A Good Name for a Rock Band

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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Many subsections still have large numbers of unsorted examples.


Attacking Tucans: "We should form a musical group."
Josh Jepson: "No we shouldn't. That sounds like a horrible idea."
Attacking Tucans:[1] "Lets do it! Band names... We should call ourselves... The Throbbing Masses!"


There are a lot of different categories or varieties of band name, and they often correspond to the era or genre of the band in question. This page has some of these, and examples from real life and fiction. Fictional bands often have utterly dreadful names that are poking fun at certain genres.

That Other Wiki has a non-comprehensive list of bands, in case you ever wondered what they were smoking when they picked a name.

Compare Trope Names for a Band.

Examples of Good Names for Rock Bands include:

"The" Bands

The most timeless of band names, this style of band naming transcends genre and is enduringly popular. Probably because of The Beatles. You can't usually tell a lot about how a band will sound if its called The Whatever. Sometimes a joke will be made about someone being out of touch with modern music by having them add a "The" to a band name that does not usually take a "The," such as "The Led Zeppelins" or "The Alkaline Trio." (In a case of Truth in Television, Eurythmics, Pet Shop Boys, Scorpions, Ben Folds Five and others often suffer this. Inverted by The Prodigy, as many people think the band name is Prodigy.[2]) Band names that follow the "The Plural Nouns" style are something of a Dead Horse Trope and more modern "The" band names tend to be more of a "The Abstract Noun" or "The Adjective" style. Talking Heads were aware of this, and went to great lengths not to be called 'the' Talking Heads, including naming an album, "The Name of This Band is Talking Heads".

It should be pointed out, however, that "The Plural Nouns" would be a really great name for a band. Some guys on The Order of the Stick forum have decided to name their imaginary band that, for the record.

A note about "The" bands: a few certain bands follow this formula but omit the "The;" for example, one can say "The Bangles" or "The Scorpions" (and most folk do), but technically they are named Bangles and Scorpions. Same with (the) Eagles, (the) Pixies, (the) Arcade Fire, and (the) Faces. (The) Pet Shop Boys don't use the article in written materials but have been known to say "the Pet Shop Boys" in speech (and sang, or more accurately covered (!), a song entitled "We're the Pet Shop Boys.")

An inversion: Pink Floyd was known as The Pink Floyd during the Syd Barrett year(s).

"The" Bands UNSORTED Examples

  • Marty McFly's band, The Pinheads, from Back to The Future
  • In Light of Day, Joe Rasnick's band is called The Barbusters.
  • The Blues Brothers.
  • The Paranoids (a Beatles ripoff) from The Crying of Lot 49.
  • The Gavinners, from Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney.
    • Of course, the band was originally called Garyuu Wave in the Japanese version, Gyakuten Saiban 4...
  • The Weird Sisters, from Harry Potter, said to be one of the most popular wizard bands out there, and booked to play at Hogwarts at the Yule Ball in Goblet of Fire. (The film made them punk rockers.) Nymphadora Tonks is a fan.
  • The Band With Rocks In, from Soul Music. Also The Whom, The Blots and The Surreptitious Fabric, all names briefly used by a wannabe band (and not coincidentally all puns on the names of real bands).
  • The Commitments. Chosen deliberately, and explained in the book & film that "all the great sixties bands were 'the somethings'".
    • And naturally, there are at least two bands called "The Somethings".
  • The Plural Nouns, of The Order of the Stick forum.
  • The Worthless Peons, Ted's band on Scrubs.
  • The Negative Adjectives, from punk webcomic Nothing Nice to Say
  • The One-ders of That Thing You Do!
  • The Knights of Rockville, Achmed and Amir from Backyard Sports's band
  • The Kindly Ones from The Sandman
  • The Baljeetles from the Phineas and Ferb episode of the name name.
  • The Lone Rangers from Airheads.
  • The Midnight Riders from Left 4 Dead 2.
    • They actually have a few songs. If you're wondering, they are in the the game as well as on the band's YouTube page.
  • The Stillborn (from one of George Carlin's books)
  • The Last Days, from the book of the same name.
  • The Dreamettes from Dreamgirls.
  • The Crotchmen (who even print bumper stickers that read "Who Watches The Crotchmen?" to sell at their shows) from the webcomic Sacred Heart.

Real Life

...and about a hundred thousand more.

  • The Doors
  • The Drums
    • Named because The Smiths albums list the members as 'Voice' 'Guitar' 'The Bass Guitar' 'The Drums'
      • Though coolly, The Drums list themselves as 'The Singin' 'The Stringin' 'The Twangin' 'The Bangin'
  • The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster
  • The Faint
  • The Fall
  • The Free, a eurodance band
  • The Guess Who
    • They sent a demo tape to a radio station labeled "Guess Who?" in the hopes they would be mistaken for a well-established band. Instead, the station decided their name was Guess Who.
      • Their name gave them some trouble reserving hotel rooms in cities where The Who had just toured and trashed their rooms.
  • The Hives
  • The Killers
  • The Kills
  • The Magic Nose Goblins
  • The Mars Volta
  • The Monkees
  • Moog Cookbook (no the), with an album named "The Moog Cookbook"
  • The Melvins
    • They tend to flip-flop between "The Melvins" and just "Melvins", seemingly for aesthetic reasons - typically the album cover will say "Melvins" but the disc itself will say "The Melvins". They kind of lampshaded this on the artwork to A Senile Animal by rendering their name as "(The) Melvins" and the album title as "(A) Senile Animal".
  • The Mountain Goats
  • The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, later shortened to Oingo Boingo and (briefly) to simply Boingo.
  • The Pink Floyd Sound (briefly, before they dropped the first and last words)
  • The Pipettes
  • The Police
  • The Protomen
  • The Rasmus, Finnish rock band (they added the article to differentiate themselves from a Swedish DJ of the same name)
  • The Residents (notable because that wasn't their original name, their initial demo got sent out accidentally unlabeled, so they took their new name when a record company sent the demo back marked as 'to: residents')
  • The Rotted
  • The Smiths
  • The Specials (who started life as the Coventry Automatics, then became the Special AKA the Coventry Automatics, then the Special AKA and finally the Specials).
  • The Stooges
  • The Strokes
  • The Texas Toad Lickers (together for only one album, though: the soundtrack to the film Vampires)
  • The The
    • Eye Creatures?
    • Oh no...
    • Also The Unpronounceable Oop North
    • And the "Hardest Band Name to Google" Award goes to...
      • Nah, Women (the band) and Girls (the band) are worse.
      • Actually, the band !!! is harder, as a search returns no results. You'd better know that their name is phonetically spelled "Chk Chk Chk" if you want to Google them.
      • There's also a similar case in the form of a band called :(.
      • For related reasons, the band name "Brazilian Girls" is pretty awesome whether you find a webpage devoted to the band or not.
      • Can—because it's a common word (with two completely different meanings)--so any match is unlikely to be related to the obscure German prog/art rockers.
      • The rapper A+ was widely reported to have named himself thus precisely to make it a hard search term (specifically on Napster).
      • And then there's this, of course...
  • The Thrills
  • The Trammps
  • The Trashmen
  • The Traveling Wilburys
  • The Used
  • The Verve (who were originally called simply 'Verve' but changed the name due to potential copyright infringement)
  • The View
  • The Vines
  • The White Stripes
  • The Winstons
  • The Who
  • The Word Alive
  • The Wyrd Sisters (the real ones, who predate the first Harry Potter novel by several years).
  • The xx (because nouns are for the weak, apparently...)

X And The Ys

This one is a little rarer than the "The" band. It was most popular in/is most associated with the 1950s, what with Bill Haley & The Comets, but Ted Leo & The Pharmacists prove it is still popular today. However, most modern bands that follow this style don't play it straight in a "Frontman & The Musicians" style, but will just use funny words instead, like Me First & The Gimme Gimmes. The primary exception is Country Music, particularly alternative or self-consciously "old-timey" country, where it retains an air of respectability and old-fashionedness. However, it still occasionally turns up in fiction.

X And The Ys UNSORTED Examples

  • Josie and the Pussy Cats.
  • Arrested Development has a real musician with a fake band: William Hung and His Hung Jury.
    • That's kind of stretching the definition of "real musician"...
    • Arrested Development is also the name of a real life rap group that formed before the show.
  • Sick Dick and the Volkswagens from The Crying of Lot 49.
  • Parodying the big band example below in M*A*S*H, Trapper once introduced Hawkeye as "Hawkeye Pierce and His Orchestra."
  • Jesse and the Rippers from Full House.
  • Thomas Fay and the Danny Phantom Band
  • Pugilism and the Third Autistic Cuckoo, from The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams
  • Razor and the Scummettes from Maniac Mansion
  • Bertie the Balladeer and his Troubadour Rascals, from Soul Music.
  • Eddie and the Cruisers. (The name of the movie, and the artist the soundtrack was credited to.)
  • Eddi and the Fey in Emma Bull's War for the Oaks.
  • Johnny and the Contusions in Dave Barry's Tricky Business.
  • Vitaly Chernobyl and the Meltdowns in Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash
  • Smeg and the Heads from Red Dwarf.
  • Robbie Wilson and Sedgley Park, a Robbie Coltrane alter-ego band.
  • Clark Kent and his Supermen (from The Illuminatus! Trilogy)
  • In The Dresden Files, the main character Harry jokingly regards the local werewolf gang's name (Billy and the Alphas/Werewolves) as a bad 70's band name.
    • He later gives Nicodemus and the Denarians a similar name in Turncoat—Nicky and the Nickelheads.
  • Little Tommy and the Underhill Gang from Esther Friesner's suburban fantasy novel Elf Defense.
  • Bennie and the Jets from the Elton John song of the same name.
  • Jeremy and the Incidentals from Phineas and Ferb.
    • Also Phineas and the Ferb-Tones.
  • One of the band names suggested by Yui during the band-naming session in K-On! is "Hirasawa Yui and Her Happy Friends". Ritsu is less than happy about having the rest of the cast suddenly be nothing but extras.
  • A rather hard to place example, Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars, a fake band who exist only on an album by a real musician.
    • ...became the special man, then we were Ziggy's band
  • Mr. Show has a skit involving an inspirational band named Indomitable Spirit (whose members pretend to have disabilities ranging from being a disembodied head to being a woman), but a former band member (who is actually missing an arm) reveals their name was originally Flat Top Tony and the Purple Canoes.
  • Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show.
  • Battlestar Galactica. When Anders says that Cylon Leoben might have been right about Starbuck having a special destiny, Starbuck replies that "Kara Thrace and Her Special Destiny" sounds like a bad name for a cover band.
  • Alvin and The Chipmunks
  • Barbie and the Rockers; this line inspired a two part TV special (which predates the modern DVD movies by 14 years), where in part two they were inexplicably renamed...
  • In Grease, the band playing at the dance contest was named Johnny Casino And The Gamblers.
  • Gordon and the Gophers, from the CBBC mascot's spin-off books.
  • Some combinations of units and squad leaders in Warhammer 40,000 end up sounding like this. Maugan Ra and the Dark Reapers, for instance.
  • Voldemort and the Death Dealers, anyone?
  • Firgin D'an and the Modal Nodes, aka the Cantina Band from Star Wars.
  • Crash and the Boys in Scott Pilgrim.
  • Fictional band Larry David and the Hipsters from Curb Your Enthusiasm.
  • "Wexford and the Unbelievers" on Sanctuary's episode "Firewall"
  • Dennis and the Dinmakers - Dennis the Menace's band.
  • AlternateHistory.com has "Obama and the Republicans", inspired by the fact that U.S. political discussions commonly used the phrase.
  • Cool Lester Smooth and The Bunk.
    • Strangely appropriate considering the actors who played Lester Freamon and Bunk Moreland are now on Treme as a Mardi Gras Chief and a trombone-player, respectively.
  • South Park's Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld (who also appeared in the Rock Band franchise)
  • Stephen and the Colberts.
  • Mordecai and the Rigbys (There is only one Rigby. They also discussed other cool names for rock bands)
  • "Drimble Wedge and the Vegetation" in Bedazzled.
  • Silent Alex and the Unspeakables.
  • Johnny Mushroom and the Kingdoms
  • A Guitar Hero band called themselves Pen and The Islands.
  • Barry Jive and the Uptown Five
  • "Sativa and the Tripouts" from The Butterfly Kid.
  • At one point in Drunkard's Walk II, Doug Sangnoir refers to the Knight Sabers as "Lady White and the High-heel Gang" in a deliberate invocation of the trope.

