U.K. Punk Band Slaves Change Name + Issue Apology Statement
U.K. punk outfit Slaves are set to make their return, but they'll be doing so under a new name. The group issued a lengthy message to fans on their newly renamed social media accounts revealing a name change, citing the desire to "make improvements no matter how far down the line they are" with the problematic name and relaying what the band's name will be moving forward.
The duo of Isaac Holman and Laurie Vincent, now going under the moniker Soft Play, revealed that the band took a hiatus before making the decision to return with a new name. They detailed their thought process as can be read below:
Until now, we've not been able to comment on what's going on with the band, as life changing events have left us on hiatus, just trying to get through each day. There were times over the last few years when we never thought we would ever step foot on a stage together again. However we feel that the time has now come to pick up where we left off. Before we do that though, we want to address something important.
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.
We are aware that people have differing opinions on the name, we hope you can accept and respect our decision and not continue the argument between yourselves. When it comes down to it, 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. 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.'
Love Laurie and Isaac
The decision was met with support from fans and peers with Frank Carter offering, "Long live Soft Play" with a heart emoji and Brian Fallon sharing his approval with a series of heart eye emojis.
It should also be noted that the U.K. band Slaves aren't the only one to give up the name. There was also previously a California post-hardcore act using the same moniker, who gave up the name in 2020, choosing to do so to not only avoid the negative connotations but also to stop any further confusion with the U.K. act that had the same name. They rebranded as Rain City Drive.
The high energy U.K. band now known as Soft Play started in 2012 as the duo of Isaac Holman and Laurie Vincent. Their debut EP, Sugar Coated Bitter Truth, arrived that same year, while their first full length album, Are You Satisfied?, dropped in 2015. The band's most recent album was 2018's Acts of Fear and Love, their third full-length.