easyGroup lawyers say Hard Life’s new single ‘Tears’ is “disparaging and defamatory”

Lawyers for easyGroup have complained that Hard Life  – formerly known as Easy Life‘s – new single ‘Tears’ is “disparaging and defamatory”.

The Leicester indie band announced that they would be surrendering their band name after being sued by the conglomerate in October and being described as “brand thieves”, thereby avoiding a costly legal battle they said they could not afford. They played a London farewell gig under that moniker (which saw the sold-out KOKO crowd lead chants of “fuck EasyJet“) and released a final single, ‘Trust Exercises’.

Their comeback single ‘Tears’ addresses the legal battle – “It’s a hard life, I can’t lie,” frontman Murray Matravers sings, “it’s been a rush, in the hard times, lucky I got friends that I trust. It was easy in my 20s now I gotta lawyer up, gimme air miles or a fair trial Stelios.”

EasyGroup’s lawyers have taken issue with the lyric referencing owner Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, labelling it “disparaging and defamatory” and claiming it is a breach of the settlement made with the band.  They added that he and EasyGroup were “disappointed” Hard Life have “chosen to needlessly refresh the dispute, which the band chose to settle several months ago”.


Matravers spoke to NME about the change of name, revealing Hard Life was the first alternative band name they came up with.

“I really don’t want people to read too much into the name,” he said. “I was nervous, because as a white, middle-class man, I haven’t exactly had a hard life. It needs to be appreciated in context.

“The first day that our manager sat us down and said, ‘Guys, there’s some legal action coming and you’re going to have to change your name’, everyone in the band unambiguously and straight away said, ‘It’s gotta be Hard Life’. That was our initial gut instinct.”


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He continued: “We were laughing about it and I don’t think any of us were taking it that seriously, but as time progressed we went through a million of other options and we always came back to Hard Life because we thought it was funny. Everyone seemed to resonate with that, and it was the most stereotypical Easy Life thing to do.”

Matravers added that he hadn’t made much music besides ‘Tears’ since the band were sued but had been using the time to work on himself. Nonetheless, writing it helped him to come to terms with what the band had been going through.

“For a while, I wasn’t really going to the studio because we were in this legal thing and writing music wasn’t really getting me out of it because it wasn’t an emotional issue that I could explore and try to put into music,” Matravers said. “So for a while I was feeling quite uninspired. Then Rob [Milton, producer and writer] and I went away for the weekend to hang out, to make pressure with low pressure.


“We made ‘Tears’ that weekend, and it was the first time I’d made music in what seemed like a very long time. I loved it and connected with it. I got into this flow state, like when you’re sat in a sofa at a house party at 3am just chatting absolute shit. I had that same energy making this. I knew it was good and that it meant something to me. As soon as I’d made it, I knew I wanted it to be the first thing I put out.”

Asked if he’d boycott easyJet flights, he added: “So many fans were like, ‘In solidarity, we’re never going to use easyJet’. I was like, ‘Guys, just use the cheapest option’. I’m not angry. I don’t have a problem with easyGroup and we never did – that’s what’s so bizarre about it all.”

Hard-Fi quoted NME‘s interview on their social media today (June 12), saying in jest: “Er… lads….”