Real Life

  • Ted Leo & The Pharmacists
  • When touring with his (ever-revolving) backing band, Kevin Devine is also known as Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band.
  • Derek and the Dominos
  • Bill Haley & His Comets (Also known as "Bill Haley and The Comets")
  • Me First & The Gimme Gimmes
  • Lee Presson and the Nails
  • Hootie and the Blowfish, for another not-straight example of X and the Ys.
  • Echo & The Bunnymen, could be considered non-straight as "Echo" was rumored to be their drummachine.
    • This was actually refuted by the band.
  • Butch Walker & the Lets Go Out Tonites
  • Gladys Knight and the Pips
  • Elizabeth Harper and the Matinee
  • Siouxsie and the Banshees
  • Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers
  • Darla Hood and the Enchanters
  • Katrina and the Waves.
  • Tim Rice formed a band with some friends called Wang & The Cheviots. At reunions they still can't decide which one of them is Wang.
  • Harry and The Potters
    • X and the Ys is the template for nearly every wizard rock band in existence. E.G., Marietta and the Sneaks, and their hit single "Hermione Granger is a Bitch."
      • Draco and the Malfoys... It's more like First Name and the Last Names.
  • Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids; the "and the Spooky Kids" was dropped once they reached fame.
    • Long John and the Beetles changed theirs too.
      • They also considered using the name Johnny and the Moondogs.
  • Elvis Costello & the Attractions, and, later, Elvis Costello & the Imposters
  • Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers (not to be confused with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)
  • Neko Case & Her Boyfriends; A double-entry since Her Boyfriends are collectively known on their own As The Sadies.
  • Buddy Holly & the Crickets
  • Honest Bob & The Factory-to-Dealer Incentives
  • Zombina and the Skeletones
  • Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  • Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  • Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band
  • Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention
  • Geoff Moore and the Distance
  • Faith and the Muse
  • Mitch Benn & the Distractions
  • Red Nichols & His Five Pennies, for an Older Than Television example
  • Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
  • ? and the Mysterians. Yes, you read that right.
  • There's actually a country named like this: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
    • Now that is A Good Name for a Rock Band.
  • Huey Lewis and the News
  • Paul Revere & The Raiders
  • Reggie & The Full Effect
  • Margot & the Nuclear So and So's
  • Patricio Rey & sus Redonditos de Ricota... even if 'Patricio Rey' doesn't actually exist.
  • Ralph Meyers & The Jack Herren Band
  • Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
  • George Thorogood & The Destroyers
  • Cannibal & The Headhunters
  • Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand.
  • Cole Deggs and the Lonesome. No, it's not "Cold Eggs".
  • Ernie and the Automatics. It should also be added that Ernie of the group owns a small chain of car dealerships...
  • Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus Of Dreams, a Folk/Punk/Hillbilly group heavily influenced by Pink Floyd and traditional Mummers.
  • Ryan Adams and the Cardinals (although this is more because the Cardinals were his more-or-less permanent backing band while he decided whether or not he wanted to formally start a band...)
  • Bohren & der Club of Gore
  • Phil 'n' The Blanks (groan...)
  • The country pop group Jump 'n The Saddle had a novelty hit with The Curly Shuffle.
    • As of 2022, Jump 'n' The Saddle lead singer Harry Reinhart is part of a Chicago-based electric-blues-jazz-swing-rock band called Skip Towne and the Greyhounds.
  • Eric and the Informers; Eric Bogle's short-lived rock band, memorialised in his song of the same name.
  • Morris Minor and the Majors; parody band responsible for Stutter Rap and This is the Chorus.
    • Not to be confused with Morris and the Minors, who later changed their name to Madness.
  • Tony Orlando and Dawn; possibly an aversion as the group was initially named just "Dawn", but was rebilled as "Dawn featuring Tony Orlando" and eventually "Tony Orlando and Dawn" as Orlando grew in prominence.
  • Disco Dream and the Androids
  • Four Hits and A Miss, from the big band era, inverts the usual order.
    • Also during the big band era, it was common for a bandleader to have "..and his Orchestra" as part of the name of the act (e.g.,: "Percy Faith and his Orchestra")
  • Dear and the Headlights, a particularly punny example.
  • John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band
  • Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band. Possibly created Oberst was annoyed that folks assumed that Bright Eyes was his personal project (it wasn't), and said "OK, I'm bored, here's what my band would sound like!"
  • Pretty Boy Thorson & The Fallen Angels
  • Olli Schulz & Der Hund Marie(aka Olli Schulz and The Dog Marie)
  • Larry & His Flask
  • Tommy James & the Shondells
  • Prince & the Revolution, later Prince & the New Power Generation
  • Porcelain and the Tramps
  • Ian Dury and the Blockheads (his earlier group was also called Kilburn and the High Roads).
  • Sly & the Family Stone
  • KC & the Sunshine Band
  • Big Brother & the Holding Company
  • Cliff Richard and The Shadows
  • Mr Hudson & the Library
  • Florence + the Machine
  • Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra
  • Wayne County & the Electric Chairs
  • Merrilee Rush & the Turnabouts
  • Toots & the Maytals
  • Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians

Egyptian Cream: she likes to smear
She likes to smear it everywhere
On her face and on her hands
'Til she feels like she's a man...
When your soul's too sore to dream
Try some more Egyptian Cream

  • Bob Marley and the Wailers
    • Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers
  • Adam and the Ants
  • Buddy Wasisname and The Other Fellers
  • Diana Ross and The Supremes started off as a The Band until one of them took center stage.
  • Johnny and the Self Abusers, a somewhat obscure Scottish punk band from the late '70s. They split up and some of them became The Cuban Heels. The others? Well, they went on to form a much less obscure band—Simple Minds.
  • Gerry and the Pacemakers
  • Alison Krauss & The Union Station
  • Oedipus and the Motherfuckers. Yes, there is actually a band with this name.
  • An odd semi-example: The Band (see "The" Bands, above) were originally The Hawks. However, after they started following Bob Dylan around as his backing band, everyone first in Dylan's inner circle, and later in his fandom, started calling them "The Band." Because they were his backing band but also did their own thing, a lot of venues listed shows as "Bob Dylan and The Band," which at once is and isn't an example of X and the Ys.
  • Paul Schaffer and the CBS Orchestra, or any other late night house band.
  • There's a Slovak band called Yuri and the Gagarins.
  • Kool & the Gang
  • Mike and The Mechanics, though officially known as Mike + The Mechanics, and also on occasion as Mike + The Mechanics + Paul Carrack (see Punctuation Band Names). A slightly unusual example, since Mike (Rutherford, also a founding member of Genesis) is the guitarist.
  • Al Tuck & No Action. It sounds like a non-straight example, but the band actually is fronted by Al Tuck, who apparently decided to embrace the potential punniness of his given name.
  • Captain Beefheart and his/the Magic Band.
  • Selena Gomez & the Scene
  • Spike Jones and his City Slickers. Not, strictly speaking, an X and the Ys, but close enough.
  • Psycho & The Birds, a Guided By Voices side-project. Of course they're actually just named after Psycho and The Birds.
  • Fitz And The Tantrums. While their name is pun-based, they do have a frontman named Michael Fitzpatrick.
  • M.C. Sar & The Real McCoy. Although oddly, the second part stands not for the band, as some sources incorrectly state, but for its frontman Olaf Jeglitza... and the first part does not. Anyway, It's a Long Story.
  • Hunx and his Punx
  • The Mamas & The Papas, whose name overlaps with the "The" bands.
  • Steve Earle & The Dukes - or, as they're currently known now that there are two women in the band, Steve Earle & The Dukes And Duchesses.
  • Neil Young & Crazy Horse (as well as Neil Young & The Shocking Pinks, Neil Young & The Bluenotes, Neil Young & The Stray Gators... Neil likes this trope.)
  • Marina & The Diamonds. Marina herself has said that "the Diamonds" are not her backing band, but her fans (it also refers to her full name, Marina Diamandis).
  • Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros

"Band": Monosyllabic Names

Mono rules! Monosyllabic name, that is. No definite article, no frills. Acronyms that are usually pronounced as a single syllable also fit the bill.

The small size of the name is often compensated by the huge size of the font.

About the coolness of monosyllabic names here is someone who thinks that, in general, Band names should never be only one syllable.

Anyways, monosyllabic band names have been around since at least the 60's (Cream, Love).

Real Life

Acronym/Initial Band Names

These come in two flavors, the A.F.I. style where the letters actually stand for something, (AFI was short for Askin' For It until 2002 when it was changed to A Fire Inside) or the Music/WASP style, where the band just claims that it sounded cool (though initially claimed that it stood for We Are Sexual Perverts). Acronym/initial bands that fall under the first flavor are sometimes initializing themselves because the words that the acronym actually stands for are obscene (the hip-hop group "NWA," for example). There are band names like Rage Against The Machine and My Chemical Romance that are often referred to as RATM or MCR by fans, but these don't technically count as part of this genre.

Anime and Manga

  • ENOZ from Haruhi Suzumiya. It uses the first letters of the last name of each band member. Mai Zaizen, Mizuki Okajima, Takato Nakamishi, and Miyuki Enomoto. Of this, this is also a tribute to ZONE.
  • DMC (Detroit Metal City) also counts as a referential name to KISS's song "Detroit Rock City."

Video Games

  • The band DCMC (Desperado Crash Mambo Combo) in Mother 3.
  • Strong Bad's band in Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People. The initials are DOI, but the player gets to decide what it stands for. The other members are the King of Town and Homsar, and each picks one word. It fits multiple categories, as whatever combo you end up with is nonsense, and the O has an umlaut.

