8 Important Band Name Styles

Now you've mastered the basic rules and mistakes of band name creating, let's break down some of the most important styles of band names...

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The Classics

There are some timeless breeds of band name that will never go out of style.

As a starting point, it is worth bearing in mind these three tried and true templates for the majority of band names in existence:

The (name)

e.g. The White Stripes, The Killers, The Kooks, The Ting Tings, The Verve...

This is the oldest of the three. It is having somewhat of a resurgence lately, after it took a backseat to all the bands of the late 90's who did a lot of the next thing on this list...

Drop The 'The'

e.g. Heart, Whale, Nirvana, Oasis, Blur, Suede...

This is another nice collective name like the above, but has more of an artsy vibe due to the lack of the 'the'. It generally came to fruition in the early 70's at the tail end of the hippy movement. Its almost a statement that 'We will not be labelled!! (although we do have a name).

Two Random Words Joined at the Hip (aka The Siamese Band Name)

e.g. Coldplay, Idlewild, Starsailor...

This is the most recent of the three, which began to flourish in the late 90's / early noughties.

The Best of the Rest

Some of the lesser used styles of band name are:

Name & Number

e.g. Sum 41, Blink 182, Maroon 5, Eiffel 65, JJ72...

This style of band name is generally seen as a passing fad with a few successes, which came and quickly went (early 00's) and therefore hasn't been repeated since as it is considered 'so last week'.

There were some early successes with a similar thing, although they contained less of the 'name' part i.e. U2, UB40 and B-52s.

(Lead Singer) & (The Band)

e.g. Booker T & The MGs, KC & The Sunshine Band, Kool & The Gang...

Kind of pretentious, so you need a good frontman/showman who really stands out from the rest of the band with the gusto to pull it off.

This is probably the oldest of all the formats, with its origins in the early 50's.

The Pseudonym or AKA

e.g. Marilyn Manson, Elton John, Ziggy Stardust, Madonna...

Come up with a fictitious stage name. This is always a nice method, because it give you that mysterious vibe, and with that comes all the controversy of why you didn't use your real name and people endeavouring to find out what your real name is. It gives you that little bit more publicity for your efforts and gets your fans more invested in finding out about you and your music.

The Acronym(ish)

e.g. ABBA, NSYNC...

Arrange the initials of the first or last band members' names into one catchy little name of its own.

It should be noted that this style is generally used by the 'mainstream', 'overtly commercial' and 'pop tart' bands and thus lacks underground credibility and integrity - so you could risk getting spat at if you play to a punk audience...

The Song Title Jacker

e.g. Deep Purple, Mr Mister, Pretty Things, Radiohead, Rolling Stones, Sisters of Mercy...

Just use the title of one of your favourite songs by another band. That's exactly how the band names above came about.

I hope the above styles will get the creative juices flowing to give you the inspiration you need to come up with a hot band name that will see you making a living from rocking.