Duquette joined the indie rockers--signed to Seattle's Barsuk Records--in 2008 after original member and contributing songwriter John Pike drowned after a show. Taking Duquette's place on Ra Ra Riot's upcoming tour, which stops by Neumos on Jan. 27, is drummer Kenny Bernard.
Lead singer Wes Miles told us in a recent interview that the recording of last year's The Orchard--in which Duquette shows off his skills behind the drum-kit throughout the album, especially on lead single "Boy"--featured major contributions from all members of the band. Cellist Alexandra Lawn even acts as lead vocalist on "You and I Know."
"That was exciting for us, too, having different people sing lead and write some lyrics," Miles said. "It makes the album more dynamic and the recording process more dynamic."
As a driving force on The Orchard, Duquette's contributions will surely be missed. His statement on the departure is below.
Goodbye, RRR fans! Thanks for helping me feel famous for a short while. If any of you live in the vicinity of West Hartford, CT, I'll be giving drum lessons there. Seek me out on my website-in-progress ,gabrielduquette.com. Thanks, of course, to the rest of the band. They unwittingly helped me find my fashion sense. I will miss eating big meals together and saying weird things to make them laugh uncomfortably. My two favorite memories are Beyonce and Jay-Z in the audience at Coachella and dangling my feet in a stream at Yellowstone.
As for me, I'm off to prepare for the collapse of industrial civilization! I recommend you do the same.