Western Animation

Real Life

  • Fugazi = Fucked Up, Got Ambushed, Zipped In. It was taken from a book guitarist Ian MacKaye read about the Vietnam War, thus also making it an example of a referential name.
  • AFI (Askin' For It/A Fire Inside)
  • ACDC (Alternating Current/Direct Current. Found by Angus and Malcolm Young's sister on a sewing machine)
  • DVDA, from the Executive Producers of South Park, which stands for Double Vaginal Double Anal.
  • HIM (His Infernal Majesty)
    • Does this have anything to do with the Ambiguously Gay Satan from The Powerpuff Girls?
    • This could arguably belong to either version of the trope, as they initially said that HIM stood for His Infernal Majesty (mostly as a joke) but have since stopped identifying themselves as such.
  • Music/WASP (while the original acronym stands for "White Anglo-Saxon Protestants", the interpretation varies wildly, depending on who you ask, from "We Are Sexual Perverts" to "We Are Satan's People". There is also "We Ain't Sure, Pal", coined by Blackie Lawless himself)
    • There's also the much more likely story of them wanting a cool name, but, not thinking that "Wasp" was cool enough, punctuating the shit out of it.
    • In 1970s/early 80s heavy metal, punctuation was second only to the Heavy Metal Umlaut for badass typography.
  • REM (Rapid Ear Movement—a play on "Rapid Eye Movement", but may be a backronym as they apparently picked it randomly from a dictionary)
  • Slayer's 1994 album Divine Intervention gives them a backronym: Satan Laughs As You Eternally Rot.
  • KISS' name has been most famously backronymized as "Knights In Satan's Service", though Gene Simmons of KISS usually points out that he's Jewish and that it stands for "that thing you do with your mouth").
    • It's also a pre-existent acronym standing for "Keep It Simple, Stupid."
    • Gene isn't necessarily in the clear, since the concept of Satan also exists in Judaism - and, in fact, the name itself is a Hebrew word.
      • "Satan" is a Hebrew word, but it means "adversary." Anyone can function in the role of "adversary," for a period of time, without in some special sense being the one and only "Satan" of all time. Moreover, being in the service of the adversary is something of an oxymoron, since the adversary, in all the stories in which the word is used, is usually performing some sort of function for someone else. Sometimes the satan is just a plot device, and the satan is in service of the narrative, so to speak, or sometimes in services of one character's conscience, but it is difficult to have someone else in service of the satan. In Judaism, anyway. This has nothing to do with how other religions have appropriated the word, but Simmons is correct in his assessment of Judaism.
  • ABBA (The initials of the band members' first names: Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Anni-Frid Lyngstag)
    • This was also the name of a Swedish company that makes processed fish, and they had to get permission from said company to use the name. The company responded by sending the band a case of tinned tuna and a note saying "Good luck".
  • NRBQ (New Rhythm and Blues Quartet)
  • D.O.A. (Dead On Arrival Alive)
  • SDI
  • D.R.I. (Dirty Rotten Imbeciles)
  • C.O.C. (Corrosion Of Conformity)
  • !.T.O.O.H.!. (The Obliteration Of Humanity)
  • H Y B R I D
  • INXS (phonetically, "in excess")
  • Among the many versions of Korn's name, one has the name stand for "Kiddy Porn".
  • Interesting example of the "Acronym" type: There used to be a Danish band named "Disneyland After Dark", but they got sued by Disney, and as a result changed their name to D.A.D. - some of their commercials afterward actually played this up, with the story being retold in fairytale format, with the word "Disney" bleeped out.
    • Their latest album is titled "DIC.NII.LAN.DAFT.ERD.ARK". Gee, whatever might that random string of letters mean...
    • Conversely, when the band Spam were threatened with legal action by Hormel, they changed their name to Something People Are Missing.
  • OAR (Of A Revolution), though hardly anyone calls it by the full name.
    • Actually "...of a Revolution" (which would also put it into the "punctuation" category below), supposedly part of a longer phrase that none of the band members will reveal.
  • LFO is an interesting case, because there are actually two groups that go by that acronym: the boy band (which stands for Lyte Funky Ones), and the techno group (which stands for Low Frequency Oscillator).
  • GISM, a Japanese hardcore punk band. Interesting, as GISM stands for about five or six different things. All of them Gratuitous English, including Guerilla Incidiery Sabotage Mutineers.
    • Also, phonetically, with a soft G, this is a hilarious Stealth Pun. Literally Spit Taked.
  • SMAP (Sports and Music Assemble People)
  • NEWS
  • D.R.U.G.S (Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows)
  • KMFDM and the closely-related MDFMK. TOW claims that "KMFDM is an initialism for the nonsensical and grammatically incorrect German phrase "Kein Mehrheit F?ie Mitleid", which literally translates as "no majority for the pity" or "no majority for the empathy" but is typically given the loose translation of "no pity for the majority" or "no mercy for the masses.""
    • Commonly assumed to stand for "Kill Motherfucking Depeche Mode"
  • Danish industrial metal band Mnemic (pronounced NEE-mik), which stands for Mainly Neurotic Energy Modifying Instant Creation.
  • ELO (Electric Light Orchestra, which was actually a "The..." band name, being as it was a light orchestra with electrified instruments...)
  • Metallic Psytrance trio S.U.N. Project falls under the W.A.S.P. type, though they joke that for detractors it can stand for "Stupid Unrespectable Noise".
  • (The) KLF (Kallisti Liberation Front, Kopyright Liberation Front, etc... -- the band went through several names including 'The JAMs' and 'The Timelords', but this was the one they are probably best known under)
    • And even their name the JAMS was an example of this, coming from the term Justified Ancients of Mu Mu...
  • EPMD (Erick and Parrish Making Dollars)
  • A partial example, of course, is JAM Project.
  • BWO (Bodies Without Organs)
  • MC5 (Motor City Five)
  • LMFAO (Laughing My Fucking Ass Off). An electro-hip hop duo.
  • P.O.D. (Payable On Death)
  • N.E.R.D. (No-one Ever Really Dies)
    • I beg to differ.
      • "Well if not, for you, It's almost over now, almost over now...."
  • S.K.I.N. (The band still hasn't said what the letters stand for)
  • T.I.S.M. (This Is Serious Mum)
  • MFSB (Mother Father Sister Brother), a '70s funk band who took the trope still further with a hit single titled "TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia)".
  • UB 40 (the "UB" stands for "Unemployment Benefit", while the 40 refers to the number of the DHSS (DSS/DWP) form (later booklet) signed to claim benefit; the cover of their album Signing Off shows a sample form from 1980)
  • T.S.O.L. (True Sounds Of Liberty)
  • NOFX (phonetic for "no effects")
    • An alternative meaning has been offered as 'No Fucking X', referring to the way some punks would draw (or tattoo, ouch) an X on one palm to signify that they were 'straight edge', a practice which reputedly annoyed the hell out of the band.
  • Nine Inch Nails is seemingly referred to as NIN about as often as its full name, and uses the three letter version (with the second N mirrored) as its logo. Trent Reznor has pretty much stated that he picked it as a name because he liked how the initials looked.
  • O.M.D -- Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.
    • Typically appears with a ligature, e.g. "Manœuvres"
  • VAST (Visual Audio Sensory Theater)
  • OPM (Open People's Minds, also phonetic for "opium".)
  • Beastie Boys (Boys Entering Anarchistic States Towards Internal Excellence, though no one actually uses it, and technically it would make them Boys Entering Anarchistic States Towards Internal Excellence Boys.)
  • MxPx started out as Magnified Plaid, which was abbreviated to M.P. for the band's posters. However, drummer Yuri Ruley's handwriting rendered the periods as x's, so MxPx stuck.
  • S-K-O, a short-lived country band. It was first Schuyler, Knobloch and Overstreet, but that proved unwieldy so they became S-K-O. After Overstreet left, it became S-K-B when Craig Bickhardt took over.
  • MGMT—They were originally "The Management," but changed it. Perhaps they realized that their neo-psychedelic rock was more than trippy enough without having to handle the contradiction of visualizing the band in suits.
  • VNV Nation—Victory Not Vengeance
  • 'NSYNC, whose meaning is identical to the ENOZ example above.
  • XTC, a 70's and 80's new wave band from England. It doesn't actually stand for anything and is not a reference to ecstasy (well, not the drug anyway, which wasn't even known as that when they formed).
  • PIL -- Public Image Ltd.
  • CSS—Cansei de Ser Sexy, Portuguese for "tired of being sexy"
  • U.D.O. -- Udo Dirkschneider's solo band after he left Accept. The acronym has no real meaning.
  • DAF—Deutsche Amerikanische Freundschaft, which is German for "German American Friendship".
  • APB—All Points Bulletin. (They were a Scottish post-punk band.)
  • OD TAPO IMI—Oil Drums That Are Pounded Out Into Musical Instruments. (A Chicago-based steel drum band)
  • S.O.D. -- Stormtroopers Of Death
    • M.O.D. -- Method Of Destruction (Billy Milano fronts both, and clearly picked similar initials to his earlier band on purpose)
  • T.K.O.
  • KMD, which (depending on the image they wish to project, at the moment) might stand for "positive Kause in a Much-Damaged society," or "Kausing Much Damage"
  • L.E.O. - It doesn't officially stand for anything, but it's meant as a Shout-Out to ELO.
  • REO Speedwagon, named for an early pickup truck-type vehicle, made by the REO Motor Car Company.
    • REO Speedealer, whose name parodied the above band... until REO Speedwagon themselves forced them to drop the "REO" part.
  • SDFDM—Shoveling Driveways For Drug Money
  • M.D.C. - standing variously for Millions Of Dead Cops, Millions of Damn Christians, Multi-Death Corporations, etc
  • D.A.F. - Deutsch Amerikansiche Freundschaft (which is German for "German American Friendship").
  • LOFT—Live Our Fathers' Teaching, allegedly
  • WULYF - It's pronounced "woo life", but also stands for "World Unite Lucifer Youth Foundation".
  • Run DMC - Darryl Mc Daniels, or if you go by their lyrics, Devastating Mike Control.
  • Charged GBH, who later shortened their name to just GBH - in both cases it stood for "Grievous Bodily Harm".
  • VCMG: Also kind of a stealthy "listing member names" example, because they're a duo consisting of Vince Clarke and Martin Gore.
  • D.I. (Dog Intercourse, supposedly)
  • GPKISM -(GPK being the lead singer Gothique Prince Ken)

Punctuation Band Names

This is a really new variety,[please verify] which only really appeared in the last decade[when?] and hasn't really been parodied in fiction. Yet. Bands like this are kind of hard to write about because they make sentences look very awkwardly punctuated, especially to those who have never heard of the band in question, and are even more difficult to pronounce. See also Lucky Charms Title.


Real Life

  • ? and the Mysterians of the 1960's is both a Punctuation Band and an "X and The Y's" band. It may be the very first Punctuation Band.
  • The Krautrock band Neu! (meaning New!)
  • Bomb The Music Industry!
  • Slavic Soul Party!
  • Panic! At The Disco (The ! was dropped after the release of their first album and returned after the band split.)
  • Against Me!
  • The Academy Is...
  • Therapy? - The question mark initially got into their band name when member Andy Cairns misaligned their name while designing cover art, then used the punctuation to try and cover this up.
  • !.T.O.O.H.!. (yep them again)
  • !!!, pronounced chk-chk-chk) [3]
  • ¡Forward, Russia! -- Confusing Spain with Russia since 2004.
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Originally named "Godspeed You Black Emperor!", they changed the location of the exclamation point to reflect the original placement in the title of the Japanese biker gang movie from which they took their name.
  • For odd punctuation bands, Robert Schneider's band credits themselves alternately as "The Apples in stereo" and "The Apples (In Stereo)".
  • ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead (though they usually go by just "Trail of Dead")
  • And And! And from The Commitments.
  • WWE wrestler Jeff Hardy, in his spare time, fronts a band called Peroxwhy?gen.
  • Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. Both a band name, and sound advice for any wannabe superhero. Supposedly taken from a walkthrough for one of the Batman games for the ZX Spectrum in a computer mag.
  • Does It Offend You, Yeah?
  • moe.
  • The Go! Team
    • The exclamation point in this case was probably required because there had already been a band called The Go Team, sans punctuation.
  • Gravy Train!!!!
    • Another case where the punctuation marginally reduced confusion with another band, Gravy Train.
  • Sunn O)))
    • This one's a bit more complicated: the band were fans of amplifiers made by a company called Sunn. The logo for the company is an image of a circle with waves radiating from it to indicate the "sun" of the name. The band decided to adopt both elements as their name and logo (which the company agreed to). The name of the band is similarly pronounced "Sunn" and the "O)))" of their name is merely a typographical representation of the logo.
    • It's also a play on the fact that they began as a tribute band to another band named Earth.
  • Wham!
  • Hear'Say
  • Go!Go!7188
  • Los Campesinos!
  • Delirious? has always been Delirious? since they started releasing CDs, but the album art for King of Fools had an illustration of their name with a 5 in place of the s, so the band name has sometimes been erroneously spelled "Deliriou5".
  • Brazilian rock band Ira! (while the word exists in Portuguese, meaning "anger", "fury", the members have chosen it for being the acronym for the Irish Republican Army, so it's just a half-case of acronym name)
  • 3OH!3
  • On! Air! Library! (Possibly also the only instance of Punctuated! For! Emphasis! in band name form)
  • The World/Inferno Friendship Society
  • Attack! Attack!
    • Not to be confused with Attack Attack!, a completely different band.
  • Dot Dot Curve :)
  • Alecia Moore traditionally puts her stage name on albums and such as 'P!nk', not 'Pink'.
  • Hadouken!
  • Shirobon! (The Chiptune band, not the character from Bomberman)
  • (+44)
  • scarling. (sometimes spelled in lowercase with a full stop, sometimes not)
  • Sixx: A.M. (also a combination of band members' names)
  • Captured! By Robots
  • Hed PE (commonly (həd) p.e.)
  • Catfight!
  • Portugal. The Man
  • :( (often referred to as "ColonOpenBracket")
  • fun. (Yes, the lowercase "f" is intentional.)
  • Ke$ha (pronounced keh-sha. Occasionally jokingly pronounced by her as 'key-dollar-sign-ha such as in her video for "Blow".)
  • Was (Not Was)
  • Oh No! Oh My!
  • xoxo, Panda.
  • P!ano
  • ¡Rafaga!
  • Eagle* Seagull
  • Right Away, Great Captain!
  • Tony! Toni! Toné!
  • Al B. Sure!
  • Mike + The Mechanics (official name of Mike and The Mechanics; see X and the Ys above), also known as Mike + The Mechanics + Paul Carrack
  • You Say Party! We Say Die! (Recently changed their name to You Say Party)
  • And And! And (The first proposed name for what would eventually be The Commitments)
  • Oomph!
  • Not a band, but the singer P!nk is an example.
    • Also not a band, but the entire genre of Oi!
  • Queen + Paul Rodgers (though, technically done to maintain that the partnership was a collaboration, not Paul Rodgers becoming a band member of Queen.)
    • Also, "Queen+" became the default moniker for many of their recent collaborations and remixes (including "Queen + John Farnharm" and "Queen + Vanguard"). Their third Greatest Hits album was even titled "Queen+ Greatest Hits III" because it featured many duets and solo tracks in addition to strictly-Queen songs.
  • Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! (Also a Shout-Out to The Goonies, of course)

Grossout/Blasphemy Names

What's the most offensive or controversial word you can think of? Well, it would make a great name for a metal band. It's usually quite extreme (often Scandanavian) metal bands that adopt Intentionally Awkward Titles like Corpse Raper or something that involves violence, death or sexual taboos. However, whether or not these names are selected for shock value or convention is up in the air. It's very common for death metal, black metal and grindcore bands to have "offensive" titles, but fans of those genres are used to or even expect those sorts of names, and so if there is any intended shock value, it's usually lost anyways. Bands from fiction often have names like this, especially if they are formed by teenagers, and the ridiculous name is an indication of the poor quality of their music.

Live-Action TV

Tabletop Games

  • Parodied in the White Wolf Game Studio supplements ReignofEvil.com and Revelations of the Dark Mother. The former (a satire of the Scandinavian Black Metal scene - with Satanic supervillians!) featured mock album reviews of bands called Painsqualler, Buttcannon, Flesh Blanket (a German band) and Shaken Baby Syndrome. The SBS reference ties back to the earlier Revelations; in that book, the Lilith-cultist poet Patricia de la Forge had gained fame as the founder of Shaken Baby Syndrome. ("Patricia de la Forge," incidentally, sounds and reads like a satiric reference to Punk poet Patti Smith.)

