British band Slaves have announced that they have changed their name to Soft Play and have apologized for any offense caused by their original name.
The UK punk rock duo, consisting of frontman Laurie Vincent and drummer Isaac Holman, have performed under the name Slaves since forming the band in 2012, but have faced backlash over the name’s historical connotations. .
The band, which has been on hiatus since 2018, released a statement announcing their return, but said earlier that “we want to tackle something important.”
“When we called our band Slaves, it was intended solely as a reference to the day-to-day routine,” the two wrote in a post on their new official Instagram page.
They continued: “As younger men, we responded to criticism of the name from a place of fear and defensiveness.”
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“Feeling cornered, our own pride made us fight for a name we weren’t even sure we wanted anymore. Sometimes it felt like our band name had defined us and we were afraid of what might happen if we changed.” it’s.”
“However, we now recognize that our original intent does not change the fact that the name Slaves is a problem,” Vincent and Holman explained.
“Today we believe that it is very important that people change and make improvements no matter how far they are,” they added.
“The name no longer represents who we are as people or what our music stands for. We want to sincerely apologize to anyone we have offended.”
While the two acknowledged that people may have “different opinions” about their previous nickname, they expressed their hope that their fans would “accept and respect our decision and not continue the discussion with each other.”
The pair noted, “When it comes down to it, the music and the community that surrounds our band is most important and we don’t want anything to get in the way of that community being as inclusive as possible.
“Our music is for anyone and everyone.”
The band went on to say that they would be performing together again under the name Soft Play.
“We are very happy to be back together and excited for what the future holds for us,” they concluded.
The duo’s 2015 debut album, “Are You Satisfied?” it reached number 8 on the UK Albums Chart and was nominated for a Mercury Music Prize. His subsequent albums, 2016’s “Take Control” and 2018’s “Act of Fear and Love”, entered the top 10 on the UK charts.
In 2015, the band was featured in a Fader article titled “Why Would a Band of White Dudes Call Each Other Slaves?”
At the time, Vincent told Fader that he and Holman were surprised by the criticism of the band’s name. He explained that they were looking for “an abrasive-sounding word, like Clash” when trying to come up with a name.
“We just liked the word. We weren’t trying to provoke,” he added.
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Vincent told the outlet: “Someone once wrote on our Facebook wall: ‘No one but African-Americans have the right to use the word slaves.’
He continued: “Obviously, many words have two meanings: if you say ‘I feel like a slave at work’ or ‘I’m a slave to the grind’, that’s not disrespectful to the slave trade.”
“You have to use words, or you’ll be scared of everything. We live in a society where people are already terrified of being interpreted for the way they act, and it’s getting harder.”
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