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09th Dec 2022

Slaves change their band name and apologise for offence caused

Charlie Herbert

Slaves change band name

The band said they had previously ‘responded to criticism of the name from a place of fear and defensiveness’

Slaves have announced they will be returning to the music scene, but under a different name, issuing an apology to anyone they offended.

The band have come under criticism in recent years for their name, especially considering the white backgrounds of band members Laurie Vincent and Isaac Holman.

The pair have previously defended the name choice, with Vincent telling NME in 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 added: “There are days when we think, ‘Oh man, why did we pick this name?’ But now I look at it, it’s important.

“It says a lot about the time we live in that freedom of speech is so over analysed that you can’t even use words.”

But the band have clearly had a change of heart since then, and have now changed their name to Soft Play.

In a post shared on social media, the duo, who haven’t released new music since 2019, explained the name change and apologised for any offence caused to people in the past.

They started off by explaining that “life-changing events” left them on a hiatus, adding that they weren’t sure if they’d ever step foot on stage together again.

Although they said “the time has now come to pick up where we left off,” they first wanted to address “something important”.

The pair continued: “When we called our band Slaves, it was intended solely as a reference to the grind of day to day life.

“As younger men, we responded to criticism of the name from a place of fear and defensiveness.

“Feeling backed into a corner, our own pride caused us to fight for a name we weren’t even sure we wanted anymore.

“It felt at times as if our band name had defined us and we were scared of what might happen if we changed it.

“However, we now recognise that our original intent doesn’t change the fact that the name Slaves is an issue.

“In this day and age we believe it is very important that people change and make improvements no matter how far down the line they are.

“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.”

They concluded by saying: “Our music is for anyone and everyone. With that being said, we are very happy to be back together again and are excited for what the future holds.

“Our new name is ‘SOFT PLAY’.”

The duo released their debut album ‘Are You Satisfied’ in July 2015, and the record went on to be nominated for the Mercury Prize.

They followed this up with their second album ‘Take Control’ in September 2016, with their most recent record, ‘Acts of Fear and Love’, released in August 2018.

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