Easy Life band renamed Hard Life after EasyGroup legal dispute

Easy Life band renamed Hard Life after EasyGroup legal dispute

The indie band formerly known as Easy Life has officially rebranded to Hard Life following a legal dispute with EasyGroup, the parent company of EasyJet. The Leicester-based band, which has been active since 2017, faced a lawsuit from EasyGroup last year, alleging that their name was too similar to the EasyJet brand.

Frontman Murray Matravers expressed feelings of anger and helplessness when the legal threat emerged. “We felt angry and powerless,” Matravers told BBC News. “But if our name affects them that much, I’ll walk away from it – because it’s not worth it.”

EasyGroup argued that allowing the band to use the “Easy” brand name without paying royalties would be unfair. The company claimed that the band had used EasyJet’s branding style in their promotional materials, including a tour poster for their “Life’s a Beach” tour in 2021 and 2022, which featured a plane in EasyJet’s signature orange livery but with the band’s name instead of the airline’s.

The legal claim, filed with the High Court, also stated that the band had produced T-shirts and maintained a website that infringed on EasyJet’s trademark. EasyGroup emphasized that other companies pay to use its brand name and allowing the band to use it for free would be unjust.

In October, the band announced they would cease using the name Easy Life and played their final show under that name at KoKo in London on October 13. Matravers described the situation as “the weirdest, most surreal thing” that had happened to him. “We didn’t get into music to fight huge corporations in legal battles, obviously,” he said.

The band decided not to take the matter to court due to the financial burden. “The name doesn’t change anything – it doesn’t change who I am as an artist,” Matravers said. “We made our peace with it.”

When it came to choosing a new name, the band unanimously agreed on Hard Life. “All of us, unanimously in the group, turned around and said, ‘It’s got to be Hard Life, surely,'” Matravers said. The band brainstormed other names but kept returning to Hard Life, feeling it was the most appropriate choice given their recent experiences.

Matravers likened the decision to the creative process of writing a song, where the first idea is often the best. “I’ve learnt that the first idea is always the best, so I’ve kept that same philosophy with the band name,” he said. The new name often elicited smiles and laughs from friends, reinforcing their choice.

Despite the legal battle, Matravers is optimistic about the future. “We want to tour – we want to get out there, we want to play festivals,” he said, praising their fans for their incredible support. “Everything’s brand new – we’re hitting the ground running with this new song, who knows where we’ll go next?”

The band’s new single, “Tears,” marks a new chapter for Hard Life. The song, which Matravers wrote earlier this year, is about growing up and dealing with legal challenges. One lyric references EasyGroup owner Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, which has already drawn objections from EasyGroup’s lawyers, who called it “disparaging and defamatory.”

Despite the ongoing legal tensions, Matravers is eager to move forward and focus on the music. “I’m just so excited to be out and about again,” he said. “Hopefully, we can put this chapter behind us and move on – and focus on the music again.”

The band’s journey from Easy Life to Hard Life serves as a cautionary tale for young artists about the importance of choosing a name that won’t lead to legal complications. As they embark on this new chapter, Hard Life remains committed to their music and their fans, ready to face whatever comes next.

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