- 12 Dec 22
"The name doesn’t represent who we are as people or what our music stands for any longer. We want to sincerely apologise to anyone we’ve offended," the band said in an official statement.
British punk duo Slaves have announced that they will return to music with a new name, Soft Play, and issued an apology to anyone they offended.
The band has been criticised for their original moniker since the release of their debut album Are You Satisfied? in 2015.
At the time, members Laurie Vincent and Isaac Holman, who are both white, defended their name choice by saying that the word "slaves" is not a racist term.
Guitarist Laurie Vincent told NME in May 2015: "If you pick up an Oxford dictionary and look up the word "slaves", there is no mention of any racial context. A slave is a person who is owned by another person and forced to work for free.
"In that manner, people who deem you a racist are being incredibly small minded because slavery has happened to every single creed, race and religion and it’s not a racist term," he said in response to people calling the name racially insensitive.
Since 2015, the duo have had a change of heart, and apologised for their original name. The band last released music together in 2018, in the form of their third LP Acts of Fear and Love, and in 2019 in the form of their second EP The Velvet Ditch.
"When we called our band Slaves, it was intended solely as a reference to the grind of day to day life," Soft Play said in a recent statement. "As younger men, we responded to criticism of the name from a place of fear and defensiveness...
"However, we now recognise that our original intent doesn’t change the fact that the name Slaves is an issue."
They continued: "The name doesn’t represent who we are as people or what our music stands for any longer. We want to sincerely apologise to anyone we’ve offended."
Vincent and Holman concluded that "the music and the community surrounding our band are what matter the most and we don’t want anything to stand in the way of that community being as inclusive as possible," adding, "Our music is for anyone and everyone."
The duo formed in 2012 and raised to relative prominence with their debut EP Sugar Coated Bitter Truth in the same year.
They last performed in Ireland at Dublin's The Academy as part of their 'The I Would Drive 500 Miles And I Would Drive 500 More And Then Drive 126 More Tour' in November 2018.
Read the full statement below:
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