Easy Life band sued by easyGroup reveal inspired new name

A Hard Life for Leicester band who were sued by the creators of the ‘easy’ brand, easyGroup

Nicole Vassell
Thursday 13 June 2024 17:12 BST
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Easy Life to Hard Life
Easy Life to Hard Life (PA)

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The band formerly named Easy Life have rebranded under the new name Hard Life after facing copyright legal action from easyJet brand owners easyGroup.

In 2023, the five-piece Leicester band were sued by the multi-conglomerate easyGroup.

The conglomerate accused the musicians of being “brand thieves” and claimed that the band, formed by Murray Matravers, Oliver Cassidy, Sam Hewitt, Lewis Alexander Berry and Jordan Birtles, infringed upon the rights of online retailer Easylife because their name is too similar.

The indie artists had performed under their previous name since 2017, and despite initially saying they’d fight to keep their name, ultimately agreed to change their title.

On Tuesday (11 June), the band revealed their new name while announcing their new single, “Tears”.

Speaking to BBC News about the naming battle, which even saw them receive support from MPs, frontman Murray Matravers said they felt “angry and powerless”.

However, the band agreed to the change to avoid a costly legal fight, and because the specific name wasn’t as important to them in the long run. Matravers said: “But if our name affects them that much, I’ll walk away from it – because it’s not worth it.”

easyJet’s owners, easyGroup, forced the Leicester band to change their name in 2023
easyJet’s owners, easyGroup, forced the Leicester band to change their name in 2023 (Getty Images)

Describing the debacle as “the weirdest, most surreal thing” that had happened to him, Matravers continued: “I mean, it’s absolutely nuts.

“We didn’t get into music to fight huge corporations in legal battles, obviously.”

Matravers added that the band’s change to Hard Life has not impacted their musical output and that they’d “made peace” with the situation.

“The name doesn’t change anything – it doesn’t change who I am as an artist,” Matravers said.

The frontman said that deciding on the new name was an easy choice, with all members saying that Hard Life was a clear next step.

"All of us, unanimously in the group, turned around and said, ‘It’s got to be Hard Life, surely,’” Matravers noted, likening the process of naming the band to finding a name for a song: “I’ve learnt that the first idea is always the best, so I’ve kept that same philosophy with the band name.”

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At the time of the lawsuit, the company said in a statement: “With reference to the brand thief Mr Matravers and his fellow band members who have decided to use our brand, easyLife, without permission.

“We have a long-established record of legally stopping thieves from using our brands and I am confident we will stop Mr Matravers.”

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