Maroon 5 have responded to speculation that the title of their new album is a reference to an alt-right movement.
The band’s sixth studio album, which is due for release on Friday (November 3), is called ‘Red Pill Blues‘. “Red pill” is associated with the men’s rights movement and a moment of “re-awakening” surrounding anti-feminist ideas.
In a new interview, guitarist James Valentine explained that the group were unaware of the term’s connotations. “We didn’t really understand the whole men’s rights thing,” he told the Huffington Post, explaining they were referencing The Matrix.
“We’re like, ‘Oh man, of course, like 2017 is the worst,'” he added of the moment they discovered its alternative meaning. “We were talking about The Matrix – do you take the red pill or the blue pill? And the fact that seeing the world for what it is in 2017 can be kind of rough.”
He continued: “We had no idea about the association with men’s rights. Hopefully, everyone knows from all of our pasts, that from our statements on the issue and our actions in the past, that we are all hardcore feminists in the band. So that’s a horrible association to have. The internet trolls have to ruin everything.”
However, the band won’t be changing ‘Red Pill Blues” title, with Valentine saying he thought it was “maybe too late” for that course of action. He added: “I think maybe we can reclaim [it] for the good side.”
Last year, Maroon 5 cancelled shows in North Carolina after the state passed an anti-LGBT law that forces transgender people to use the public bathroom of their sex at birth.