Web Comics

Real Life

  • The Fuck Fucks
  • Fucked Up - who are a post-hardcore/punk band... from Canada. They won the Polaris Music Prize in 2009, so even conservative Canadian music fans have heard of them.
  • The Fucking Champs
    • The "Fucking" was added after it was discovered that there was another band named "The Champs"
    • The band Trans Am did two collaborative EPs with The Fucking Champs - The first release was credited to Trans Champs, but the second was credited to Fucking Am.
  • Fuck (who are actually a not-particularly-aggressive indie-rock band)
  • Anal Cunt
    • Similarly, Anal Vomit, Anal Blast, and Anal Whore
  • Prostitute Disfigurement
  • Decapitated
  • Morbid Angel
  • Gorguts
  • Heaven Shall Burn
  • Goatwhore
  • Dismember
  • Gorathory
  • Trigger The Bloodshed
  • God Dethroned
  • Entombed
  • Rotting Christ
  • Alibi For A Murder
  • All Shall Perish
  • Gorefest
  • Beneath The Massacre
  • Cankered Corpse
  • Feast Of Corpses
  • Winds Of Plague
  • Suffocation
  • The Crucifucks: (a.k.a. "Scribbles") When your opening bands consist of mostly high school kids at all ages shows, you need a back-up name for the fliers. After getting signed to Alternative Tentacles, The Crucifucks were the opening act.
  • Toronto band Holy Fuck
  • Cannibal Corpse
  • Dying Fetus
  • Kinki Kids (Unintentionally in this case, as Kinki refers to the area of Japan both members come from; good luck explaining that after you've said the name out loud though)
  • Cattle Decapitation
  • Dayglo Abortions (also sort of a Line-of-Sight Name - they claim that they decided to just take whatever the front page headline on the local newspaper was about that day and put "Dayglo" in front of it).
  • Judas Priest are probably the Trope Maker here. (Although the initial inspiration for the name was a Bob Dylan song, The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest)
    • Judas Priest were preceded by the even more blasphemous Black Sabbath.
  • Carcass
  • Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel (Yes, really.)
    • They (or actually he) have gone through such variations as You've Got Foetus On Your Breath and Foetus All Nude Revue, before finally just simplifying it to Foetus.
  • Probably apocryphal: apparently at some point there was a Japanese noisepunk band called the Goddamn Motherfuck Shitass Bitches.
  • Bodycount, not so big a shocker as a name (for a 90's band), got more notoriety from their song "Cop killer".
  • Shitty Shitty Band Band, a San Francisco band
  • Shirley Temple's Pussy (Due to Executive Meddling, they changed it to Stone Temple Pilots)
  • Circle of Dead Children
  • Septic Flesh (now known as Speticflesh)
  • Impaled Nazarene
  • Hacksaw to the Throat (Misleading, actually a prog death band, not grindcore.)
  • Semen Across Lips (again, misleading. an experimental Death/Black metal band, with some beautiful moments.)
  • Disembowelment
  • Dissection
  • Autopsy
  • Internal Suffering (Not to be confused with Eternal Suffering, which is also a band)
  • Hate Eternal
  • Deicide
  • Vital Remains
  • The Archbishop's Enema Fetish
  • Screaming Headless Torsos
  • The Lubricunts, a little-known band that contained two of the members of the slightly-better known band Overkill. If you only say it out loud, it could be a Double Entendre as well.
  • Children of Bodom sounds alright, until one discovers that it refers to several teenagers who were killed in a (still unsolved) triple murder many years previous, near Finland's Lake Bodom.
  • SHITDISCO, a harmless dance-punk band
  • Revolting Cocks, an Industrial rock band. They're occasionally credited as the less offensive Revco. The name is also a case of Appropriated Appellation: The members got kicked out of a bar for starting a brawl the very day they formed the band, and the bartender had called them "a bunch of revolting cocks".
  • Johnny Tampon and the Toxic Shocks. Also counts as an X and the Y name.
  • Vomit Remnants
  • Starfucker, an electronic band
  • Dogs Die in Hot Cars, a Britpop band
  • Puscifer, originally a fictional band played by the members of Tool in a Mr. Show skit, has since become an actual band fronted by Maynard James Keenan
  • Not too shocking is Arab Strap.
  • The Butthole Surfers (which is actually fairly tame in comparison to one of their earlier names, The Inalienable Right To Eat Fred Astaire's Asshole)
  • Fuck Buttons, who temper their noisy screaming with dreamy atmosphere.
  • Lubricated Goat, Australian '80s noise rock band
  • "We should start a band called Ass Ass."
    • There is a musician who goes by the name Ass
    • At one point, Steve Severin of Siouxie & The Banshees and the noted comic-book author Grant Morrison reportedly had a musical side-project together. The outfit was called Ass2Ass.
  • Eyehategod
  • Throbbing Gristle
  • Caustic Christ, Piss Christ, Econochrist, Christ On A Crutch... crust punk certainly loves this.
  • Religious as Fuck
  • Man Is The Bastard
  • Fuck Yeah!
  • Vaginal Croutons
  • Twodeadsluts Onegoodfuck
  • Deliberately averted by Kittie, a Canadian heavy metal band who wanted a sweet and innocent title as a contrast.
  • Shitmat (a not particularly aggressive breakcore artist, though since it's breakcore we're talking about)
  • Dead Kennedys, the 80's thrash punk band. Though leader Jello Biafra once claimed it wasn't meant as an insult.
    • The Dead Kennedys played a concert on the 20th anniversary of JFK’s death, prompting a reporter to ask Jello if he considered this in bad taste. Jello replied that he thought that the assassination wasn’t in very good taste.
    • Jello Biafra once suggested that "Six Million Jews" (referring to the Holocaust and the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis) would make a good name for a band. He even suggested that their first album be entitled "Lest We Forget".
      • Jello has quite a long list of great band names, check out his spoken word album "No More Cocoons" for ideas like "Generic Youth" and "Al Sharpton's Hair".
  • Jo-Jo and the Hundred Screaming Niggers, a Blues/ Soul band referred to in a 1980s essay by author Harlan Ellison. It's not gory or blasphemous, but it's certainly offensive enough to remain memorable!
  • Placental Armageddon, self-described as "Hardcore a cappella metal music from Topeka, Kansas".
  • Angelspit
  • The Birthday Massacre
  • Fuckemos got their name after the lead singer was kicked out of the Austin, TX club Emo's. When the band soon became popular they played several shows at Emo's and were a favorite on the Emo's jukebox.
  • Satanic Rites
  • Satan
  • Satan's Almighty Penis
  • Abscess
  • Urine Festival
  • Anus Brigade
  • Lord Gore
  • Intense Hammer Rage (string the last two words together.)
  • Impetigo
  • Nunslaughter
  • Jon Benet Ramsey
  • Meat Shits
  • Torsofuck
  • Grotesque Hysterectomy
  • Gorgasm
  • Necrophiliac
  • Sexual Organs Discharging Fluids
  • Grinded Nig
  • Vaginal Blood Fart
  • Machine Gun Fellatio
  • You Slut!
  • Butt Trumpet (Long before A Very Potter Sequel, it should be noted)
  • Bastard, the band we now know as Motorhead
  • Ogre You Asshole, a Japanese rock band, although they're indirectly named after a Revenge of the Nerds quote.
  • Bitch Magnet, one of the precursors to Post Rock
  • Assück
  • Scrotum Grinder
  • Cock and Ball Torture
  • Rapeman, a Steve Albini project who were actually named after a manga character. The name did in fact stir up a lot of controversy.
  • Star Fucking Hipsters
  • Necronomichrist (one member of this blackened death metal band remarked that they deliberately chose the most evil-sounding name they could think of)
  • The Child Molesters
  • The Pieces Of Shit, who are David Byrne and Will Oldham collaborating on songs for the film This Must Be The Place.
  • The recently popular Five Finger Death Punch.

Double Entendre Names

One step in vulgarity below the "Grossout/Blasphemy Names" above.

Real Life

  • CunninLynguists.
  • Steely Dan, named after a dildo in William Burroughs' Naked Lunch
  • In the same "raunchy if you only get the reference" manner Steely Dan got their name, Thin White Rope is an ejaculation reference also coined by Burroughs.
    • And, on that note, legendarily both Lovin' Spoonful and 10cc are both references to the amount in the average ejaculation. However, in fact "Lovin' Spoonful" is a reference to a Mississippi John Hurt song, "Coffee Blues", while "10cc" was bestowed on the band by impresario Jonathan King after it came to him in a dream.
  • Test Icicles
  • Sex Pistols
  • Morningwood
  • Tool, encouraged by a common logo featuring a wrench shaped to suggest a penis and testicles.
  • The Well Hungarians. No, really.
  • The Gerogerigegege. It is an onomatopoeia for the sound one allegedly makes when vomiting and shitting at the same time.
  • Squirrel Nut Zippers combines this with Wacky Word Combos, if you think about it.
    • Except that they're actually named after a candy.
  • With Fanny, it happened by accident; they were American, and didn't realize the connotations of that word in the UK, especially given that they were an all-female band. (The story that they were set up for this by a mischievous recommendation from George Harrison is apparently apocryphal). They were apparently more popular in the UK than the States, in any case...
  • Scissor Sisters
  • Pearl Jam - A euphemism for semen. There are a few alternate interpretations, most famously a story Eddie Vedder used to tell about his Auntie Pearl who made great jam, but sometime in the late 90s they basically gave up any pretence.
  • Jackofficers, a short-lived side project of the above-mentioned Butthole Surfers.
  • Pist-On (sometimes stylized as Pist*On, Pist.On, PistOn, or even the much more subtle Piston). To go with the name, they called their debut Number One.

Band Names With Numbers

These come in three varieties: The band name that has a number describing a certain quantity; and the band that just sticks a number on the end for no apparent reason. A lot of these bands just stick the numbers on because another band already had their original name and threatened to sue, e.g. Blink 182, who stuck the number on because there was a dance band called Blink. The band names that count their members represent a third type.

A sub-genre of this is the band name that is only a set of numbers, like 911 or 311. There were a lot of number bands in the 1990s, but the fad seems to have ended quickly, probably because people realised that words were infinitely more memorable, and the internet allows you to check if someone already has the band name you want already.

Another subvariety is names in the form "(The) Number Nouns". Unlike the number-only name, this is not a fad but a naming style that has lasted decades, including such groups as The Four Tops, The Three Tenors, The Four Seasons, Six Hits and a Miss and 10,000 Maniacs.


  • The One-ders from That Thing You Do!. The fact that spelling out the number caused confusion as to the pronunciation of the name was a Running Gag. "It's the O-NEEDERS!"

Video Games

  • The Runaway Five from EarthBound. There appears to be six of them.

