English folk musician Frank Turner is copping heat on social media in regards to the name of his hardcore side project.
Back in 2000, a group of young English musicians came together to form the post-hardcore group Million Dead. Featuring the powerful vocals of Frank Turner, the group released two records before calling it quits in 2005.
Following their split, Turner kicked off a highly-successful solo career, releasing seven studio albums to date, and touring the world with regularity.
In 2012, Frank Turner teamed up with guitarist Matt Nasir and former Million Dead bandmate Ben Dawson to form Möngöl Hörde, a hardcore punk group.
While the band played a handful of shows in 2012 and 2014, upon the release of their debut album, they made their live return in 2018.
Now with both Frank Turner and Möngöl Hörde on the lineup for England’s 2000trees Festival, the band has come under for their controversial band name.
Check out Möngöl Hörde’s ‘Staff To The Refund Counter’:
As Punk News reports, US musician and activist Koji reached out to Frank Turner via email, asking for the story behind the group’s name.
“Hello Frank, I’ve just learned you have a band called Mongol Horde that is playing 2000 Trees Festival this year,” he began. “I’d like to understand why the band is named that.”
Turner soon responded, explaining that, “The band name is taken from a song by the band Van Pelt (‘We Are The Heathens’) and we thought it sounded cool. That’s all.”
Koji then wrote back, asking whether a name change would be considered, explaining that “It’s a very offensive song from a white fronted band [that] is now a very offensive band name from yet another white fronted band.”
“I’m sorry you feel that way, but it’s not intended in that way,” Turner again responded. “And it’s not really possible to change it, having been a band for 7 years, referencing a song that came out 20 years [ago].”
Check out Koji’s Tweet:
I’ve just learned that @frankturner has a band called Mongol Horde that is playing @2000trees. In my opinion, this is RACIST appropriation with an easy fix: change the name. When asked, Frank said, #ImSorryUFeelThatWay pic.twitter.com/3q6uEDCsSO
— KOJI (@kojisaysaloha) February 6, 2019
Koji then took to Twitter, explaining that the band’s name is “racist appropriation”, while urging Frank Turner and his bandmates to change their name.
In follow-up messages, Koji shared articles explaining the negative and hurtful meanings behind the word “Mongol”, while also explaining how a name like Möngöl Hörde is an example of cultural appropriation.
“Cultural appropriation misrepresents culture and perpetuates stereotypes,” Koji explained. “It commodifies without contributing and shows no evidence of collaboration. Most of all, it’s about a power dynamic between the privileged and the oppressed.”
While Frank Turner has not spoken publicly in regards to the name at the current time, a later Tweet from Koji explained that the pair had been in contact, with Koji also stating that “I am hopeful that we can begin a constructive dialogue.”
If Möngöl Hörde do decide to change their name, this certainly wouldn’t be the first example of cultural appropriation prompting a name adjustment, with Melbourne’s The Do Ya Thangs adopting the name Leisure Centre over similar fears last year.