Slaves Change Their Band’s Name to Rain City Over ‘Racial Connotations’
The rockers said in a statement on Friday (Oct. 15), "It was in Manchester, England, A.K.A. Rainy City, that the five of us met. Our new name — Rain City — is a nod to the serendipity that brought us together and a reminder to keep looking up even when there’s a cloud overhead."
They added they’re "so proud to call this thing our own. To our incredible fans, we appreciate you and are forever grateful for your support.”
The group had vowed to change the name after the release of their fourth album, To Better Days.
“As individuals, as well as a collective, we hold certain virtues close to our hearts – honesty and transparency with our fans being some of the most important.
Early on in the process of writing and recording the new album ‘To Better Days‘, we discussed what this new iteration of our band should sound like, what it should look like, as well as what it should be called. We decided then, this would be our last release under the name ‘Slaves‘.
The name ‘Slaves‘ was conceived as a reference to the band’s battle with substance abuse in the past, to the idea that we become enslaved by our addictions and by our own demons. Our goal has always been to tackle these difficult subjects head on, as well as to build a community and share stories of hope to let others know that their inner demons can be defeated.
However, this definition of the name neglects to take ownership of its racial connotations. As obstinate supporters of the BLM movement, we cannot continue to tour our music and our positive message to a word associated with such negative weight and hurt.
To Better Days‘ will represent the closing of one chapter and the beginning of another for the band. This is something we have been planning for a while and are excited to start unveiling new music, new name, later this year.
We are thankful to our fans that continue to stick by us and we look forward to sharing this new era with you moving forward.
With love and gratitude,
Colin, Felipe, Matt, Weston, Zack"
To Better Days was released in August of 2020. It's now officially the last album from the band under their former name. It was also the first album without Jonny Craig, formerly of Dance Gavin Dance.
The band formed in 2014 after Craig was kicked out of Dance Gavin Dance. The singer later received multiple allegations of abuse during the height of the #MeToo movement and was ultimately removed from Slaves after a drug relapse.
Many other bands have decided to change their names following the death of George Floyd, including Lady Antebellum (now Lady A) and the Dixie Chicks (now the Chicks), due to the names' ties to slavery.