Real Life

  • Onerepublic—yeah, it's spelled out, and mashed into one word, but it's there.
  • The Matt Kurz One (instead of just "Matt Kurz")
  • Plus One might be an interesting side note, at least—at one point, two of them left, so Plus One was minus two.
  • 2 Unlimited
  • U2 (named after a plane)
  • 3 (Keith Emerson, Robert Berry and Carl Palmer)
  • 3 Daft Monkeys
  • Three Days Grace's name was meant to invoke a sense of urgency.
  • Three Dog Night, supposedly named after a practice in Austrailia where the indiginous people would sleep in holes with dingos. On cold nights they'd use 2 dingos. On very cold nights they'd use 3.
  • Three Doors Down
    • Apparently, they got the name when they saw a sign with some of the letters blown off that said "Doors Down" and stuck a number on the front just because they could.
  • 3 Inches Of Blood
  • Three Men and a Tenor
  • 3OH!3 (yep, another multi-category one)
  • Alabama 3 (A British band with about 9 full-time members)
  • The Dirty Three
  • The Juliana Hatfield Three
  • Secret Chiefs 3. There were three members at first, but by now they vary in number, with Trey Spruance being the only real constant.
  • Timbuk3
  • Four Year Strong
  • Unit Four Plus Two
  • The Monkees episode Find the Monkees! introduced a competing band called "The Four Agents". Oddly enough, there were only three band members.
  • 5ive
  • The's - also a "The" band. Probably most famous for their appearance in Kill Bill.
  • 5 Chinese Brothers. Not a quintet, not Chinese, and not brothers. They named themselves after a storybook.
  • Five Finger Death Punch
  • Five for Fighting (one guy; the number refers to a penalty in hockey)
  • Five Iron Frenzy (not a number title, but a golf reference).
  • Ben Folds Five (three members)
  • The Click Five
  • The Dave Clark Five
  • The Count Five
  • Fab Five Freddy
  • Family Force Five
  • The Jackson 5 (Jackson brothers, five of them most of the time)
  • Jump Five
  • Jurassic 5
  • Maroon 5
    • Word of God says the name came from a blood pact the members supposedly did. Maroon, the color of blood and 5 the number of members in the band.
  • The Minus Five
  • Pizzicato Five (2 to 3 members plus studio band)
  • 6ix
  • Electric Six, featuring six members.
  • Eve 6
  • V6
  • 7 Mary 3
  • 7 Seconds
  • Avenged Sevenfold
  • L7, named after the square shape that forms when you make an "L" with your left thumb and forefinger and a "7" with your right thumb and forefinger and touch them together. The gag being that, if you have to ask what "L7" stands for, then you're probably a square!
  • Zero 7
  • S Club 7, so named because there were originally 7 members. Once Paul Cattermole left, the "7" was dropped. (Oddly enough, in their various TV shows, they tended to add a "The" in front of their name, but it didn't otherwise appear.)
    • Their Spin-Off successors, the even younger S Club Juniors, went the opposite route and renamed themselves S Club 8 when they'd grown up a bit and the original act split. Two members are now in "The-band" girl group The Saturdays.
  • Nine Inch Nails, though the nine is always spelled out.
  • 10cc—the name is thought to refer to the amount of sperm in a human ejaculate, but it actually came to one of the members in a dream.
  • 10 Masked Men
  • 10 Years
  • Ten Years After
  • Finger Eleven
  • Twelfth Night
  • 16 Horsepower
  • Matchbox Twenty
  • Catch 22
  • 30 Seconds to Mars
  • 36 Crazyfists
  • .38 Special
  • Crush 40 (The makers of many of the Rock Songs in the 3D Sonic games including Open Your Heart and E.G.G.M.A.N)
  • UB40—named after a unemployment benefit form.
  • Sum 41 lampshaded this in one of their videos, in they pretended that Executive Meddling led to their band changing their name because "numbers are out, and "The" bands are in".
  • Level 42—a reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
  • (+44)--which makes them a "Punctuation Band Name" as well.
  • The B-52's - named after a hairdo that resembles the nose of an airplane. Renamed The B-52s for proper grammar.
    • Indirectly. They were named after a hairdo, which in turn was named for its supposed resemblance to the nose of the aircraft.
  • 54-40 (a band from BC, named after US President James Polk's slogan, "Fifty four forty or fight").
  • Starflyer 59
  • 65daysofstatic
  • Eiffel 65
  • The 69 Eyes
  • SR-71 (named after a plane)
  • The '80s Matchbox B-Line Disaster
  • M83
  • Project 86 (the number is slang for "rejected," most often used on drunks being turned away at a bar.
  • 88 Fingers Louie
  • Current 93. The name is actually a reference to the works of Aleister Crowley.
  • The Old 97's (although that is a reference to a folk song)
  • 100 Demons
  • Two unrelated English Apollos - Apollo 100 and Apollo 440
  • Blink-182
  • 311 (their name is derived from Omaha police code for indecent exposure [a friend of the band's was arrested for skinny dipping]. It is not related to the Ku Klux Klan [K is the eleventh letter of the alphabet, 3K, get it?], as once rumored)
  • BR-549, a country band named after Junior Samples' silly phone number in Hee Haw.
  • Could also go in Grossout/Blasphemy, but Australian band Destroyer 666.
  • 808 State
  • The Dancing French Liberals of 1848
  • Death From Above 1979 - The "1979" was used to distinguish from Death From Above Records.
  • 1990's
  • 1997.
  • 5000 Volts
  • Powerman 5000
  • 10,000 Maniacs (name inspired by Herschell Gordon Lewis' '60s splatter film Two Thousand Maniacs!)
  • 35007 ("Loose" upside down)
  • Tape Five

Wacky Word Combos (aka Word Salad Band Names)

It may have a meaning or origin to the band, but to the uninitiated it just looks like they threw a few words together. This may leave fans stuck with a lot of explaining to do every time someone asks how a band like Cobra Starship got a name like that, or it may just be a couple of words that sound cool together. A lot of fictional bands have names like this too, again, in order to make fun of them.

Newspaper humor columnist Dave Barry certainly popularized this way of naming a band, with a recurring joke in his column, saying "that would be a good name for a rock band" after any particularly odd string of words.

Wacky Word Combos UNSORTED Examples

  • The Riff Trax of Jurassic Park has Embryo Cold Storage and Filthy Muppet Innuendo.
    • Actually this is a running joke throughout Rifftrax in general, such as "Narcoleptic Hobbit" (The Two Towers) and "Blatant Lorax Theft" (Avatar).
  • Three-Arm Sally, John's band from John Dies at the End.
  • Terminal Margaret, Vince's Punk band from The Mighty Boosh.
  • Fermented Banana from the Web Comic Wapsi Square, named after an unfortunate mishap by one of the characters.
  • Oblivion Folder, from Dominic Deegan—the band put together by musical legend Donovan Deegan, which consisted of his son, the equally talented Greg, an Orc shaman, and a necromantic golem with a penchant for bad humor. Played a very successful benefit concert, but was never heard from again after that. Some assumed the band name to be a reference to a weird planar anomaly or something, but it was actually a bookkeeper friend's term for a perpetually misplaced file (a folder that keeps vanishing into oblivion).
  • Mocked in the Reduced Shakespeare Company's "The Bible: The Complete Word of God. Abridged." Where, while talking about the Exodus, this line was quoted. "And the Lord God cursed the wicked serpent to henceforth crawl about on its belly. Presumable, the wicked serpent had legs prior to that; indicating that it was more of a wicked lizard. And the Lord God thought to himself that Wicked Lizard would be a good name for a Heavy Metal Band."
    • Possible reference to Noise Rock band The Jesus Lizard, which is actually named after a type of lizard.
  • Mocked a few times in Kingdom of Loathing:
    • "The mariachis begin to play a sinister song. As the song's tempo increases, a rumbling begins, deep beneath the ground. As the mariachis reach a dire crescendo (Hey, have you heard my new band, Dire Crescendo?) the gate behind the statues slowly grinds open, revealing the way to the Sorceress' courtyard."
    • "<Familiar name> claws your opponent with his pan-dimensional claws and bites him with his astral teeth for <number> damage. Ladies and gentlemen, coming to the stage right now: ASTRAL TEETH!"
    • "This is a dewinged stab-bat. Have you heard my new band, the Dewinged Stab-Bats?"
    • "This is a partially rewinged dewinged stab bat. Have you heard my new band, the Partially Rewinged Dewinged Stab Bats?"
    • "This is a fully rewinged dewinged stab bat. Have you heard my new band, The Joke That Got Repeated Until It Wasn't Funny Anymore?"
    • "It kicks you with a multitude of phalanges. A Multitude of Phalanges was, by the way, my favorite 80's band."
  • One round in I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue involves the contestants having to say words that aren't related, with the opposing team challenging if they see a connection. A Running Gag has Barry Cryer challenging on ridiculous word-combos, insisting it was the name of a band in the sixties.
    • "Sharabang Sperm? Sixties rock band."
    • In one episode, Graeme Garden challenged the word combination "Lopsided Beret", claiming it was the name of an old blues singer.
  • Hard Core Logo.
  • The webmaster of The Jungle has made observations that certain units/rules in the Warhammer40000 rulebooks sound like they ought to be the name of a band. Explosion of Filth is one notable example.
  • Not sure if it counts, but Cartoon Network did this once in a set of station ID ads, using "popcorn fairy" from an episode of Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy, "Yutz Wagon" from an episode of Johnny Bravo, and "Hideous Rotten Teeth" from an episode of Powerpuff Girls.
  • Mystik Spiral, Trent's band in Daria. (In one episode, however, they briefly considered changing it to "Helpful Corn". Not to mention the time Trent had some phone messages written on one hand and, on the other, "Change nme of Mystik Spiral to 'Something Something Explosion'.)
  • Rock Band has created a virtual cottage industry of such names with its random name generator.
  • Gossamer Axe from the eponymous novel. (Also a Hard Word Soft Word name -- see below.) References the transformation of one character from a sentient elvish harp into an electric guitar.
  • The Ricky Gervais Show once ran contest to find the most hardcore name for a band. After discussing a few alternatives (Blump, God Dildo, Brain Hammer, etc.) they decided on the name Dethlehem, a metal band who only perform at Christmas
  • An episode of Mr. Show centered around a metal band named Wicked Sceptre, with the obvious double entendre.
  • Dirt Spigot, another fictional band to which Drive Shaft was compared on Lost.
  • In Histeria!, Toast decides to name his band Nasty Head Wound after Daniel Boone suffers one.
  • Suicide for Hire uses these a lot. Band names the characters and/or author have come up with include "The Pro-Life Murderers", "Moose Philosophy", and "Suicide Jesus and the Abominachos".
  • Sonic Death Monkey, Barry's band from the film High Fidelity. Although they never actually perform under that name, opting instead for an X & the Y's format: Barry Jive and the Uptown Five.
    • Don't forget Kathleen Turner Overdrive.
  • Creepy Clown Head Funeral from Zits got its name from an incident ending with Jeremy getting ticketed for "transporting an unsecured giant clown head during the disruption of a funeral procession".
  • White Brains On Toast
  • Last one: The Flailing Hairnets, as seen on this Wikipedia policy page. Go ahead, check it out.
  • On 4/7/2010 The Daily Show covered reports of recent scandals with the Republican National Conference. After a CNN clip regarding the RNC's "Lesbian Bondage Fiasco", Jon Stewart answered, "If 'Lesbian Bondage Fiasco' isn't the name of an hard-edged indy band by tomorrow, I'll be very disappointed."
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures: Clyde mentions that Pantheon of Discord would be a good name for a band. The Doctor wholeheartedly agrees.
  • Referenced in this Xkcd strip.
  • Yum Yum, Sugary Snacks a werewolf band from the Lonely Werewolf Girl novels.
  • Sex Factory from Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Mike Nelson's band before he was shot into space)
  • The Mortal Instruments made it a running gag with Simon's band. The name of the band changed every week, the weirdest example being "Champagne Enima".
    • Currently they're "Millenium Lint."
  • Engadget gets into the act with this headline "Blood turbine to power your pacemaker, become legendary band name".

