In a social media statement announcing the big change, the band said they made the decision after engaging with the Black Lives Matter movement.
“As individuals, as well as a collective, we hold certain virtues close to our hearts – honesty and transparency with our fans being some of the most important,” their statement begins.
“The name ‘Slaves’ was conceived as a reference to the band’s battle with substance abuse in the past, to the idea that we become enslaved by our addictions and by our own demons,” it continues.
“Our goal has always been to tackle these difficult subjects head on, as well as to build a community and share stories of hope to let others know that their inner demons can be defeated.
“However, this definition of the name neglects to take ownership of its racial connotations. As obstinate supporters of the BLM movement, we cannot continue to tie our music and our positive message to a word associated with such negative weight and hurt.”
While the band, now fronted by Matt McAndrew following the departure of problematic lead singer Johnny Craig, have not revealed what their replacement monicker will be, they have confirmed that their forthcoming album, To Better Days, will be the last released under the current ‘Slaves’ name.
“To Better Days will represent the closing of one chapter and the beginning of another for the band,” they write. “This is something we have been planning for a while and we are excited to start unveiling new music, new name, later this year.”
Slaves’ name change in solidarity with the BLM movement follows similar moves from Lady Antebellum, now Lady A, and Dixie Chicks, now known simply as ‘The Chicks’, who’ve all given themselves nominal makeovers due to problematic racial connotations associated with their former names.
Read the band formerly known as Slaves’ full statement below.
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