In a statement published yesterday, folk-punk quintet Andrew Jackson Jihad announced that the band would be permanently changing their name to AJJ, an abbreviation that fans of the group have been using since their early days on the scene. A politically conscious group, AJJ attributed the name change, twelve years in the making, to an increased sensitivity and understanding about the implications of their referential choices.
The message, published to the band’s website, Twitter, and Facebook page, stated,
“We are officially changing our name from Andrew Jackson Jihad to the simple, familiar abbreviation that most of you already call us: AJJ.
The two biggest reasons for this are:
1.) We are not Muslims, and as such, it is disrespectful and irresponsible for us to use the word jihad in our band’s name.
2.) We no longer wish to be a living reminder of president Andrew Jackson. Interesting historical figure as he was, he was an odious person and our fascination with him has grown stale.
We are very sorry to any people the name has offended. We would like to thank those who have reached out over the years to let us know that the name is problematic, especially those who reached out with kindness. Had we known in 2004 that we would still be making music together 12 years later, we most certainly would have chosen a more thoughtful name from the start. The name AJJ fits us better than Andrew Jackson Jihad. It has been our nickname for those in the know forever. It hearkens back to the great skatepunk bands like JFA, FYP, LFO, etc… It also retains, even amplifies the quality that I liked about the name Andrew Jackson Jihad; that it can be interpreted in different ways.”
The band has been keeping busy both in the studio, working hard on laying down some new tracks for their sixth studio album, and on stage, rocking out on a brief three-date West Coast tour with Joyce Manor that hits venues in Phoenix (2/25, 2/26) and San Diego (2/27).
Their announcement was accompanied by the release of a new track, “Now That I’m at the Top of My Game”. You can check out the hot-off-the-presses video, recorded with the help of John Congleton in Dallas, Texas, below.