Posted in music on March 27, 2012

POP ETC (fka The Morning Benders) at Webster Hall (more by Andrew St. Clair)
The Morning Benders

The Morning Benders (whose frontman was spotted at Fiona Apple Friday) posted a statement to their website announcing that they've changed their band name to POP ETC. The statement, reprinted in full below, explains that after getting way bigger due to the success of their sophomore album, Big Echo, they made their first trip to Europe to learn that "the word 'bender' in the UK and many parts of Europe is a slang term for 'homosexual.'" "We were told our band name was the equivalent of 'The Morning Fags' in America," they said. They continued saying, "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."

In honor of the name-change announcement, they've released a new mixtape, which includes a cover of Bjork's "Unravel." You can download the mixtape at the POP ETC website or stream it in full below. The new material suits their new name really well, complete with dance beats and auto-tuned vocals. A full length album is reportedly on the way too.

Mixtape stream and full statement below...

---
POP ETC Mixtape

When we started this band in 2005 we had no expectations. From an early age I had a deep love for music and its power to bring people together, but the truth is, 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. 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.

Fast forward to 2010, many a dive bar, school quad, house party, county fair, pizza parlor later. 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. The touring went well, and we had an amazing time, but also something happened that we hadn't anticipated. 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. For those of you reading from America, you may still be confused. Well, it turns out that the word 'bender' in the UK and many parts of Europe is a slang term for 'homosexual.' We were told our band name was the equivalent of 'The Morning Fags' in America. We had been called The Morning Benders for 5 years, and we were just finding this out now? It was shocking. And quite sad, to say the least. 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- one that made us look hateful, or at best, ignorant.

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. 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, and here's why--

1. 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.

2. In the UK and many parts of Europe the name has simply become too distracting. The MUSIC has always been our number one focus, and we want to present that to people in as pure a way as possible

I know that many people around the world have grown to love the name "The Morning Benders," and understandably have memories and experiences associated with it. Obviously we can understand this, we've lived and breathed this band for 7 years. However, for those of you that know and follow us, you also know that we are committed to change. We've always promised our fans that we will never settle into a place that feels safe and easy, because that leads to boring art. It is true that we didn't anticipate this specific twist in the road when we set out on this musical journey, but we still like to think of this as merely a further embodiment of our commitment to change. We believe that it will only lead to new growth and excitement.

Thank you for your attention, your love, and your support.

From henceforth we shall be known as POP ETC

Much love and respect,

Christopher Chu
on behalf of POP ETC - Christopher Chu | Jonathan Chu | Julian Harmon

---

      

Comments (48)

More like POP MEH-TCETERA, amirite?

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 10:07 AM

what a pointless reason to change your name (the morning benders couldn't offend my mom), and what a shitty name to change your band name to, not that the morning benders was a very good name anyway.

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 10:08 AM

lol

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 10:10 AM

band name went from bad to worse

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 10:10 AM

The Bathroom Benders lol

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 10:10 AM

The Morning Benders change their name to POP ETC and remain irrelevant.

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 10:10 AM

aren't they just acknowledging the derogatory term by changing their name? if they really cared at all, they shouldn't change their name.

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 10:11 AM

three cheers for some more boring ass indie rock. looking forward to buy POP ETC's third (first?) album in starbucks, or maybe urban outfitters if they're lucky.

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 10:11 AM

first off...who?

second off...the new name sucks

third off...the old name sucks

fourth off...this is a bad grab for publicity

fifth off...shut the fuck up

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 10:13 AM

remember when the muslims changed their name to the soft back? yeah, the muslims was a better name too. and if THEY'RE called "the morning fags" who are they offending? solidarity y'all.

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 10:13 AM

10:13 ftw!

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 10:15 AM

Oh fuck someone did not write an essay to explain a name change for a band that is known by a handful of people, right?

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 10:15 AM

10:13 / 10:15 - nice try, but you fail

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 10:18 AM

Horrible name. What's worse is they're just giving into the douchebags that made a big deal about their name to begin with. And seriously, NO ONE was offended by it.
I was into the morning bender's music, but now i'm totally turned off.

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 10:22 AM

The Morning Fags is actually a great band name.

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 10:24 AM

HOMOPHOBES!!!!!

