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Band Names

These bands are allegedly playing at Coachella next year

I can’t begin to tell you how many calls I get of all these up and coming bands asking for advice on a band name. I also field a lot of calls of people who want to know if their band’s name is good. I gotta be honest, 99% of them suck. You gotta remember, kiddies, your band name is how people label you. If your band name blows, your band sucks. Capiche?

But have no fear, KROQ is here to help. I came up with the ultimate guide for coming up with or changing your band name into something kick-ass so that you can have groupies.

The Basics
Before we get into it, we need to establish some general guidelines for proper band naming. Now students, let’s all have a seat and get ready for class.

KROQ Bandology 101

1. Don’t name your band based off another band’s name.
This is important. Don’t name your band “The Smashing Carrots” or “Metalli-riffic.” It’s the worst way to honor your favorite band. Do a cool cover of one of their songs instead.

2. Name your band using proper terminology relating to the genre of music you play.
If you play in an indie band, make sure your band name doesn’t have the words “Death” or Blood” in the title. I recently took a call where a death metal band asked me what I thought of the band name, “The Outsiders.” That’s a band name for an alt-rock band, not a metal band! It’s not brutal enough.

Just an important side note for the death metal people. On top of a cool death metal band name, you also gotta be ugly and/or fat. The gift of death metal does not smile on the good-looking.

3. Don’t name the band after yourself.
Listen, you’re not [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Danzig[/lastfm]. Unless you play guitar like Dave Mustaine, your name shouldn’t be in the band name. Plus, that’s not creative at all! The cool part about being in a band is to let your creativity flow! Your band name should reflect that, unless you have an incredibly cool sounding name. Max Powers not only sounds cool, it also sounds sexy for the ladies.

4.  Don’t pick a name people won’t understand five years later.
Chances are you won’t be an overnight success. Real bands spend years, even decades before becoming a huge hit. So naming your band “Double Rainbow ‘Cross the Sky” may be funny now, but ten years from now when no one remembers double rainbow guy, you’re band will just seem lame. The “Whatdidjudo’s,” however, is forever.

5. Keep your band name short and easy to remember unless it’s something catchy
People have no attention spans. Sad, but true. I’ve thought of 50 different things since I’ve started writing this. The shorter you band name, the better! One word names work best, but never ignore catchy for length of the band name. [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Nine Inch Nails[/lastfm],[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Jimmy Eat World[/lastfm], and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Faith No More[/lastfm] are all catchy names! I say try to stick to 1-3 words.

KROQ Creative Band Name

I’m glad you asked, big-headed stick figure guy! I’ve got the tools to help you out if you have writer’s block or are just too lazy to come up with one on your own.

1. Kevin and Bean
These guys come up with like 5 band names for every show! Like I mentioned before, the “Whatdidjudo’s” is pretty solid. Here’s a pdf of all the band names the guys have ever come up with. If you can’t open the pdf, here are just a few of my favorite examples:

  • 4th Grade Fight Club
  • Sea of Cholos
  • Overwhelming Muffintop
  • Four Seconds To Mario Lopez
  • Subterranean Bearded Women of the Moscow Underground. This is actually the name of the Phone-Op Norwegian black metal band. Check us out in action. We rock hard.

Subterranean Bearded Women of the Moscow Underground

2. Band Name Maker
This nifty website does all the work for you! Just hit the “Generate Band Name” button and it automatically generates band names for you.

Here’s what I got. Feel free to use any of them:

  • Moody Foundation
  • Sunbeam Of The Crumb
  • Freaky Pupil
  • Psychic Sickness And The Pissed Urge
  • Scathed Scissors And The Fab Metal

3. KROQ Request Line
There’s a lot of cool things about my job, but my favorite by far is talking to the KROQ listeners! We can totally give you awesome band names! Surely, live one-on-one customer service like this would cost you a pretty penny, right? It’s absolutely free. 1-800-520-1067.

Hopefully this guide will help pimp out your band name. So next time you’re listening to Kat’s Locals Only show and you hear “OJ Simpson was Framed” or “Welcome to the Vomitorium,” you’ll know part of the reason why they’re making it big.

Comments (4)
  1. Andres says:

    what about if someone wants to use a word that other bands have
    Black ( Black Flag, Black Sabbath, Black Pacific)
    Bad ( Bad Brains, Bad Religion,Bad Company)
    do you think it will work if i can find a good word to follow black or bad?

    1. You can totally use those! But you gotta be careful when you do. Remember what happen when the word “The” got thrown around for a while. THE Strokes, THE Vines, THE Hives. Other than The Strokes, who else really matters?

      Use those “generic” words with caution! The next word better be different and creative or your gonna get lumped in with other crappy bands with the similar names!

  2. ivan says:

    band name: fat kids wear sweats

  3. Ted says:

    What about one of the most successful indie bands to date, Death Cab for Cutie….

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