In light of North Carolina's recently passed House Bill 2 (commonly known as the "bathroom bill"), Death Cab for Cutie and Chvrches have pledged all proceeds from their previously booked NC dates to Freedom Center for Social Justice and Southerners On New Ground (SONG), two organizations supporting LGBTQ rights. The bands slammed the "hateful and dangerous" bill in a joint statement.
"We are appalled by how Governor Pat McCrory and his conservative cronies have stoked the flames of fear around an undocumented non-issue (i.e., sexual predators posing as transgender for the purpose of molesting children) as a way to not only discriminate against transgender persons but also to undermine the constitutional rights of North Carolina's entire LGBT community," they wrote. "This nefarious brand of bigotry is embarrassing for the state of North Carolina and has no place in this great nation."
Since HB2's passing, many high-profile acts – including Pearl Jam, Ringo Starr and Bruce Springsteen – have canceled concerts in the state, while others (like Dave Matthews Band) have pledged proceeds to equality groups. Death Cab and Chvrches struggled to make their decision, but ultimately chose the latter option for their joint Charlotte show (June 16th) and Death Cab's stand-alone Asheville date (June 11th).
"While we wholeheartedly support the decisions of our contemporaries to cancel their upcoming appearances in political protest, we have decided to honor our commitments and play," they continued. "These shows will now be staged as benefits for two terrific North Carolina-based organizations, Freedom Center for Social Justice and Southerners On New Ground (SONG), whom we admire for their tireless defense of LGBT rights in the state of North Carolina."
However, Death Cab frontman Ben Gibbard emphasized that these dates will mark his band's final appearances in the state while the law stands.
"We have absolutely loved playing in North Carolina over the past 17 years," Gibbard said. "Not only have the crowds always been amazing but we have met so many wonderful people who remain friends to this day. Not to mention that the music of Chapel Hill's Superchunk, Archers of Loaf and countless others have been integral to the ethos and sound of our band. And so it is with a heavy heart that we announce these shows in Asheville and Charlotte will be our last in North Carolina as long as HB2 stands. We sincerely hope we won't have to wait long to come back."
"We are incredibly distressed by HB2 and all that has been happening in North Carolina, but are also heartened to hear about so many people fighting to create positive change," added Chvrches singer Lauren Mayberry. "I know that our fans will join us and Death Cab in promoting equality, empathy and understanding between people, and we are proud to be supporting Freedom Center for Social Justice and Southerners On New Ground at this show."