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how do you come up with a band name?


xtianmind

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Far as I'm concerned - picking a band name is alot like picking paint colors. There are a few practical considerations - but damn few hard and fast rules. In the end, it usually comes does to a matter of personal choice.

 

As long as whatever name you're considering will work from a practical perspective (i.e., it's not one of those uber obscure "inside joke" names that only the band members will understand, it's not so offensive that club owners will balk at putting up on the wall, it's not so long that it won't fit in the usual places you use band names (i.e., website URLs, business cards, signage, etc.) - consider yourselves named and get on with the important stuff - like making something out of whatever name you picked.

 

Don't overthink a band name - and whatever you do, don't waste a minute of time arguing with bandmates over why this name is intrinsically better than that name. None of 'em are intrinsically better than another - it's ALL about what you make of the name you pick!!!!!!

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I'll second most of what SpaceNorman says--don't overthink it. Bands have practically broken up over picking names, and it's not really THAT big a deal. The #1 rule to remember is that a band name is only as good as the band behind it. There have been some huge bands with names that have been downright awful over the years, but we never think of the names as such because we like the bands.

 

I would resist the urge to be super-clever. It's fun to think of giving your band the weirdest name possible sometimes, but the joke wears off in about 15 minutes and you're stuck with the name for a long time.

 

My only other suggestion would be that since your name will often be your first connection with many people, try to pick a name that evokes a sense of what the band is about. Since you're a young band looking to play Top 40 pop tunes, it probably wouldn't be the best idea to call the band "Lung Rot" or some such. Keep your name somewhat light and fun.

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There & Back Again was pulled out of a hat... there were actual worse names that There & Back Again in that hat! It did fit us then as we were a classic rock garage jam session band- it doesn't fit us now but that's how people know us.

Ostrich Hat was a nonsense name my sister came up with while sitting with me in a hospital waiting room. It was a placeholder, something to call the band until we found something better but it ended up sticking... and I love it!

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It seemed like it took us forever to come up with ours. My only guidelines were that I didn't want it to sound stupid, nothing referencing alcohol or drugs in any way and that it would preferably be one word under 8 letters so it could fit on a marquee easily. We came up with "Split." I don't really care for it, but it is what it is.

 

Keeping the same name for the past year has been good at getting us recognized more. I'm sure in five years or so, it will become a brand name. I regret not sticking with the name "Blue Steel" which was the name of the band I formed back in the summer of 1994. It would have been around for almost 18 years by now.

 

Ostrich Hat was a nonsense name my sister came up with while sitting with me in a hospital waiting room. It was a placeholder, something to call the band until we found something better but it ended up sticking... and I love it!

 

Ha, sounds kinda like the story of Chickenfoot's name. :)

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Name your band Free Beer the name alone will pack the place.

You can FB Free Beer down at ____________ tonight

 

No lie, some band actually *did* name themselves that in town last year.

 

Haven't seen them on any marquees lately. Guess the joke got old. :D

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My only other suggestion would be that since your name will often be your first connection with many people, try to pick a name that evokes a sense of what the band is about. Since you're a young band looking to play Top 40 pop tunes, it probably wouldn't be the best idea to call the band "Lung Rot" or some such. Keep your name somewhat light and fun.

 

 

This is good advice - my only caveat would be again - don't over think it! As Dave's example of "Lung Rot" highlights - a name that is definitely wrong for your group will definitely jump out at you! It's alot tougher to avoid overthinking the many names that might be right for you. Trying to find that one name that says "young, fun, top 40" to everybody that hears it can be a near impossible task. Anything that isn't an obviously wrong name is likely a fine right name. Don't kill yourself (or maybe better said - each other!) trying to find the perfect name. Like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow - you'll never find it!

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No lie, some band actually *did* name themselves that in town last year.


Haven't seen them on any marquees lately. Guess the joke got old.
:D

 

There was a band in the Twin Cities a few years back that called themselves 'Free Beer'. After the first few bookings, the clubs started putting 'The Free Beer Band' on the marquees and ads. I didn't see the name stick around too long. Club owners don't have a sense of humor about that.

 

Our name (Funkwire) breaks all the rules--it's an obscure sub-reference, and doesn't really apply to the music we play (although our current bass player has a lot more groove in his playing than his predecessors). But we've been using it for over five years now, and it's somewhat established.

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Our name (Funkwire) breaks all the rules--it's an obscure sub-reference, and doesn't really apply to the music we play (although our current bass player has a lot more groove in his playing than his predecessors). But we've been using it for over five years now, and it's somewhat established.

 

 

Yeah, I (pretty much obviously) assumed that you guys were a funk band. At some point, with any band, the popularity of band increases to the point where the band sells the name and not the other way around. That goes to my eariler point about any name is only as good as the band behind it. Signed acts and such get to that point much quicker, obviously. A signed, well known metal or country band could put "Funkwire" up on the marquee and it wouldn't matter because everyone would know who they were. A cover band hoping to draw in new fans off the street? Hmmm....yeah, that might not be best name if you're not a funk band.

 

I played in an R&B group for awhile that was called "Soul Vaccination". Good name for an R&B band on a certain level, but a lot of people thought we were a Tower of Power tribute band, or at least a band with a horn section, or that we at least played that song or that we at least played ANY Tower of Power songs. We weren't and didn't do any of those things....

 

...not the BIGGEST deal in the world, but it did get tiring having to explain to people who we were and who we weren't due to the confusion our name presented.

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Our goal was simple... get a reaction, be memorable and not have another band in 500 miles have the same name. I cringe when I see bands form and then choose "Caught In The Act" "The Cover Up" band or "The Hitmen"... not because they aren't creative, but because there a band with the same name in 10 other markets.

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Our goal was simple... get a reaction, be memorable and not have another band in 500 miles have the same name. I cringe when I see bands form and then choose "Caught In The Act" "The Cover Up" band or "The Hitmen"... not because they aren't creative, but because there a band with the same name in 10 other markets.

 

 

 

Ha ha! Here we have "Whiskey River", "Whiskey Jack", "Trestle Creek" "The (insert name of mountain here) Mountain Band", "The Cruisers", "The (insert name of classic car here)" and yes, there is a band called "The Hitmen."

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Our goal was simple... get a reaction, be memorable and not have another band in 500 miles have the same name. I cringe when I see bands form and then choose "Caught In The Act" "The Cover Up" band or "The Hitmen"... not because they aren't creative, but because there a band with the same name in 10 other markets.

 

:lol: there is a Caught In The Act in PA. about 20 years ago the guitar player in my current band was in a band called Onyx... right when they started playing gigs a rapper named onyx had a hit on MTV. Many people came out to see them expecting to see this rapper dude... they changed the name to something stupid like ON-X. :lol::facepalm:

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I was in a band a while back and the drummer or someone wanted to call it "American Standard" after the toilet he had been barfing in the previous night. I looked online and there were so many bands named that, I thought it would be a great franchise opportunity. I was going to contact all the other bands to go in on a website.

 

Enter your Zip code for the "American Standard" nearest you!

 

But bands take themselves too seriously and all of them thought they were the one and only American Standard. Never got a friendly response to my silly solicitations.

 

http://www.google.com/search?q=%22american+Standard%22+band&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

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bluesteel_jpg_595x325_crop_upscale_q85.j

 

Yep, figured someone would make that quip right away. ;)

 

As soon as that movie came out, I imagined people in the crowd giving us that particular look. Kind of like people calling me "Tim-maaaaahhhh!! Tim-mehhhhh!" after South Park's new handicapped character debuted back in 2000. :rolleyes:

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