Band Naming - The Mistakes to Avoid

A bands name can be one of the most overlooked factors in achieving success. In an industry that judges and dismisses in a blink, it can make the difference between a career and a hobby.

In this article we will highlight the biggest mistakes to avoid if you want to give your band the best chance of success.

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Don't Blow It (AKA 'You don't get a Second Chance to make a First Impression')

Your band name is often the first thing anyone knows about you. Everything else that follows will be influenced by and filtered through that first perception of you (kinda).

For example, let's say you're thinking up names for your friend's new baby and you say 'Hey, how about Jenny?'. Sometimes the reaction might likely be 'Jenny? God I HATE that name. I used to know a real biiatch named Jenny in school dude. WHY would you want to call ANYONE Jenny... even if their name actually is Jenny?!?!?'.

My point is, this name is instantly written off in the mind of that person because of its connotations. It is well worth bearing this powerful pschological principle in mind when thinking up your band name. It could make the difference between you being a hit or a miss in the mind of your potential millions of music fans.

For instance, its a fairly safe bet that a vast majority of people are going to prefer the connotations of a name like, say 'Sky', to a name like oooooh, say 'Rotting Christ' (who happened to rank well on our list of the 27 worst band names) .

TRYING to be Cool is NOT Cool

A lot of beginners who have just started a band will initially go for what I generally categorise as 'trying to be cool' names.

Band names such as 'Anonymous'... 'The Name'... 'Nameless'. You get the idea. These are not cool band names. They are try hard. Trying to sound controversial for the sake of sounding controversial when there is no real reason behind it.

There was a time when it worked well (take The Who for instance), but that was back then, when nobody else had been that leftfield. Things have moved on a lot in the 30 years since and any people trying to follow in those footsteps these days are generally written off as unoriginal and passe.

You are a Band, not a Comedy Act

If you don't take yourself seriously (not too seriously though) who else is going to ??

Your bands name reflects everything about you and sets the tone of how people perceive you. Again, this falls under the category of 'try hard'. Names like 'Dicky Heart & The Pacemakers', 'The Offbeats', 'Elegant Muscle Of The Fair Rabbit', 'Aroused Apple And The Bald Comedy' (<< believe it or not, the last two oddballs I got from a well known Band Name Generator) are just pure super lame-o. All it conveys is 'Please please please like us.. we're funny!!'.

If you want to be funny, then sure - go for 'Fluffy Wuffy and The Caterpillars' or, um... something to that effect, but that ain't no name for a rock band, so don't expect to be treated like one.

If you still want to go for something quirky - here's a tip:

Tongue in Cheek can Work (for now...)

A clever yet cocky and esoteric name can make a cool band name if it is cheeky, irreverent and (although you might have spent 9 days thinking it up) doesn't have the try-hardness of the above examples.

Examples of this are Scissor Sisters, Tragic Roundabout, Bacardiac Arrest, Bi Furious etc etc...

Because so many kinds of these types of name are currently doing the rounds, it is kind of evolving into a mini 'fashion' of its own, and as we all know - fashions have a life span and an expiry date. That means after a few years they could become dated and seem corny in comparison to the way they are currently perceived - along with your band.

In the next article, we clue you up on the right ways to coming up with names for a band.