Guitarist TOM CONRAD has left cult rocker The Academy Is... after deciding to move in a different direction creatively. Conrad will play no further part in recording sessions for the group's follow up to last year's debut album ALMOST HERE. A statement reads: "After two years on the road together, Tom and The Academy Is… have gone in separate directions. "(The remaining members) can be found in an abandoned warehouse, somewhere on the southside of Chicago writing their second album."