The group announced Sunday that it will now be known as POP ETC. Frontman Christopher Chu posted a statement on the band’s former website explaining the decision.

Chu wrote that when he founded the band while studying music at UC Berkeley in Berkeley, Calif., he and the group came up with two options: The Beatles 2 and The Morning Benders. They went with The Morning Benders.

After playing dive bars, school quads, house parties, county fairs and pizza parlors, the band launched its first tour overseas in 2010.

“As soon as we had landed in London people started asking us about our band name,” Chu wrote. “‘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.”

Chu noted that the band couldn’t do anything about its name right away. The group already booked several tours as The Morning Benders and had just released its second studio album, 2010’s Big Echo. The group is now wrapping up work on its third studio album and has the opportunity to change its name.

“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 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.”

Chu added that the group understands that many fans have grown to love the name “The Morning Benders” and have memories associated with it. He wrote that the band has always promised fans it would “never settle into a place that feels safe and easy, because that leads to boring art” – and that the new name is just another step in the group’s commitment to change.

To go along with its new name, POP ETC has a new website where fans can download a mixtape featuring all new songs.

As the band tweeted Monday, “POP ETC is the name of our band and it’s also the kind of music we play.”
For more information and to check out the new tunes visit