I’ll let these guys speak for themselves:
As soon as we had landed in London people started asking us about our band name. “What does ‘Bender’ mean to you?” people would ask. ‘Are you seriously called ‘The Morning Benders’?’ was a common question. For those of you reading from America, you may still be confused. Well, it turns out that the word ‘bender’ in the UK and many parts of Europe is a slang term for ‘homosexual.’ We were told our band name was the equivalent of ‘The Morning Fags’ in America. We had been called The Morning Benders for 5 years, and we were just finding this out now? It was shocking. And quite sad, to say the least.”
Well, their heart was in the right place, as they’re not called ‘POP ETC.’ as they ‘simply cannot go on using a name that is demeaning to the gay community.’ Full statement here.
Any other bands that have changed their name after an album or two? It’s generally due to legal reasons. Caribou (nee Manitoba) is the only other one I can think of.