Nickel Creek will begin an indefinite hiatus in late 2007, Billboard.com has learned. The bluegrass-leaning trio will remain active on the road up until that point, but will amicably part ways afterwa

Nickel Creek will begin an indefinite hiatus in late 2007, Billboard.com has learned. The bluegrass-leaning trio will remain active on the road up until that point, but will amicably part ways afterward to pursue solo projects.

"After seven years straight of touring and three records behind us, it's in our best interest to suspend Nickel Creek by the end of next year," says group member Chris Thile, noting that he and Sara Watkins have been in Nickel Creek since they were eight years old.

"If we were to go in and do more writing, we might be in danger of forcing that process," he continues. "It's always been so natural, but lately it hasn't been quite as natural and we're running the risk of actually having to break up. We would rather leave it for a while, while it's still intact and healthy. We want to tell people about it now to dispel rumors and so that our fans aren't taken by surprise."

Each member will work on individual projects this winter, in between the fall tour and another round of dates beginning in late spring. "I want to stay off the road for once and focus on movie scoring," says group member Sean Watkins. "I'm really excited about figuring out how to make a living and keep myself in a really creative environment, without having to be gone from home."

Sara Watkins plans on collaborating with other friends and groups, as well as releasing a self-produced solo album within the next six months. Thile is touring with his solo group How To Grow a Band, whose debut album, "How To Grow a Woman From the Ground," will be out later this year.

In addition, he will team with classical bassist Edgar Meyer for an album and a tour this winter. "With both these bands, I'm looking to break down the traditional structures and ideas of what constitutes bluegrass or classical music. We'll use bluegrass instruments, but we're going to change what that means," he says.

All three members say they are ready to expand their musical horizons by "getting a life."

"When you're on the road all the time and meet all these people who love your music, you can't always relate to them because stuff never happens to you. We're supposed to be writing songs that relate to other people," Sean Watkins says. "I need to be out there and having a different life than that. I ready to write about real things again."