Worrying news for alt-J's ever-growing legion of fans this morning as Gwin Sainsbury (pictured far right in the above image), bassist/guitarist and founding member, has decided to leave the Mercury Music Prize winning band.

A message posted on the band's official Twitter page over the weekend announced the news, reading: "With regret, Gwil is leaving alt-J. This is purely a personal decision and as our best friend we support him completely."

A statement released to NME this morning further clarifies the band's intentions to move forward.

It reads: "The three remaining members of alt-J - Joe, Gus and Thom - and all at Infectious Music give their full support to Gwil and wish him only the very best for the future. Both alt-J and Infectious would like to reassure fans that the band remain excited about the future and are set to return to the studio very soon to begin work on the follow-up to 2012's Barclaycard Mercury Prize winning 'An Awesome Wave'".

The Leeds band formed in 2007 and released their award-winning debut album in 2012 and, according to according to keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton, are set to re-enter the studio in September of this year once all of their touring commitments are fulfilled.

Interestingly enough, this isn't the first time that a bass player has opted to quit a Mercury Music Prize winning band after Andy Nicholson opted to leave Arctic Monkeys in similar fashion in 2006.