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 10:24 AM

Fuck all y'all. I think they're a great, talented young band and the new name is quite fine. Might have to work a bit harder to get the name out there but that's a great motivator. Best of luck to them.

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 10:34 AM

Like the name and with a name like that you could get noticed real quick at ourtunez.com where I just signed up and got 3 months free.

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 10:35 AM

The Mourning Fags would be a terrible band name. It would remind my of that sad Tom Hanks movie.

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 10:38 AM

"I am truly offended by this maneuver." -- Bender (of Futurama)

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 10:39 AM

They should change their name to I Want To Be Vampire Weekend, Too: The Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 11:05 AM

In other news, does Bowery Presents really think a second Childish Gambino show is a good idea?

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 11:15 AM

How about "Here I Am Sailor, I'm Bent Over So Fire When Ready"

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 11:23 AM

Boy, for a bunch of vegans, you guys sure can be pretty mean.

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 11:37 AM

POP actually means cock-suck in Malaysia. Your band name means Cock-Suck ETC. in Malaysia. Back to the drawing board...

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 11:46 AM

LOL cruel, but fair

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 11:49 AM

@11:15. Yeah. That's why they did it.

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 12:11 PM

love how NYC is supposed to be all worldly and know a lot about other cultures, or at least you folks brag about it a lot. everyone knows bender/gay and fag/cigarette. suprised by the ignorance and the racism here. and the site blocks/edits shit Bout LDR and sigor ross, but not the n word?? pay-0lla 2 thee xtreme yall. proof BK is overrated as fuck.

just like these guys.

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 12:15 PM

Yes, 12:15, because the commenters on this site are an accurate depiction of all New Yorkers. Yup. Makes total sense.

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 12:16 PM

if you never leave the house, like most of the commenters here, do you qualify as a new yorker anyway?

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 12:33 PM

I don't know the morning benders, but I'm very familiar with morning blenders.
Pass the triangles y'all!

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 1:18 PM

LOL Anonymous trying to profile and divine the location of other Anonymous commentors. And in so doing trying to deflect that he/she lives in *their* mom's basement. It was a valiant attempt at deflection, but unfortunately it failed. As did you.

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 1:23 PM

you can't comment on lana del rey?

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 1:29 PM

I don't know the Morning Benders, but I'm very familiar with morning wood.

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 1:34 PM

I used to be in a band called The Morning Fags & when we toured the UK everyone was like "great name chaps, I love me a morning fag!"

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 1:56 PM

was pop etc a grizzly bear demo song or something?

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 2:01 PM

"Morning fag" in the UK just means smoking a cigarette when you wake up. I am confused.

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 2:12 PM

in related news: metal band anal cunt changes their name to butt vagina in hopes not to offend any anuses or cunts.

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 3:12 PM

That's the gayest reason for changing a band name.

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 3:18 PM

Lots of these comments are sooooo damn stupid and offensive. Those who think The Morning Benders is just any indie rock that could make it to starbucks' counters are truly ridiculous, no, fucking stupid. Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear, a great band (who includes at least one gay member just as a note) produced the last Morning Benders last album, Echo, and it is a well made album, through and through. The Morning Benders were a great band, Pop Etc. is different, not quite the same music. Also, their reason for changing their name is a respectable reason. I'll agree the new name is honestly bland and I feel their name will get lost and they may lose fans. Check out all their music before you hate on it, the old stuff is great, the new stuff I'm not sure about yet

Posted by David | March 27, 2012 8:19 PM

Didn't think you could find a worse name than Morning Benders... but theyve sure found it.

Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012 10:42 PM

I'm a gay man and I'm offended by the name change. Stick to your guns and stop being pussies.

Posted by Anonymous | March 28, 2012 10:41 AM

Gay man being a pussy ........... there is a joke in there somewhere

Posted by Anonymous | March 28, 2012 11:03 AM

Pop Etc? the one with Cheryl Ladd on the cover?

Posted by Anonymous | March 28, 2012 11:10 AM

Pop Etc. sounds like a local variety show.

Posted by Hubert Snodgrass | March 30, 2012 8:33 AM

what a bunch of fags

Posted by craig | April 3, 2012 3:17 AM

New shitty name; same shitty music.

Posted by Anonymous | April 3, 2012 7:15 AM

hungry like the wolf great song

Posted by jordon | August 4, 2013 2:18 PM

Leave a Comment