A name can make the difference between success, failure, and mediocrity. Just as a brand cannot succeed without a name that appeals to its target audience, a band also requires an effective name for success.
A band’s name is the first thing an audience will likely ever know about it. We take a look at some of the best band name ideas of all time.
- The Band
If you are going to choose a name for your band that is as simple as “The Band”, then you are going to need to be pretty good. Fortunately, the Band lived up to the challenge.
Not only does the name of this legendary Swedish band use the initials of each of its four members—it’s also a name that conveniently places them near the front of most record stores.
- The Who
When you turn on the radio but fail to recognize this classic English rock band, you may ask your friend what their name is. Naturally, your friend will hilariously reply, “The Who” as if they don’t understand you.
- The Artist Formerly Known as Prince
Though this name is clearly rather ridiculous, it is something that almost everyone is able to remember. The Artist Formerly Known as Prince is one of the most recognized “names” in music.
This alternative rock band plays a clever joke on parents across the country. “Turn that Garbage down!”
- Trampled by Turtles
This contemporary bluegrass band from Minnesota puts an image in your head that—just like when you are listening to their music—makes you want to smile.
- The Grateful Dead
According to band member Phil Lesh, this name was randomly chosen from and old dictionary. Somehow, the name ended up being the perfect fit and helped the band become one of the greatest of all time.
- Led Zeppelin
Using the juxtaposition of opposites can be a great strategy for naming your band. Led Zeppelin immediately makes you picture a blimp that, tragically, will never be able to fly.
- Neutral Milk Hotel
This indie rock band takes three seemingly unrelated words and somehow finds a way to make it work. Even if you know nothing about them, you might still be interested.
- Cage the Elephant
Cage the Elephant is yet another band that, like others mentioned above, creates a vivid image. Like many of their songs, this name is one that can be difficult to get out of your head.
You have to be pretty bold to claim the third largest city in the country as your own. Yet, Chicago found a way to effectively pull this off and go down in rock and roll history.
- Yonder Mountain String Band
This bluegrass band from Colorado found a way to describe exactly what they are: a string band that is from those mountains over yonder.
- Rage against the Machine
Whether you categorize this band as rock, metal, or punk, Rage Against the Machine is a perfect way to describe their revolutionary sound.
- The Velvet Underground
This name describes what every indie band is hoping to accomplish: an apparent smoothness like velvet and a desire to remain underground.
- The Beach Boys
The name “The Beach Boys” is able to perfectly capture the band’s desired California image without stating too much or being too flashy.
Coming up with band name ideas is more of an art than it is a science. If you can be creative, inspired by the music you hope to play, and recognize the image you hope to project, a good band name should be well within reach.