What to consider before choosing a band name

Once you’ve gotten your talents and crew together, you will most likely be dreaming and pondering your band’s name. It’s inevitable - even a solo artist considers names.

 

CHOOSE SOMETHING UNIQUE!
Of course your name should represent you, your ideals, and the sounds and styles you’re hoping to create.  However, if your name is too commonplace, your road will be an uphill battle before you even get started. You will never rank highly in a simple search if you choose a name like “Banana”.

1. Google your selected name
I know, it seems so simple! We have featured over two hundred bands and artists over these years, and I’m consistently surprised at how few actually take this step.

2. Search on social networks
I’ve found it annoying when a band has to end up adding words like “official”, “band”, or “music” to the end of their band names once they begin to use Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, Reverbnation, and others. Your shirts, CDs, Marques, and your promotions probably are not going to have these words added at the end of your band name, so take a couple of minutes and search the names.

 

CHOOSE SOMETHING EASY TO REMEMBER!
This is another good piece of ancient advice when creating your image and band name, and is probably something you’ve heard but might not assume applies to you. I mean you are the all powerful artist and so you can do no wrong. Your ideas are perfect and original. No one will say it to you because they hope to bask in your soon to be bright lime light.

1. Limit the number of words
So let me be the bad guy. Keep it simple, stupid! Not said to offend you – I mean really, I barely even know you. Your band name will be on people’s lips for decades to come. It’s destiny that you will go down in history as the ultimate band, so all I’m saying is don’t try to pack every thought into this name. It will eventually by written across your private jet and tattood on infants all over the planet.

2. Make it easy to spell and type
Choosing a perfect band name is crucial because you are going to be promoting yourself using these words. Your URLs will be built around these words, promoters will be printing materials based on these words, and, most importantly, reviewers, podcasters, and websites will be creating content containing these words.

 

CHOOSE EARLY!
I’m an analogy kind of guy, and this is a video game generation. Let my explain my point by relating this to a game. In a video game, you start on level one, and then move up and onward by achieving goals, earning power-ups, and drinking potions. Imagine your quest for musical greatness to be like this game.

Level one: Find your perfect band name.
Level two: Get your band member roster set (likely to change over time).
Level three: Settle on your style and sound (also likely to evolve and mature as you as artists do).
Level four: Become rich and famous.

The truth is: every single one of you in your band has known they would be famous and were headed for greatness as a musician. You’ve all practiced and dreamed, posed in mirrors, and cultivated your look. And I’d bet my bottom dollar that you’ve thought about the perfect band name. To me, in my expert opinion, choosing a name should be thought of as your level one. This will help you think about how to market, how to dress, and even how to perform onstage.

 

CONCLUSION
I consider myself to be a lucky one. I enjoy all genres of music and feel I have a good ear for what may be capable of achieving recognition. You don’t have to be looking for stardom to want to be heard and appreciated. Not everyone makes music for the glitz and glamour. Some simply make music because it’s inside if them – because it is what they do because it is who they are. It would suck for you to realize later down the road that you should have taken my advice and put some thought into your band name.

I am the self-professed social media expert on my podcast and so my advice will mostly be skewed towards success using these methods. My hope is to offer some helpful insights to those that might be looking for new ideas and impartial perspectives. I hope that this is well-received and that I can continue to support you through this new and innovative platform.

 

Jason Roeseke is the producer and host of a podcast called The Unsigned Countdown, which is used to support, promote, and review independent and unsigned metal, punk alternative, and punk artists, musicians, and bands.

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