Band Names - What NOT to do
August 29, 2013
It sounds cool, or you think it does.
But will your original band name create problems down the line? Do you really want to have to change the name when you're starting to build a profile? Apart from it being a massive annoyance, it also means that you could miss out on album or ticket sales.
Here's what NOT to do when choosing a band name. Trust us, we see the best and the worst.
1. Don't include characters or symbols to try to be different. (e.g. *!()!!)
This is for practical reasons. People (fans) will get this wrong when trying to search for you. Do you really want to make it in ANY way hard for someone to find your band? Do you want to lose fans? Probably not, unless you're an extremely obscure hipster-style band that wants to remain obscure (and possibly eating noodes for life) and being hard to find is a part of your 'thing'.
2. Don't make a cultural reference that will date extremely quickly.
Love Breaking Bad? So do we. Want to name your band after a character? Well that's totally up to you, but you might regret this in a year or two when the bubble bursts. In love with a band that has an extreme amount of street cred right now? They might not in 2 years. Think Kings of Leon - once only for musicophiles, they are now the domain of every mainstream lover alive. Don't count on the fact that something which is cool now, will be cool forever.
3. Don't make it really hard to pronounce or spell.
Again, if this is a part of your image, go for it. Go wild. Have a band name with no vowels - see if we care. But if you want to make sure you don't have bloggers misspelling your name, or radio presenters mis-prounouncing your name every time they play your track, or worse still - they don't play it at all because they know they can't pronounce it properly, then you might be doing yourself more harm than good.
4. Don't fail to check if it already exists or is in use by another band.
Duh. If you call yourself 'Miley Cyrus' (because we know that's first on your list) you'll have a legal battle on your hands, and the outcome will probably be that you'll need to change it. This is expensive, annoying, and easily avoided. There's also a little tool called 'the internet' which means you can research this before you set everything in stone.
5. Don't choose a name that doesn't suit your style of music.
Make sweet melodic pop music? MEGACORPSE is probably not going to help your efforts. On the flipside, a metal band called Sugar Rain will most likely turn off some prospective fans. This is obvious, but important. Represent your band and create your own image.
Finally, have fun.
Music is supposed to be creative, and we're betting so are you. You can defy every one of our suggestions and still be one of the most popular and highest-earning musicians in existence. But are you as talented as Prince?
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