Californian band The Morning Benders have changed their name to Pop ETC. after finding out the word ‘Bender’ is a slang term for ‘homosexual’ in the UK and parts of Europe.
Written as “the last post” from The Morning Benders (pictured) on the band’s official website, they outline the main reason for the name change:
“We simply cannot go on using a name that is demeaning to the gay community. The reason we are making music is to reach and unite as many different kinds of people as possible, and the idea that our name may be hateful towards anyone makes us sick.”
Formed in 2005, The Morning Benders made a reputation in the states for their unique brand of pop music but when they broke through to the international music scene in 2010, they became aware of the alternate meaning of their band name.
Lead singer and guitarist Christopher Chu says “As soon as we had landed in London, people started asking us about our band name. “What does ‘Bender’ mean to you?” people would ask. “Are you seriously called ‘The Morning Benders’?” was a common question.”
The band was told The Morning Benders would be the equivalent of ‘The Morning Fags’ in America.
Chu recounts his initial reaction to the news, saying he thought it made the band “look hateful, or at best, ignorant.”
“We had spent those years touring night and day, championing our name everywhere we could, only to find out that the name had an alternate meaning,” he wrote.
There have been mixed reactions to the name change, but the band’s main task is now to build public awareness of the new name.
The Morning Benders boasts almost 64,000 likes on Facebook, yet Pop ETC. have just over 700.
To formally kick off their new name, the band has released a free mix tape featuring eleven new tracks. Download it on their website here.