The Morning Benders Change Name to Pop Etc, Release Mixtape
The Morning Benders Change Name to Pop Etc, Release Mixtape

San Francisco indie band the Morning Benders are now Pop Etc, the group announced over the weekend.

The trio changed its name over the word "bender," which the band discovered doubles as a derisive slang term for "homosexual" in the UK and parts of Europe during its 2010 tour.

"We found out about it when we went to the UK for the first time," frontman Chris Chu told Billboard.com. "The meaning that I knew was just going out all night and partying -- we did it kind of tongue-in-cheek, we thought it was funny at the time."

But overseas, he said the name became a distraction, keeping the group from being taken seriously on radio and television outlets as well as creating confusion over the group's message among fans.

"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," Chu wrote in a letter on the band's website. So Pop Etc was born.

"We wanted a name that was short and simple. Secondly, we wanted a name that was descriptive of the sound," Chu said. "It's our band name, but it's also the kind of music we play, pop, etcetera."

The band's new-moniker roll-out includes a fresh website, new social networking hubs and an accompanying free mixtape, which contains material which may make its way onto the group's third album -- its follow-up to 2010's critically acclaimed "Big Echo."

"We're pretty close to being done with it," Chu said, promising an official announcement shortly. "We went into the studio with around 20 songs. The mixtape is the first incarnation of those songs."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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