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How To Ruin Your Band Name

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Death Cab For Cutie. Death Cab For Cutie. (Courtesy of the artist)

Dan Ozzi has had it with the stupid band names, people. The editor at VICE's music blog, Noisey, recently compiled a handy guide on what NOT to do when naming your band. We are not naive enough to assume, however, that this will dissuade anyone from becoming the next Hoobastank.

"If you're going to name your band something bad," says Ozzi, "then you've got to own it." 

In a conversation with Soundcheck John Schaefer, Dan explains he has little use for random animals, funky punctuation, run-on sentences, and declarative expressions. He also describes the special place in band name purgatory he has reserved for anything that is "misleadingly badass."  

Read the entirety of Dan Ozzi's highly entertaining "How To Ruin Your Band Name".


Dan Ozzi

Comments [4]

Andrew Lubman

I wasn't familiar with the band Sunn O))), but as soon as you described the "O)))" part of their name, I knew why they included it as part of their name: The logo of the amplifier brand Sunn (for which they named themselves, as mentioned in the program), includes a graphical element of a sun. The "O)))" is pretty good text representation of that part of the amp logo.

Also, the band Death Cab For Cutie took their name from the title of a song by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. The song is performed by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band in a scene from the Beatles' (originally made-for-TV) movie "Magical Mystery Tour".

May. 19 2014 02:23 PM
Steve from sweet New Jersey

I like Funky Punctuation.

May. 18 2014 08:41 AM
Joe from SoHo

I think the real issue here, which was unexplored in this piece, is that there are no "normal" band names left. As an experiment, just think of any random word or phrase, then google it along with the words "band" and see what happens. What you will see is that literally every combination of words and letters is taken already. This leaves only two divergent strategies: common everyday words (like animal names) which cannot be trademarked, or sentence fragments/extraneous punctuation, which probably will not have been registered yet.

Bad band names are merely the end result of our Information Age.

May. 13 2014 09:30 PM
MMD from Bronx

Can't believe they haven't mentioned Los Lobos!

May. 13 2014 09:08 PM

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