This week Blasko and Mike dive into tips on naming your band inspired by songwriter Matt Blick's article "10 Easy Steps to Naming Your Band". Follow along as they go through each point with real world experiences and lay out the best advice for naming your band.
- Brainstorm A List Of Names: Write down at least 50-100. Write them ALL down. Every single one. No matter how silly. Don’t judge. Don’t debate. The stupidest will make a cool talking point during interviews.
- Mix And Match The Names You Have: When you can’t think of anymore, try taking a word from one name and adding it to another. Look for unusual juxtapositions like Sound-garden, Radio-head or Led Zeppelin.
- Change The Numbers: If any name contains a number, try multiple versions with different numbers. Joseph Heller’s novel, Catch 22, was originally called Catch-18, but that’s less, erm, ‘catchy.’
- Google It – For Rival Bands: Google “YOUR BAND NAME band” or “YOUR BAND NAME music” or “YOUR BAND NAME lyrics” If there is another active band with your name YOU ABSOLUTELY CANNOT USE IT. Yes, you might beat them to the punch if they haven’t registered it, but what’s the point? The one caveat is ‘active band.’ Was the last gig mentioned on their Facebook page in 2004? Is their web presence limited to a MySpace page? You MIGHT be OK. But don’t assume – your namesake may be gigging like crazy but lousy at social media.
- Google It – For Rival Brands (And Other Things): What if your chosen moniker isn’t a band name, but a ‘thing’ out there in the real world? If it’s a trademarked product or a person – forget it. Disney, Pepsi and Simon Cowell have bigger and uglier lawyers than you. If it’s just a ‘thing’ you may be OK, but ask yourself – is your band going to get lost in the internet ‘noise’?
- Does It Mean Something Bad?: Does your name have nasty or unfortunate connotations? Think about it and ask lots of other people. Check Urban Dictionaryand a regular dictionary too. If you have a multiword name, try typing it without spaces as in ‘yourbandname.com’. Sometimes a perfectly inoffensive name can create a terrible URL. Penisland.net,
- Is It A Song Title?: More specifically, is it a song by a band that you are heavily influenced by? Then Don’t. Just don’t. Nothing marks you out more clearly as a slavishly unimaginative copycat.
- Can Everyone Spell It?: Think carefully about this. Is it something that people are going to have trouble spelling? Or remembering? The only exception would be spelling your name ‘wrong’ to help people get it ‘right’. Led Zeppelin went with the ‘Led’ spelling to prevent people saying “leed”– as in ‘lead guitar’.
- Don’t Pick A Name That Sound Like A Completely Different Genre.: One day a hundred, very unhappy, very drunk, thrash metal fans will show up to watch your folk trio play the local art gallery. Your ironic name won’t seem so funny then.
- Live With It: Once you’ve got it, stick with it and get on with the real business of making music. If you do a good job with that, the music itself will come to define what that name means, not the other way around.
Email any questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Find Blasko on Twitter and Instagram: @blasko1313
Find Mike Mowery on Twitter and Instagram: @mikeoloop
ManageMental is part of the Jabberjaw Media Network. www.jabberjawmedia.com