Real Life

  • Screeching Weasel
  • Shadows Fall
  • Porcupine Tree
  • Head Automatica
  • Dashboard Confessional
  • Sex Pistols
  • Cold Cave
  • If just one word will work, Sigh. Then again, they're Japanese post-black/avantgarde metal.
  • Dir en grey ("dir" = "you" in German, "en" = "in" in French)
    • I thought "Dir en grey" meant "The Grey Coin"?
    • "Dir" is a German word for "you" that indicates "you" being an indirect object. For example, "Das habe ich DIR gegeben" means "I gave that TO YOU." Consequently, the band's name is probably best translated as "To you in grey." Any way you read it, the use of the dative "dir" makes the exact meaning of the name a bit ambiguous.
  • The Smashing Pumpkins; also doubles as a "The" band
  • Band of Horses
  • At the Drive-In
  • Animal Collective
  • Umphrey's McGee (There is no one named Umphrey or McGee in the band)
  • A personal favorite is Motion City Soundtrack, because Wal-Mart actually puts their CDs in the soundtrack section because they misunderstand the label.
  • Thanks to the influence of Gratuitous English, quite a few Japanese bands have names of this sort, such as Plus-Tech Squeeze Box, Naivepop or Petitfool, Go! Go! 7188, Asian Kung-Fu Generation, Maximum the Hormone, Thee Michelle Gun Elephant, Shonen Knife... you get the idea.
  • Bowling for Soup
  • Mussolini Headkick
  • Archers of Loaf
  • Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band
  • Gnarls Barkley (a pun on basketball player Charles Barkley, but invented on a whim)
  • The aforementioned Cobra Starship
  • Vertical Horizon
  • The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster
  • Neutral Milk Hotel
    • Jeff Mangum claims there's a deep, long story behind it but he doesn't want to tell anyone due to its personal nature. Actually, the Elephant 6 Collective (which Neutral Milk Hotel is part of) is full of these. There's also the Olivia Tremor Control, Marshmallow Coast, Elf Power, the Apples In Stereo, and Pipes You See, Pipes You Don't. Actually, it's more normal for an Elephant 6 band to have a weird name like this than for them to have a typical-sounding name. Weird names to go along with their weird music, I suppose.
  • Ms John Soda
  • Jefferson Airplane (They later became Jefferson Starship, then still later shortened the band name to Starship)
  • Stone Temple Pilots
  • Scary Kids Scaring Kids.
  • Alice in Chains
  • Better than Ezra
  • Wolves in the Throne Room
  • A Japanese band, "King Fucker Chicken"
  • The World/Inferno Friendship Society (again)
  • Blind Melon (though this is also a play on the name of blues musician Blind Lemon). They could also be named after the Cheech and Chong sketch, "Blind Melon Chitlin".
  • Wacky word titles are very common in alt/indie rock; of the top of my head, there's The Architecture in Helsinki, British Sea Power, We Are Scientists, Arctic Monkeys, Arcade Fire, Jimmy Eat World, Manic Street Preachers, Cats and Cats and Cats, Enter Shikari (bordering on made-up words—Shikari is "Hunter" in Sanskrit), Snow Patrol, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Lightspeed Champion, System of a Down, Coldplay and Radiohead. An extreme example: there's a polish indie-rock band Kombajn Do Zbierania Kur Po Wioskach, which translates as Village Hen Harvester. There is also Poland's Might Cavalry, which is a local band to Greeley, Colorado.
    • One better: There was a Norwegian punk band called "Morten Jørgensen og Spekkhoggerne som fulgte etter danskebåten uten å røre spyet som rant fra ripa", which translates to "Morten Jørgensen [the lead singer] and the killer whales who followed the Denmark ferry without touching the vomit running from the railing".
    • System of a Down's name comes from a poem that one of them wrote called "Victims of the Down" (which makes about as much sense).
  • Lady Antebellum. The members chose "antebellum" after they posed in Civil War era clothing as a joke, and then added the "lady" to make it more obvious that they had a female leader.
  • Tsunami Bomb
  • Eat Static
  • Job for a Cowboy
  • We Were Gentlemen
  • Dog Fashion Disco
  • Melt Banana
  • Alkaline Trio
  • Taking Back Sunday
  • The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
    • They came up with that name by literally picking words at random.
  • The Master Musicians of Bukkake
  • Dirty Projectors
  • Howling Bells
  • Red Sparowes (Don't correct the spelling, that really is how it's written)
  • The Twilight Sad
  • Strawberry Alarm Clock
  • Deep Blue Something – the literal response a band member gave when asked to suggest a name.
  • Streetlight Manifesto
  • The Flaming Tsunamis
  • Boom Boom Satellites
  • A rather common occurrence on the xkcd IRC channel.
    • They actually have a bot set to do this every time someone posts a three word phrase.
  • August Burns Red. The name comes from an incident where their former vocalist's ex-girlfriend (August) killed his dog (Redd) by burning it alive. The next day the newspaper ran an article with the title "August Burns Red".
  • Pearl Jam (no, it's not inspired by semen.)
  • (A) New Found Glory (the "A" was eventually removed.)
  • Asleep at the Wheel ("Country/Western Swing" band that's been performing since 1970)
  • The Apples in Stereo (also counts as a "The.." name)
  • The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo (see above).
  • Tokio Hotel. 'Tokio' (German spelling of Tokyo) comes from their fascination with the city and dreams of performing there one day, and the 'Hotel' part comes from their constant touring and staying in hotels.
  • Angelspit- the name comes from the title of a Sonic Youth song ("Orange Rolls, Angel's Spit) which they turned into a portmanteau word.
  • Dream Theater
    • And, before Derek Sherinian left the band, they would exchange instruments for a cover of Deep Purple's "Perfect Strangers" and become Nightmare Cinema, the exact opposite name.
    • Not to mention, the spinoff band Liquid Tension Experiment.
  • The Young Veins is one, also a 'The' band name. But then again, one of the members was originally from a band called Panic! At the Disco, so yeah.
  • Hot Chip
  • Moosebutter.
  • Goat Punishment - although they weren't quite a real band, just the pseudonym Weezer used to perform under when they wanted to play at smaller venues without the tickets quickly selling out.
  • Shudder To Think. One story goes that the name came about because a member had made an off-hand comment along the lines of "I shudder to think we'd just be another pop band".
  • Dinosaur Jr., although they were originally simply Dinosaur; the "Jr." had to be added due to a lawsuit by a band called The Dinosaurs.
  • Neon Trees. They named themselves after the lighted trees commonly seen outside In N Out Burger franchises.
  • The Birthday Massacre (them again)
  • Believable Picnic
  • Geggy Tah. The two founding members were named Greg and Tommy, and both had younger sisters who weren't initially able to pronounce their names right (thus "Geggy" and "Tah"). They later found out that they unintentionally picked a name that's Scottish for "Mouth Thanks", which could also be loosely interpreted as "Shut Up, Thanks".
  • No love for Wall of Voodoo??
  • The Electric Prunes
  • The Bubble Puppy (nonsensical band names were pretty common in 60's psychedelic rock, apparently - see also the already mentioned Electric Prunes and Strawberry Alarm Clock).
  • Soul Coughing: apparently it came from a poem Mike Doughty had written, where it was used to mean "vomiting". He decided that the poem itself was bad, but he did like that particular turn of phrase.
  • Jimmy Eat World. It comes from an incident from when Tom Linton was young and his brothers Jim and Ed had a fight - Jim won, but Ed sought revenge with a crayon drawing depicting Jim shoving the earth in his mouth, with the caption "Jimmy eat world".
  • Loose Fur, a Wilco / Jim O'Rourke side project. They originally wanted to be called Lucifer, but there were already numerous groups using that name, so they went for an obtuse pun on it instead.

Wacky Word/Referential Bands

These sorts of band names are often real words within some context, e.g. science fiction characters, anagrams, or obscure foreign terms. But to most, they just look like weird, made-up words.

Wacky Word/Referential Bands UNSORTED Examples

  • My So-Called Life had Frozen Embryo.
  • We're Certainly Dwarfs from Soul Music, a parody of They Might Be Giants. The band formerly known as The Whom etc. eventually performs under the name And Supporting Bands.
  • Most of the nonsense phrases Dave Barry said "would make a good name for a rock band" (which tended not to be so nonsensical when viewed in context).
    • The Federal Duck in particular is a truncation of the real-world "Federal Duck Stamp Program."
  • Dingoes Ate My Baby, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Everybody put your hands together for... HEDGECLIPPER! Opening tonight at xkcd!
  • Glamdring the Foehammer ("it's from The Lord of the Rings, man"), who perform at an Isle of Wight Festival knockoff in the Doctor Who Past Doctor Adventures novel The Devil Goblins From Neptune (which is also a good name for a band...)
  • Homestar Runner had "Sloshy".
    • Whose logo was their name, lowercase, upside-down, and with a red "o": ʎɥsoןs
    • Not to mention "Did that dude just say she likes cloth?" "She Likes Cloth... that's a good band name."
    • And, (how could we forget), the sbemail band names.
  • Cthia (a Vulcan word for "truth") in Undocumented Features
  • Geronimo Jackson from Lost may have been named after Clyde Geronimi and Wilfred Jackson, who directed the 1951 Disney film Alice in Wonderland. The show frequently references the Alice novels.
  • In the movie Yes-Man with Jim Carrey, the love interest (Zooey Deschanel) is in a band called Munchausen by Proxy, a psychological disorder.
  • In one of the deleted scenes from Shallow Hal, Walt's band was named "Worst Case Scenario".
  • Buddhist concepts (harhar) can go a long way:
    • The Everlasting Buddhadharma
    • Buddhadharma Gospel Choir
    • Buddhas And Bhikkunis
    • Reincarnage Karmication Snuff Tape
  • Sex Bob-Omb, Scott Pilgrim's band. His ex is the lead singer of The Clash at Demonhead.
  • In F Is For Family, Frank Murphy's (voiced by Bill Burr) son Kevin has a band called "Shire of Frodo". An obvious reference to The Lord of the Rings.
    • His favourite band is called "Lifted Riffs", and obvious parody of Led Zeppelin.

