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on Band Names

I always wonder what goes into coming up with a band name. How much time do bands spend thinking about names, do they take it seriously or lightly? Is a name something that is stumbled upon or is a significant amount of time spent coming up with it? I realize the process is most likely different for each band, but I do figure there are some similarities in the process.

When I was in high school two of my friends started a band and I distinctly remember their struggle to come up with a name. They asked their friends for suggestions and looked to them for inspiration. After nearly two weeks of deliberation they decided on the name, Left at Atlantic. Random to the public but those who knew them well would understand, which is often the sign of a good name. They lived in the same neighborhood and by taking a left on Atlantic Street you could get to each of their houses.

There are many types of band names. Many base the name after the lead singer; Dave Matthews Band, Steve Miller Band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Simon and Garfunkel. Others go by their names, but not their legal names, they change them to be more marketable, which I have never quite understood, for example Shania Twain, Faith Hill, and John Legend to name a few. Other bands choose to name themselves after objects for seemingly no reason other than the fact that it’s random, like the Super Furry Animals, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Shins, and Barenaked Ladies. And lastly the name which is nearly impossible to pronounce the first time and is remembered for its individuality; Bjork, Imogen Heap, Jamiroquai, and Matisyahu.

The name of your band is extremely important. If you gain any popularity it becomes a second identity, and you will possibly forever be remembered by that name. I wish each artist would give a little background on where or how they came up with their name; I feel they would be stories filled with randomness, drugs, and adventure.