Mick Harvey is splitting with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds after a quarter of a century.

Multi-instrumental Harvey, one of the founders of the Australian alternative rock ensemble, says he is leaving for a "variety of personal and professional reasons."

A statement from Harvey today read, "After 25 years I feel I am leaving the band as it experiences one of its many peaks; in very healthy condition, and with fantastic prospects for the future."

He continued, "I'm confident Nick will continue to be a creative force and that this is the right time to pass on my artistic and managerial role to what has become a tremendous group of people who can support him in his endeavors both musically and organizationally.

Harvey and Cave formed the band back in 1983, having collaborated in the Seventies and early Eighties on post-punk outfit the Birthday Party. Currently, the Bad Seeds are enjoying a period of unmatched commercial and critical success, which saw latest album "Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!" (Mute) bow at No. 4 on the Official U.K. Albums chart last March, and open at No. 3 on Billboard's European Top 100 Albums survey. Cave has won the best male artist gong at the previous two ARIA Awards ceremonies.

In the statement, issued by the Bad Seeds' label Mute, Harvey said he would continue working on the Bad Seeds catalog re-issues project over the coming year, and that he looked forward to the "new opportunities I shall be able to accommodate as a result of my changed circumstances."

Since the mid-Eighties, the Melbourne-based musician, producer and composer has concentrated on film scores as his solo outlet, including such Australian projects as "Ghosts... of the Civil Dead" (1988) and "Australian Rules" (2002), and has recorded two solo CDs of Serge Gainsbourg works.

Harvey played his last show with the Bad Seeds at Sydney's Cockatoo Island on Jan. 18, the third in a three date- tour headlining the All Tomorrow' Parties festival Down Under, for which Cave was curator.

The Bad Seeds has gone through numerous line-up changes since its inception. But Harvey and Cave had always remained the familiar faces. Einsturzende Neubauten's Blixa Bargeld -- the guitarist, sometime vocalist and talismanic presence beside Cave's theatrics -- left the Bad Seeds in 2003.

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