Getting a list of good names for a band is , famously , one of the most difficult aspects of forming a band. There are no statistics available but I would wager that a fair few bands split up without playing a show because they can’t decide on a good name. I have certainly sat in on many band meetings and rehearsal room sessions where the subject of band names has nearly led to blows amongst the musicians.
It was pretty obvious that the digital age would offer some technological advances in the area of band naming . If you look online you will find a number of random band name generators in the shape of apps and websites. The jury is out on whether anyone has successfully used one of these to get a catchy name for their act but they might be as good a place to start as any.
Back in the pre digital days bands took their inspiration from all kinds of places to get good names for a band. Steely Dan took their name from William Burroughs novel The Naked Lunch. The Doors from Aldus Huxley’s book of the same name. Danny Wilson took their name from the Frank Sinatra movie “Meet Danny Wilson” , Frankie Goes To Hollywood from a news headline saying just that about Sinatra. The Teardrop Explodes took theirs from an American comic book caption.
What’s in a name?
In Live Music Managements experience we have found that a good name sells a function band. I can think of more than one occasion when a regular client has said, “that band sound good” not because he has heard a demo but purely because the bands name shouts out fun or quality.
Some of the best function band names say exactly what the band is about on the tin. Indie Express, Back To The 70’s, Cool Britannia , Soul Policy , Funk Circus . Powder Jazz etc etc are all names that start to describe what the band is all about before a note is even played and can help the entertainment agent sell the band.
In the original music world a band name can immediately indicate the style of music that the band plays with names like The Drums , The Killers , Kaiser Chiefs , Phoenix, The Strokes all screaming out that it’s an indie band you are dealing with and names like Kraftwerk , London Grammar , Metronomy , Fleet Foxes etc all seeming to describe the style and sound of the band.
However there are many bands names out there that throw you a curve ball. Parquet Courts , Orchestral Manouvres In The Dark , Death Cab For Cutie , Death In Vegas , Bring Me The Horizon etc etc are all names that confuse rather than enlighten when it comes to the bands sound.
Good luck with finding a good name for your band. It’s not an exact science. The Beatles? Pretty rubbish name when you think about it!
Live Music Management are an entertainment agency specialising in booking party bands and DJs for weddings and events. You can contact us on 08454 900515 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org