Real Life

  • Fugazi named themselves after a word that guitarist Ian MacKaye found in a book about the Vietnam War. This also counts as an acronym name, as "Fugazi" stands for Fucked Up, Got Ambushed, Zipped In. Fugazi also happens to be Italian for "fake".[4]
  • Sixpence None The Richer: According to Leigh Nash, the main singer, "[i]ts name comes from a book by C. S. Lewis called Mere Christianity. A little boy asks his father if he can get a sixpence—a very small amount of English currency—to go and get a gift for his father. The father gladly accepts the gift and he's really happy with it, but he also realizes that he's not any richer for the transaction. C.S. Lewis was comparing that to his belief that God has given him, and us, the gifts that we possess, and to serve Him the way we should, we should do it humbly—realizing how we got the gifts in the first place."
  • Coheed and Cambria (characters in the story line their albums and vocalist Claudio Sanchez's comic, The Amory Wars, share)
  • A Tribe Called Quest (Like A Pimp Named Slickback, you have to say the whole thing)
  • Jethro Tull (from the name of a 17th century inventor; it was somewhat by accident that they ended up under this name, however, as they were changing the band name frequently before they get noticed)
  • Fairport Convention (named for the house they used to practice at)
  • The Rasmus
  • Opeth (named after "Opet", a city in the Wilbur Smith novel "The Sunbird")
  • Lest we forget Mott the Hoople, which was a novel by Willard Manus.
  • Duran Duran (named for a character in Barbarella)
    • And Duran Duran Duran
  • The Soup Dragons, who took their name from the TV show Clangers
  • Dalek I Love You, a synthpop group from Liverpool
  • Dälek, a rap group from NJ. The reference is coincidental however (it's pronounced "dialec").
    • I thought it was pronounced "exterminate, exterminate".
  • As I Lay Dying, a reference to the book of the same name by William Faulkner, though this may be a common misconception.
  • Depeche Mode (Line-of-Sight Name from a French fashion magazine; means "fleeting fashion" or something to that effect)
  • Hadouken! is actually named as a reference to the fireball attack from the Street Fighter games, and include an exclamation mark in their name, so they fall into two categories.
  • Kaiser Chiefs (after South African football/soccer team Kaizer Chiefs)
  • Fall Out Boy, who get double points because their current name is a The Simpsons reference, but they used to tour as Saved Latin which is a Rushmore reference
    • And The Simpsons live on Evergreen Terrace.
    • Ska bands I Voted For Kodos and Rex Banner, surf band The Isotopes (who sell "Go 'Topes!" merch and have song titles like "Mr. Sparkle" and "Moe's Family Feedbag") There are many, many more bands named for Simpsons references.
  • My Chemical Romance is a reference to a book about ecstasy (as in MDMA)
    • Which was in turn a reference to Chymische Hochzeit Christiani Rosencreutz anno 1459 (The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosecross year 1459), an anonymous alchemical work often attributed to Johann Valentin Andrae.
  • Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza
  • Jack Kervorkian And The Suicide Machines (later shortened to just The Suicide Machines)
  • A local[where?] pop punk band named Sam Weir. They recently broke up and reformed with much the same lineup as a hardcore band, calling themselves Claire Danes.
  • Don Knotts Overdrive.
  • Joy Division (from a book they read about World War Two history-- "joy divisions" were groups of Jewish or Gypsy women that the Nazis kept for... certain purposes)
    • Both this band and its successor (New Order) having names with Nazi origins (chosen for shock value) has Unfortunate Implications. However the substance of the metaphor—that "a whorehouse in a concentration camp" described Joy Division's position within the music industry—still stings.
  • Maxïmo Park are named for a park in Cuba
  • Mogwai are named after the species of Gizmo in the movie Gremlins
  • Death Cab for Cutie took its name from an Elvis Presley spoof from a Beatles movie.
  • The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band (who, incidentally, performed the song "Death Cab for Cutie") are named after a cartoon dog named Bonzo. The "Doo-Dah" part refers to their fodness for old music-hall songs, but is also apparently a pun on "Dada", an art movement.
  • The Foo Fighters are named after the WWII fighter pilot term for what would later be called Flying Saucers and UFOs.
  • Biffy Clyro
  • Infocalypse (named for the term used in Snow Crash to denote the fall of Babel)
  • The Wu-Tang Clan from the movie Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang.
  • Linkin Park is named after Santa Monica's Lincoln Park.
  • MegaDriver plays heavy metal covers of sountracks from Sega MegaDrive videogames. By the way, it's an one-man band.
  • Toad the Wet Sprocket (a Monty Python reference. The Python context was a fictional band with an intentionally ridiculous Wacky Word Combo name, which makes this practically meta.
  • They Might Be Giants was named for the play/film in which a man believes that he's Sherlock Holmes. The title refers to the famous scene in Don Quixote when Don Quixote mistakes windmills for giants.
  • Fine Young Cannibals, named after the 1960 Robert Wagner/Natalie Wood movie All the Fine Young Cannibals.
  • The band Fozzy started as a cover band called Fozzy Osbourne (both references should be obvious if you think about it).
  • Save Ferris
  • Dogs Die In Hot Cars' name was taken from a RSPCA poster on animal welfare.
  • Working For A Nuclear-Free City took their name from the slogan of Manchester City Council in the 1980s.
  • Fu Manchu. Take a wild guess.
  • Uriah Heep, named for a character from Charles Dickens' David Copperfield.
  • Kyuss, named after an evil deity from Dungeons & Dragons.
  • Rasputina, named after...Rasputin.
  • Felix Da Housecat, named after cartoon character Felix the Cat.
    • As well as the swing band Felix and the Buzzcats
  • Megadeth is an Xtremely Kool Letterz version of a term from nuclear warfare theory, a measure of a bomb's power in terms of the number of people it can kill.
    • They weren't the first to use that reference, or the first to misspell it: in a very early incarnation, Pink Floyd called themselves The Meggadeaths.
  • Led Zeppelin (said to be revenge against a record exec who said the band's sound would fly like a lead zeppelin)
    • The Who bass player John Entwistle has also been credited with coming up with this one. There was a split between him and Keith Moon on one side and Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey on the other. They joked about the two of them starting a band with Jimmy, and one of them said "Yeah, that will go over like a lead balloon". John takes credit for this one in one of his last interviews.
      • This is also commonly attributed to Keith Moon.
      • The lead is spelled "led" because they were convinced that stupid Americans would pronounce it "leed" otherwise.
  • The Velvet Underground is named after a porn novel, specifically one about BDSM.
  • Rammstein (from the Ramstein airshow disaster)
  • Blackened grindcore horrors Anaal Nathrakh are named after a spell in the movie Excalibur.
  • Vampire Weekend is named after a film made by frontman Ezra Koenig
    • This is probably very obscure, but I always thought it referred to an episode of Get Smart entitled "Weekend Vampire". I wonder if the film's name had anything to do with it.
  • The Pietasters got their name from British slang for "fat ass". Definitely an improvement over their original name, The Slugs. (Which had already been taken, believe it or not.)
  • The Toasters are named for the Jamaican tradition of DJs "chatting" or "toasting" over instrumentals, not the kitchen appliance. One of the earliest lineups included a pair of toasters, the Unity Two, and later lineups usually include at least one member skilled in the tradition.
  • My Bloody Valentine, named after a Canadian slasher flick, itself inspired by the song "My Funny Valentine".
  • Dixie Chicks (after the Little Feat song "Dixie Chicken"); now just "The Chicks" in reaction to Trump-era pro-Confederacy crazies.
  • Iron Maiden (after the Medieval torture device, one of which Steve Harris had seen in the film The Man in the Iron Mask)
  • Belle and Sebastian is the title of a French children's novel and two TV series based on it.
    • Which nearly led to legal action. Headed off by diplomatic negotiations and apologetic disclaimers printed in the liner notes of some B&S releases.
  • Minus the Bear (after the television show B. J. and the Bear; might also qualify as a double entendre name...)
  • Catherine Wheel (either a spinning firework or a medieval execution device)
  • Saint Etienne (English band, named after the French football team)
  • Aston Villa (French band, named after the English football team)
  • Stone Temple Pilots' original name was Mighty Joe Young, after a movie (because a blues musician took the name already, they had to change it due to copyright issues. Their next choice, Shirley Temple's Pussy, didn't fly for different reasons)
  • Spock's Beard (a progressive metal band)
  • ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead is a unique band that claims (on its website) to have named themselves after a Mayan Chant. According to the Other Wiki this is an ongoing joke, however.
  • The American rock band Rival Schools took its name from the fighting game series produced by Capcom. Not by coincidence, the band's first album take its title (United By Fate) from the subtitle of the first game in that series.
  • Kamelot obviously references King Arthur. Double points for the deliberate misspelling of Camelot.
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor takes its name from a film about a Japanese biker gang called the Black Emperors.
  • The Kentucky Headhunters. Taken from the word "headchopping", a term that blues musician Muddy Waters used when he had replaced another gig. After finding other bands already were called The Headhunters, they added "Kentucky" to the name. The band was first known as "Itchy Brother", which as random as it sounds, was actually a real cartoon character.
  • The band that Dave Barry plays in (along with several other authors) is called the Rock-Bottom Remainders, a remainder being a book that was printed in excessive quantity, and usually is sold back to bookstores cheaply as 'bargain' or 'clearance' merchandise.
  • The Decemberists, named after the 1825 Russian revolt, they take this further by having songs referencing historical events and settings.
  • Franz Ferdinand, about the poor Austrian archduke whose assassination started World War I.
    • Except they say that it was originally named after a racing horse, Archduke Ferdinand, but they liked the implications the Archduke's death made as per starting the First World War.
  • Daft Punk, whose name comes from a review of their previous (completely different) band, Darlin', dismissing their music as "a bunch of daft punk."
  • Los Amigos Invisibles took their name after the greeting late writer Arturo Uslar Pietri used in his TV show Valores Humanos: "Bienvenidos, amigos invisibles" ("welcome, my invisible friends", an allusion to the unseen audience)
  • Ska Band Desorden Público. Their name is a pun in the prhase "Orden Público", a concept related with social peace and order.
  • The Notorious Cherry Bombs, a side project by Rodney Crowell, Vince Gill and some members of Crowell's former backing band The Cherry Bombs. "Notorious" was added due to a copyright claim by a member who refused to join the project.
  • School Of Seven Bells named themselves after a mythical school of South American pickpockets that may or may not have existed in the 1980s, which they heard about while watching a documentary on PBS at 3 in the morning.
  • Swedish melodic death metal band Amon Amarth take their name from the Tolkien mythos, the name meaning "Mount Doom" in Tolkien's constructed language Sindarin.
    • Several black metal bands also take their name from the Tolkien mythos, most notably black metal bands Gorgoroth and Burzum.
      • Burzum's sole member, Varg (meaning "Wolf/ Outlaw") Vikernes, originally went by the name Count Grishnackh, another Tolkien reference - in this case, the name of an orc. Vikernes spent 16 years in prison for murdering his former friend and bandmate Euronymous, who was named for a Greek demon... one whose name, incidentally, had been misspelled by Anton LaVey in The Satanic Bible.
  • Armcannon, a Buffalo-based video-game-music cover band, takes its name from the iconic weapon of such video game characters as Samus and Mega Man.
  • Kasabian (Named after Manson Family cultist and getaway driver Linda Kasabian.)
  • Aiden, named for the character from The Ring.
  • Little My, (presumably) named after the character from The Moomins.
  • Pinback are named for the character of the same name in Dark Star. Some of their earlier material sampled dialogue and sounds from the film.
  • Gogol Bordello
  • Veruca Salt, named after one of the children in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
  • Punk band Kermit's Finger named themselves after the punchline to the old joke "What's green and smells like ham?".
  • Does It Offend You, Yeah? is a partial quote from The Office
  • Crystal Castles, derived from something to do with the series She-Ra: Princess of Power.
  • Cabaret Voltaire, whose name is a reference to Dada.
  • Coil and Current 93 were both named for obscure occult references (the latter to Aleister Crowley).
  • Gastr Del Sol, which seems to mean something along the lines of "the sun's stomach".
  • Merzbow, named after the Merzbau.
  • Münchener Freiheit (more usually known as "Freiheit" in the UK); they named themselves after a street in their native Munich (which has since been slightly renamed "Münchner Freiheit").
  • Mudhoney, after a Russ Meyer film. They'd never actually seen the movie, they just saw the title somewhere and thought it sounded cool.
  • White Zombie, after a somewhat obscure film starring Bela Lugosi.
  • Ned's Atomic Dustbin got their name from a skit from The Goon Show.
  • Bishop Allen are named after Bishop Allen Drive, a street in Cambridge, Massachusetts that two of the band members used to live on together.
  • In what could be considered a variation on Song/Album/Lyric band names, Whirlwind Heat are named after another band's album artwork: The cover to Sonic Youth's Goo includes the text "I stole my sister's boyfriend. It was all whirlwind heat, and flash. Within a week we killed my parents and hit the road.".
  • ChChCh HaHaHa named themselves after the Leitmotif from Friday the 13th films.
  • The Airborne Toxic Event take their name from a disaster that occurs in Don DeLillo's novel White Noise, which also serves as the name of one of the sections of the book.
  • Chiodos, named for the directors of Killer Klowns From Outer Space.
  • Surf Nazis Must Die, named after a cult movie with same name.
  • Soft Machine is named after a William S. Burroughs novel. Also qualifies as a Hard Word Soft Word name.
  • Alexisonfire were named after everyone's favourite lactacting contortionist Alexis Fire.
  • Nerf Herder are named after a famous line in The Empire Strikes Back, where Princess Leia calls Han Solo a "stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder".
  • Dynamite Hack is named as a Caddyshack reference - at one point in the movie Carl Spackler offers Ty Webb some marijuana and refers to it as "dynamite hack".
  • The Dismemberment Plan are named after a throwaway line in Groundhog Day: At one point Ned offhandedly mentions "the dismemberment plan" while trying to sell Phil Connors insurance.
  • Sleater-Kinney's name sounds like a "listing member names" example, but they're actually named after Sleater-Kinney Road, a road in Washington where their old rehearsal space was.
  • Ugly Kid Joe's name parodied that of Hair Metal band Pretty Boy Floyd. Pretty Boy Floyd themselves were of course named after the famous bank robber.
  • Boss Hog is biker slang for "cool motorcycle". No connection to Boss Hogg.
  • Don Caballero named themselves with an obscure SCTV reference: Don Caballero was a character Joe Flaherty played in the series, the owner of the titular TV station.
  • Tiger Trap are named as a Calvin and Hobbes Shout-Out. It's a common misconception that they're named after the Beat Happening song, but they were formed before that song came out, though their debut album came out after.

Song/Album/Lyric Bands

Similar to the above example, can't think of a name for a band? Just name it after a favorite song or album of yours. It's easy! Heck if you want you can name it after a favorite lyric.

Real Life

  • The Rolling Stones (Muddy Waters song)
  • Funeral Fog (Mayhem song)
  • Epica (Kamelot album)
  • Godsmack (Alice In Chains song)
  • Mayhem (Venom song)
    • Well, "Mayhem" was part of the name of the song in question, but basically yes.
  • At The Drive-In (Poison lyric, from the song "Talk Dirty to Me")
  • Veil Of Maya (Cynic song) Not necessarily. The title itself comes from Hindu mythology.
  • Paint It Black (Rolling Stones song)
    • Themselves named from a Muddy Waters song.
  • Freezing Moon (Mayhem song)
  • Make Them Suffer (Cannibal Corpse song)
  • Forest Of Shadows (Funeral Fog song)
  • Bullet For My Valentine (Planes Mistaken For Stars song)
  • Partial with Heaven And Hell which is named after the famous Dio era Black Sabbath song. The band however is in fact just that, Dio era Black Sabbath touring under that name.
  • Averted with Machine Head, the connection to the Deep Purple album was a coincidence.
    • Probably not unconnected to the fact that it's the name for part of a guitar. For non-guitarists, they're the things on the headstock (am I going to have to explain that one too?) that let you adjust the tuning of a string.
      • Aka "Tuners"
    • Deep Purple itself is named after a big band song from the 1920s.
  • Likewise with Heaven Shall Burn, no connection to the Marduk album
  • Between the Buried and Me (Counting Crows Lyric)
  • Partial with Sepultura (Taken from a translated Motorhead lyric)
  • Seether (Veruca Salt song)
  • Jet (Paul McCartney song, and they sound very McCartney as well)
  • Death Cab For Cutie (Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band song)
  • Hellogoodbye (Beatles song)
    • Although they claim they didn't.
  • Winds Of Plague (Unearth lyric)
  • Ladytron (Roxy Music song)
  • Fiddler's Green (traditional Irish song)
  • Funeral For A Friend (Elton John song)
  • Pretty Girls Make Graves (The Smiths song)
  • Stars of Track and Field (Belle and Sebastian lyric)
  • Radiohead (Talking Heads song)
  • Exciter (Judas Priest song)
    • Who in turn got their name from a Bob Dylan song.
  • Stiff Little Fingers (Vibrators song)
  • Scary Kids Scaring Kids (Cap'n Jazz song). It's also a little wacky...
  • Howlin' Wolf (Muddy Waters song)
  • Deacon Blue (Steely Dan song)
  • Sisters of Mercy (Leonard Cohen song)
  • Monster Magnet (Frank Zappa song)
    • Actually named after Wyndorf's favorite toy when he was a child.
  • Immaculate Machine (Paul Simon song)
  • Boris (The Melvins song)
  • Santa Dog (The Residents single)
  • Texas Is the Reason (Misfits lyric)
  • Blind Guardian wanted something with "guardian" for Fates Warning's Awaken the Guardian
  • Raised Fist (After the lyrics in a Rage Against The Machine song, "Know Your Enemy").
  • Temple of the Dog (Mother Love Bone lyric)
  • Steeleye Span (after a character in the folk song "Horkstow Grange")
  • Carnal Forge (Carcass song)
  • Love and Theft (named for a Bob Dylan album)
  • In a less obvious example, Crass takes their name from lyrics in "Ziggy Stardust."
  • Madness named themselves after a Prince Buster song.
  • Video Vamp (Def Leppard song)
  • Cock E.S.P. (Hanatarash song)
  • Running Wild (Judas Priest song)
  • The Drowners (Suede song)
  • Powderfinger (Neil Young song)
  • One-person example: Lady Gaga is named after a Queen song... Well, more specifically it's a play on "Radio Ga Ga".
  • Eric's Trip (named for a Sonic Youth song)
  • In Fear and Faith (Circa Survive song)
  • Right Said Fred (Bernard Cribbins song)
  • Sweethearts of the Rodeo, named for the Byrds album Sweetheart of the Rodeo. Lampshaded in the Sweethearts' album Buffalo Zone, whose cover art pastiched that of the Byrds album in question.
  • Dream Evil (Dio album).
  • Nashville Pussy, an Atlanta-based "redneckcore" band. Consisting of two men and two women (one guy's the singer, and the lead guitarist is his wife), the band draws its name from Ted Nugent's Double Live Gonzo Album, wherein Ted dedicates the song "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang" to "...all that Nashville pussy."
  • Angelspit (from the Sonic Youth song "Orange Rolls & Angel's Spit")
  • Mr. Big, after a song by Free.
  • Silver Mountain (Rainbow song "Man on the Silver Mountain")
  • Highland Glory (Running Wild song)
  • Starsailor, after a Tim Buckley album.
  • Suburban Kids With Biblical Names, after a lyric from The Silver Jews' "People".
  • Celibate Rifles (somewhat oblique Shout-Out to Sex Pistols)
  • Radio 4, after a Public Image Ltd. song. (And so, indirectly, after the BBC radio station.)
  • Havalina Rail Co., who sometimes went by just Havalina. "Havalina" was a song by The Pixies.
  • Judas Priest (Bob Dylan song)
  • Boredoms, after "Boredom" by The Buzzcocks
  • How To Destroy Angels, after Coil's debut EP.
  • The Lightning Seeds, after a Mondegreen of a Prince lyric (Raspberry Beret's "...the lightning sees").
  • Bad Brains, after The Ramones' "Bad Brain".
  • Cocteau Twins, after an early Simple Minds b-side.
  • Urge Overkill, after a lyric in the Parliament song "Funkentelechy"
  • Like The Lightning Seeds, Radio Birdman are also named for a Mondegreen: in this case one from The Stooges' "1970" (the real lyric being "Radio burnin'")
  • The Futureheads, after The Flaming Lips' album Hit To Death In The Future Head.
  • All Time Low, who took their name from the lyrics to a New Found Glory song
  • Yet another mondegreen-named band name, this time not on purpose: The Mystery Trend meant to name themselves after a lyric from Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone", not knowing it was actually "the mystery tramp". The mistake was arguably a better name anyway.
  • Spoon were named after a song by Can.
  • Angelzoom, after a song Angel Zoom from the first album of her former band.
  • Man Will Surrender, after the Pailhead song "Man Should Surrender". They were apparently more certain about it than Pailhead were.
  • The Billion Dollar Babies, after the Alice Cooper song and album. On the borderline of being named after their own song, since most of the lineup consisted of the original Alice Cooper band minus Alice Cooper himself. There's another band called Billion Dollar Babies, who are presumably also named as an Alice Cooper Shout-Out, but are otherwise unrelated.
  • Cherry Ghost (Wilco lyric)
  • Hatebreed, after The Misfits' "Hatebreeders". They've done a Cover Version of the song they're named after too.
  • Blonde Redhead (DNA song)
  • Soulfly (a lyric in the Deftones song "Headup" in which Max Cavalera provided guest vocals)
  • Rites Of Spring, after Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring.
  • Uh Huh Her (PJ Harvey album)
  • Demons & Wizards (Uriah Heep album)

