Long-serving SONIC YOUTH star JIM O'ROURKE has quit the group to concentrate on a film career.

The multi-instrumentalist, who was the musical consultant for the Jack Black comedy School Of Rock, hopes to direct films.

O'Rourke has been with the band since 2001.

Guitarist LEE RANALDO insists O'Rourke's decision to quit the group is being supported by his former bandmates.

He says, "There was never any kind of binding agreement with us. We want what is best for him. That's not to say either individually some of us won't continue to work with him, or that in a group setting he won't ever be involved again.

"But, for the next phase though, we're developing all this new material without him. He won't be involved in the production."