Most of what follows, unfortunately, happened.
Date: Day 1. Ground zero.
Venue: Probably a member’s bedroom. Or garage. Or bedroom in the garage.
Crowd: The inner circle.
When deciding on a name for your band, there is an unspoken list of guidelines that you must consider, lest you be the laughing stock of the punk community. Below is a list of some of these guidelines. These were not created by us, but handed down by generation after generation before us, and by the punk gods before them.
Feel free to get in touch if you have heard of any other such ‘rules’.
Beware the Trends
Since the first band was ever created (incidentally by Keith Richards as he’s immortal and cannot be killed by conventional weapons) there have been naming trends. In the 90s, it was law that your band must have a one word title. Any more and you were banished from the charts and destined to play basement clubs until the next Black Sabbath reunion. The 00s were plagued by the definite article; always ‘The’ Band, never ‘A’ Band.
But lately it’s all about making sure you Verb a Noun; Pierce the Veil, Bring me the Horizon or Sleeping with Sirens. By all means, jump on a trend and ride it all the way to Money Town. But just remember you may be judged poorly for it.
Unless you’re called Tickle the Weasel. That’s an awesome name.
Be More Wary of Acronyms
Always take time to consider your acronym. Fans are lazy at the best of times, but they’ll always find a way to shorten your name; Rage Against The Machine became RATM, Red Hot Chilli Peppers became RHCP. So the next time you call Bring Me The Horizon ‘BMTH’, spare a thought for Krazy Killer Klowns. They don’t get offered many shows anymore.
Joke names are to be exercised with extreme caution. Sure, it might look funny on the poster, but no one is going to take the anarchic political screamings of your band seriously if you’re called TBA.
It’s also very important to remember that you were not the first person to consider calling your band Free Beer. You barely scrape into the first 1000.
Putting the appropriate amount of thought into your band name is, quite frankly, crucial. It is your first impression, this is your handshake and your warm smile. If people don’t at least partially buy into your name on some level they are probably done with you before the lights go down. Names have power, choose them wisely. Oh, one last golden rule…
Never, ever, under any circumstance, use a pun in your name.
Unless you’re in a ska band. Then it’s mandatory.