Frontman Garrett Quits Midnight Oil

Lead singer Peter Garrett has left from Australian rock act Midnight Oil to work on other projects.

Lead singer Peter Garrett has left from Australian rock act Midnight Oil to work on other projects. In a statement on the group's official Web site, the vocalist explained, "The last 25 years has been incredibly fulfilling for me, and I leave with the greatest respect for the whole of Midnight Oil. The band has brought a lot of pleasure and meaning to peoples' lives, including my own. Who could ask for more? But it is time for me to move on and immerse myself in those things which are of deep concern to me and which I have been unable to fully apply myself to up to now."

The bald, imposing Garrett joined the band right after finishing law school. Midnight Oil's best songs, such as "Beds Are Burning," "Short Memory," and "U.S. Forces," were political in tone, and Garrett even ran for the Australian senate on an environmental ticket. The band's U.S. success peaked in the late 1980s with the albums "Diesel and Dust" and "Blue Sky Mining," which reached No. 21 and No. 20, respectively, on The Billboard 200.

Whether remaining Midnight Oil members Rob Hirst, James Moginie, Bones Hillman, and Martin Rotsey will remain together is unclear. Their online statement said they "plan to continue making music together in another guise at some point down the track. We've had a unique relationship and special chemistry for many years, one too good to lose."

The group's 14th studio album, "Capricornia," was released in February via the BMG-affiliated label Liquid 8. Midnight Oil toured North America in the fall of 2001.