three-time Grammy-nominated group has released three albums since their 2010 formation: Torches in 2011, Supermodel in 2014 and Sacred Hearts Club in 2017. Torches featured their top-selling record "Pumped Up Kicks," which has been streamed over 1.1 billion times on Spotify.
Late last month, Pontius shared a sweet set of photos with his daughter, captioning the post: "Sunny shine."
Pontius' partner Jessa Reed shared his post on Instagram, writing, "Bummed I never got to watch him play live but excited to see what he does next."