Choosing a band name is one of the very first thing you’ll do when creating a new band. On paper, it’s simple: choose a cool sounding name and you’re done. The issue is that there is a crap ton of bands out there, and that number is growing every day.
Finding a band name that is unique, original and fits for all the usage can be hard, and it’s easy to forget details that may cause problems down the road.
Let’s see what you need to do to be sure you’re choosing a good name and secure it in today’s world.
1. Find A Unique, Good Sounding Band Name
The first thing to do when you have an idea for a band name is to google the name. But not only the name, but “name band”.
Let’s say you want to create a band called “Dissolution” because that could be a cool word. You google “dissolution”:
|All clear? Let’s do this!|
Wait a minute son.
|“dissolution CA”, “dissolution CZ”? Someone didn’t google before settling on a band name!|
Alright so not Dissolution. As a rule of thumb, every one-word band name will be taken. Heck, even “Urinals” is taken.
So now think of something still meaningful and descriptive of your band’s message. Got it? Cool. For the purpose of this article I’ve chosen Cryptic Banana, but I’m sure your name is fine too.
|Cryptic Banana is a very a-peeling name. Admit it.|
2. Secure Your Internet Presence
Creating accounts for most of the social media is a close first step after choosing a band name. And to make your band easy to find and predictable, the ideal is to secure a username that is simply your band name.
So take a tour of the most common social medias and check if the pages already exist:
- https://www.facebook.com/crypticbanana – check
- https://instagram.com/crypticbanana – checkity-check
- https://twitter.com/crypticbanana – alrighty
Don’t forget to check if the domain name is taken. You may think a website for a band is not relevant anymore, we’ll discuss this in a future article. For now, http://crypticbanana.com is available and that’s all that counts.
3. Length Matters
There’s something that is pretty important regarding the last point: the length of your name. Some website limits the number of character for your username: http://twitter.com/crypticbanana may work, but “The Cryptic Banana Conspiracy Society” will not work. As of the time of writing, Twitter only allows 20 characters maximum in the username.
It may sound stupid to think about your band name from a social media rules perspective, but it is something to keep in mind. Simply because having the same username in all social medias is pretty important, and having an issue like that afterward is a bit annoying.
For example, while my band and I decided to go on with Undisclosed Dimensions as band name, and after having set up the domain name, Facebook, Youtube and Instagram, I moved on to Twitter. But it’s been a long time since I’ve used Twitter and didn’t know about its limitations. Now we have the “undiscloseddimensions” username everywhere… except Twitter. Way to look dumb.
If you really want a really long name, you can use acronyms, like TCBCSBand. But once again if you do, use this one on all platforms.
4. Think About Every Details
Your band name will appear every time your band is mentioned. The logo is more likely to be there too. We’re not going to go into the thinking that must go behind a logo in this article, but it can be something you should think about when choosing a band name.
Here again, short names are most time easier to work with for logos. “The Cryptic Banana Conspiracy Society” is probably going to end up being a huge logo with letters all over the place, certainly on multiple lines. Your logo needs to be recognizable and readable at first sight, on a poster or a shirt. In that case, a huge blob of letters is going to be way harder to read and remember when glancing at a shirt. Especially if it’s a singer on stage moving all over the place. People like to check out what their favorite musician listen (or wear). But if the name is too big and unreadable, that’s just useless promotion and lost fans for you.
5. Beware Of Trends
Like in everything people do, there are trends in band names. It may sound like a good idea at the time, and it probably is, or people wouldn’t get caught in a trend.
But now every “I The Noun” have 2009 printed on them. “I The Breather”, “I The Mighty” and probably more that I forget.
Sometimes it’s more a question of genre. “Verb The Noun” immediately sounds like a deathcore band to me. “Disfiguring The Goddess”, “Betraying The Martyr”, “Burning The Masses” and many more.
Once again, your band name could be great, but just think twice before following a common pattern that a billion band are doing at the same time. Show some originality.
When trying to find a meaningful name, you may want to use something that is a reference to your favorite movie / band / erotic novel or something. While this could be a great idea, it may be not a good bet for the future if your reference is too obvious or if you use something that could be trademarketed. Nobody will care if a local band with 100 likes is called Darth Vader, but if you’re growing and becoming a national act, you don’t want to fight with Disney to keep the name.
Gojira, the now worldwide renowned band, was called Godzilla at their beginning. They changed their name in 2001 to avoid legal issues.
Well that was easy
Remember the good ol’ days when you could name your band “The Who” and call it a day? Long gone, and it’s not going to get any easier. The rules and the context are constantly moving, and on top of all the details you have to consider today, there will be more constraints tomorrow.
The worst part is, I probably forgot some huge factors in choosing a band name. So let us know, what are some details you may have overlooked when choosing a band name that later revealed to be crucial?