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Foster the People drummer Mark Pontius leaves band after 11 years

“I’m saying goodbye and moving on as of today"

By Hollie Geraghty

Mark Pontius performs with Foster The People
Mark Pontius of Foster The People (Picture: Alamy)

Foster the People drummer Mark Pontius has departed from the band he co-founded alongside Mark Foster over a decade ago.

In a statement shared to the band’s social media Wednesday (October 14), Pontius wrote: “I’ve struggled with finding the words to begin this announcement so I guess I’ll just rip off the band-aid and say that I’ve decided to leave the band I helped start 11 years ago.

“As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of our first record Torches, I’ve been flooded with memories of our 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.”

Foster The People landed one of their biggest hits the year after they formed with ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ in 2010, which spent eight weeks at number 3 in the Billboard Hot 100.

The drummer added that he has “grown up a lot” since the band started out. He also said becoming a father to his 2-year-old daughter has “really changed the way I feel about living my life on tour”.

“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,” Pontius added. “I’m saying goodbye and moving on as of today.”

The drummer said that fellow band members Mark Foster, Isom Innis and Sean Cimino are his “family forever”, adding “I’m sure we will work together again one day.”

Pontius featured on all three of Foster the People’s albums, ‘Torches’ in 2011, ‘Supermodel’ in 2014, and 2017’s ‘Sacred Hearts Club’.

The band also received three Grammy nominations with Pontius, including Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ and Best Alternative Music Album for ‘Torches’ in 2011, followed by a Best Short Form Music Video nomination for ‘Houdini” in 2012.

‘Pumped Up Kicks’ quickly became a viral hit in 2010, used in various advertising campaigns and licensed for TV media including an episode of ‘Entourage’.

The following year in 2011, it broke into the mainstream and was played across US and international radio stations.