We get the chance to see a lot of band names. We won’t publicly tell you the names of the “bad” but we’ve found some pretty difficult ones. Here are a few things to consider while naming your band.
1) Don’t name your band after something that will get lost in searches.
-So when you start a band you start a small business. You need to think about marketing and who might possibly be interested in your sound. If you name your band something “clever” after a candy bar or a common TV or movie character, people are not going to get your band. They will get that other popular thing.
2) If you name your band after something or someone famous, change it a little bit.
-One of my favorite bands is called Relient K, named after the Plymouth K Car, or the Reliant K. There’s only a one letter difference but it makes all the difference in branding, searching and materials. Other bands have put a spin on common terms. Even the Beatles are a play on the “beat” of music and the “Beat” counterculture of the mid 20th century. Something like this can really set a band apart.
3) Unless you intend to be for mature audiences, don’t make your name a curse word.
-We’ve run across some pretty gruesome, evil, or overtly sexual names that, even if the band was good, we couldn’t support. It’s just part of the identity of our site not to support that kind of thing. Others, such as radio stations or synch deals, probably have similar restrictions on grossness. Maybe keep that joke about a bodily function between band mates and pick something better for promotion.
4) Ask people to read/pronounce it before you decide.
-When you’re kicking around ideas, especially if you want to alter the spelling of a common word, see how people say it. Sometimes the common understanding of a name could go sideways. Folks who remember the film The Wonders will remember they originally named their band the Oneders, ephasizing the word “One.” However, it was often pronounced the “Oh-need-ers” so they changed it to the Wonders. Although a silly example, the principle is important.
5) Make sure there’s not already another band with your name.
-This happens more than you might think. Bands will say “oh, well that other band is in England and we’re in the US. No problem.” In an international market, it does matter. Trust us. This is advice from our own experience because there are other “Ear To The Ground” websites. Ours is the only one that focuses on music, but it is still something to keep in mind. Try “Tumbling Stones” or “Led Derigible” if you must…
We hope these tips will help as you name your band. Just as a bonus, also consider that your name and branding fits your genre. If you’re a melancholy folk band, you might not want to go with something that evokes bright lights and smoke machines. Overall, choose a name that suits the personality and ethos of the band.