For fans of The Morning Benders, it may have come as a surprise to hear that they were no longer a band. Released on March 25, lead singer, Christopher Chu, wrote a statement on their website informing everyone that instead of The Morning Benders, the band’s new name would be POP ETC. Chu explained that while the public may have sentimental attachment to their previous band name, “…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.”
During their worldwide tour overseas in support of Big Echo, the band members found themselves repeatedly having to answer the meaning behind their band name and the use of the word “bender.” It later became known that in many parts of Europe, “bender” loosely translates to “fag.” Rather than continuing as The Morning Benders, the band collectively decided to become POP ETC to eliminate sounding hateful, ignorant, or 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.”
Being able to concentrate on their music and moving forward as POP ETC, they have released a self-titled EP available for free download on their website. The 11 song EP offers some new material and while they may have a new name, they are still focused on making music that is meaningful to themselves and their fans, but now under a name they can be truly proud of.
Commentary by Jennifer Kajioka