The Shins Shuffle Band Line-Up

Free from the restrictions of being on a label, James Mercer is ready to work the way he wants to.  After telling Pitchfork that the reason for self-releasing The Shins‘ upcoming fourth album, instead of going with Subpop, was that “…you get more money,” Mercer has let two of the band members go – drummer Jesse Sandoval and keyboardist Marty Crandall.

Citing “production ideas that..required some other people” as the reason for letting Sandoval and Crandall go, NME is reporting that Modest Mouse drummer Joe Plummer and Fruit Bats’ bassist Ron Lewis are joining the band for the current tour and upcoming album.

Expect the new album sometime in 2010, to be released on Mercer’s own label  – Aural Apothecary.

Is there any way for Mercer to spin this so he doesn’t look like a money-grabbing dick?  Maybe he doesn’t want to.

The Shins – Phantom Limb (mp3) from Wincing the Night Away

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