Farewell, the Hold Steady’s Franz Nicolay


Oh wow, keyboardist Franz Nicolay just quit the Hold Steady: “You should know,” he wrote on his website yesterday. “I’ve left The Hold Steady. I told the band I’d be leaving in early September, played my last show with them in Minneapolis around Thanksgiving, and dotted the t’s and crossed the i’s this week. Five years seemed like a nice round number.” You could say that. Or you could say that dude brought an awful lot to the band over the years, both as a songwriter and as a fiery, endlessly entertaining performer. Or both? Curious implications for the future of the Hold Steady here: stripped down power-rock seems to be a good look for them, but at the same time, many of the late stage joys from Craig Finn and co. came from the ballads in which the keyboardist’s playing was prominently involved. It was an era, that’s for sure. Nicolay’s send off? “Thanks to everyone who was a part of the experience.” [Franz Nicolay, via Pitchfork]