Pretentious Record Store Guy’s Handy Dandy Guide to Naming Your Band

Posted by Carlos Gabriel Ruiz on September 16th, 2007

Everything you need to know about a band you can find in their name. Naming your band may be the most important thing you’ll ever do in your entire life. Give your band a shit name and people will automatically think you’re shit.

Example: Audioslave–great pedigree, great musicians, shitty band.

How can this be? How can the members of Rage Against the Machine (excellent band name) and the singer from Soundgarden (equally excellent) equal a sub par, standard rock fare? The answer simply lies in the namesake; a rose by any other name would be something else wouldn’t it? Call a rose crap and suddenly something smells like shit. Get my point?

So how can we solve this sartorial conundrum? Glad you asked, because here is

Pretentious Record Store Guy’s Handy Dandy Guide to Naming Your Band

Rule #1: If you’re in any kind of “core” band you need to show just how tough you really are. Blood works; bleeding works; dying and killing also work. Check out Bleeding Through, A River Runs Red, My Dying Bride, Blood Brothers, etc. So for my post-punk, neo-mathcore, pre-screamo, non ironic dance band we named our selves Bleed the Blood of the Dying.

Rule #2: Animals rock. Check out Wolf Eyes, Wolfparade, Wolf Mother, Band of Horses, Horse the Band, The Unicorns, etc.

Rule #3: Puns work. Check out The Beatles, Texas Chainsaw Mass Choir, etc. (Well, maybe they aren’t puns, but I’m not exactly sure what they are. I graduated high school, but I was mainly incoherent the majority of the time I was there. I’ve had a few college classes but nothing that has really stuck, you know, why bother? I already have the best job in the world: record store guy. I get to sit around all day and listen and talk about music and I get paid for it. How can you beat that? So it might not be a pun, but just because I’m not some English major doesn’t mean that you’re better than me. Screw you for judging me.)

Rule #4: “The” bands tend to work really well. Simply put “the” in front of something, thus making that something plural and watch the record deals come in (but this tends to only work if your sound is 70s garage rock rounding)…See The Strokes, The White Stripes, The Editors, The Stills, The Hives, etc.

Rule #5: Head(s) always works. See Talking Heads, Radiohead, The Lemoheads, etc.

Rule #6: When in doubt, go pretentious, that is, after all, my main motto in life. Clap Your Hands, Say Yeah, Godspeed You Black Emperor, etc. the longer the title, the cooler it is.

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