In what some have described as a baffling move, California indie-pop group The Morning Benders are officially changing their name. In an oddly moving post to the band's official website, lead singer Christopher Chu explained the group's decision.
"[In] 2005, I had just finished writing my first songs and all I wanted to do was start a band as soon as possible. That same year I had moved to Berkeley to attend college, and of the first 5 people I met, 1 of them happened to be a drummer, and 1 happened to be a guitarist," the post begins. "It was kismet; we started a band. It wasn't long before we got offered our first show on Lower Sproul (Berkeley's school quad). Now all we needed was a band name. We came up with two options: "The Beatles 2" and "The Morning Benders." We went with The Morning Benders."
The name served them well for five years. The group became something of a blogosphere sensation with 2006 single "Dammit Anna" before releasing their debut full-length "Talking Through Tin Cans" in 2008.
"Fast forward to 2010, many a dive bar, school quad, house party, county fair, pizza parlor later," Chu continues. "We had just released Big Echo, and for the first time we were preparing for a world tour. We had toured a fair amount leading up to Big Echo, but never overseas, so when it came time to tour the UK and Europe we were quite excited."
Here's where the group ran into trouble. Unbeknownst to the band and basically everyone in America, the "Morning Benders" has quite a different connotation in UK slang. The word "bender" is British slang for "homosexual", roughly equivalent to the word "fag." The Morning Benders were horrified when scores of fans began asking them about the name and explaining the UK meaning.
"At the time we didn't really have many options; we had already booked several tours as The Morning Benders and had just released our new album," says Chu. "We couldn't very well change the name right then and there. We had unwittingly gotten ourselves into a problem with no immediate solution, it was extremely disappointing. But that's all said and done. Now it's 2012. We are at the tail end of making our third album, and we have been given the opportunity to change our band name. We've decided to seize that opportunity."
With the new-found freedom to call themselves whatever they'd like, what did the former Morning Benders land on?
"From henceforth we shall be known as POP ETC," said Chu.
I don't know about you, but I kinda liked "The Beatles 2."