Special subcategory of bands named after one of their own songs

Named after one of their own songs UNSORTED Examples

  • Black Sabbath
    • Their original name was Earth, but when they were mistaken for a band with the same name, they changed it to the name of a song Tony Iommi wrote.
  • Motorhead (written by Lemmy while he was still in Hawkwind)
  • Nightwish is named after one of the songs on their demo album.
  • Green Day
  • Iced Earth
  • Bad Company -- Bad Company -- Bad Company [dead link].
  • Similarly, Blackfield's first album, Blackfield, contained a song titled Blackfield.
  • Blind Guardian—Guardian of the Blind
  • Inverted by They Might Be Giants, who wrote a song called "They Might Be Giants", but it went on their third album, Flood, rather than their first album, which was of course called They Might Be Giants. They were named after a film, not their own song.
  • The Shins almost fit this trope: Flake Music, who were essentially The Shins prior to a name change and some switching instruments around, had a song entitled, er, "The Shins".
  • Counting Crows aren't named after a song, but the contents of a song -- "The Murder of One", which contains the lyric "as you stood there, counting crows".
  • Dschinghis Khan entered the 1979 Eurovision Song Contest with...Dschinghis Khan.
    • Love City Groove did the same thing in 1995.
  • Also inverted with Iron Maiden, which was named after the torture device, and then later came the self-titled song.
  • Living in a Box
  • 2 Many DJs are named after a song by the two DJs' other band (Soulwax) called Too Many DJs. Note: the band and the DJ act have become increasingly blurred into one thing over the years (sometimes called Radio Soulwax), hence why it's here under "one of their own".
  • Megadeth - the song "Set The World Afire" was originally called Megadeth, and was written by Dave Mustaine shortly after he left Metallica.
  • Hellyeah - both their first album and a song on that album are also called "Hellyeah"
  • The Birthday Massacre. Like Counting Crows, their name comes from the lyrics of one of their songs -- "Happy Birthday", which has the lines "I wore my black and white dress to the birthday massacre"
    • "Happy Birthday" was actually originally called "The Birthday Massacre"- the name change came from some copyright issues they didn't want to have, so they changed their name to "The Birthday Massacre" and renamed the song.
  • Icehouse, after the song Icehouse on their album... Icehouse.
  • Dashboard Confessional is said to be named after the lyrics of a song on their first album.
  • Mindless Self Indulgence
  • Dream Evil got their name from the Dio album. Originally named Dragonslayer, they were forced to change their name to something less generic. Dragonslayer ended up becoming their first album title.
  • Queensrÿche (see also below) took their name from their earliest song, "Queen Of The Reich".
  • Slipknot were named after a demo song of theirs.
  • The Butthole Surfers had an early song called "Butthole Surfers" (it's unknown if this was the same song as "Butthole Surfer", or just a similarly-titled song that never got released). At one of their shows, when they were going by something else, an emcee somehow mistook the song title for the band name, and it stuck.
  • Fleetwood Mac was the name of an instrumental Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie recorded while still members of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. Obviously this was itself named after their rhythm section, making it also an example of the next category.
  • Bad Religion
  • The Living End
  • Short lived British band Easyworld named themselves after a lyric on an early B-side, Better Ways to Self Destruct.
  • Free Energy
  • Metal Chuch, whose album Metal Chuch contained the song Metal Church.
  • Yellow Tricycle (after their song, Yellow Tricycle)
  • Kill Hannah (who were In A Jar UK, before the lead singer went through a particularly bad breakup and wrote a song about it...)
  • Right Away, Great Captain! (again)
  • Hallelujah The Hills
  • Subverted: Restart's Signature Song is named "Recomeçar" (which translates to "restart", natch), but the band wasn't named after it. It just happened to be a coincidence.
  • Schoolyard Heroes
  • Nine Days—they did have a song called "Nine Days of Rain" in their first album, although they insist that wasn't where the name came from.
  • 4Lyn started as Headtrip, but they changed their name after the success of their song "Lyn".
  • Angels Of Light were originally supposed to be called The Pleasure Seekers, but the name was already taken, so they simply used the name of one of their songs, "Angels Of Light".
  • Talk Talk got their name from a song band leader Mark Hollis wrote before forming the band.
  • Similarly, Icehouse got THEIR name from a song band leader Iva Davies wrote for Flowers, the band that came before Icehouse.
  • +/- (often called plus/minus)
  • Los Campesinos!
  • Säkert!
  • Wakey! Wakey!
  • Meat Puppets
  • A Perfect Circle, sort of: "Orestes", which Billy Howerdel wrote before the band got together, had a lyric mentioning "your perfect circle".
  • I'm not sure which came first, but No Doubt, which originally went by Apple Core, had a song called "No Doubt". The song was never officially released.
  • King Crimson's debut album features the song "In Court Of The Crimson King," though it might be coincidence.
  • Darling Pet Munkee's first song was "Darling Pet Monkey". The song was named after text from an old mail-order ad for squirrel monkeys, but they went the misspelled band name route to reflect that their lineup featured members of the bands Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling and Axemunkee.
  • Einar Örn (best known as "the singer from The Sugarcubes who wasn't Bjork") made a solo album called Ghostigital, which was produced by Curver. The next time the two worked together, they decided to make it clear it was more of a collaborative effort by calling themselves Ghostigital instead.
  • Wartime (who were essentially a Rollins Band side project)
  • A Silver Mt. Zion named themselves after a slightly misheard lyric from their song "Movie (Never Made)".
  • Minor Threat

Listing Member Names

Small groups (duos or especially trios) occasionally use this style. (And why the hell do these bands all pick names that sound like law firms?) You don't see a lot of list-of-members names bands these days.


  • Ken MacLeod's novel Newton's Wake had Winter and Calder. A pun, because Calder is pronounced like the Scots for "colder".

Western Animation

  • Member listing bands are easy to parody by changing members, such as Futurama's "Cylon and Garfunkel", or the claim on I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue that pianist Colin Sell was once a member of both "Colin and Garfunkel" and "Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick, Titch and Colin" (and, oddly, "The Jackson Six").

Real Life

  • Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds
  • Travis and Bob
  • Emerson, Lake and Palmer
    • As well as the brief offshoot Emerson, Lake and Powell - Keith Emerson and Greg Lake wanted to have a full-on reunion, but Carl Palmer was still with Asia, so they got Cozy Powell on drums instead. Word of God was that it was just coincidence that they still had the initials ELP, but the band did crack jokes about seeing if "Ringo Parr" or "Phil Pollins" would be interested.
  • Medeski Martin & Wood
  • Beck, Bogert & Appice
  • Daryl Hall & John Oates
    • Or, sometimes "Hall & Oates"
  • Phillips, Craig & Dean. Due to a lack of an Oxford comma in the name, they have been classified in record stores as "Craig and Dean Phillips".
  • Peter, Bjorn & John (a rare modern example)
    • Made more confusing by the fact that there's not actually a comma betwween "Peter" and "Bjorn", making the group look like a duo. And the fact that their main hit single, "Young Folks", features female vocals from a group named for three men, coming from the usually-not-credited Victoria Bergsman (herself fitting this trope, being from the group the Concretes).
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash and sometimes Young
  • Technically, Damon Albarn, Paul Simonon, Tony Allen & Simon Tong, although most people refer to them after the title of their first album, The Good, the Bad & the Queen.
  • Simon and Garfunkel
  • Peter, Paul, and Mary
  • The Ramones also doubles as a "The" band, as all their members had "Ramone" as their stage surname.
    • Likewise The Corrs, except it's their real surname. Many other examples in the same vein.
    • The same except with first names goes for The Bens, which consisted of Ben Folds, Ben Kweller, and Ben Lee.
  • Tackey & Tsubasa
  • The Jackson Five scores a hat-trick for being (The) (Member Names) (Number).
  • Variation: Bon Jovi is named after only one of its members.
  • Van Halen; similar to the Bon Jovi example, though named after two members rather than one (the van Halen brothers, Eddie and Alex; much later, Eddie's son Wolfgang would also join the band).
  • Subversion: Pink Floyd was named after two blues musicians, neither of which were ever in the band. Although that didn't stop journalists asking them early on, "So which one's Pink?".
  • A more recent use of this is by the Canadian duo Tegan and Sara.
  • Fleetwood Mac, named after their drummer (Mick Fleetwood) and bass player (John McVie). Sort of an aversion - Fleetwood and Peter Green decided to call the band this to persuade McVie to join, not because he was already a member.
  • Obfuscated by the band Good Old War. Good for Goodwin, Old for Arnold, and War for Schwartz.
  • Run DMC (another partial case; of their three members, the name comes from the nickname of one and the initials of another, omitting the late Jam Master Jay).
    • There was also "Salt-N-Pepa" in the same genre, although like Run-DMC, they were a trio (Salt, Pepa, and their DJ Spinderella)
  • Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, which would've been Yes if they weren't sued by existing members of the band. And they have indeed drawn the law-firm comparison.
    • And then they reconciled their differences, and the tracks for the second ABWH album ended up on the next Yes album anyway.
  • Aversion: Judy and Mary (no one named Judy or Mary was in the band)
  • Aversion: Eddie From Ohio (has one Eddie and three non-Eddies; none are from Ohio.)
  • James, a (currently) seven-man band who decided to take their name from one of their founders, Jim Glennie. Tim thought it would look bad if the band was named after the lead singer, Gavan was too heavy metal and Paul was too modest to suggest his own name. Only two of them (Jim and Tim) are still in the band, and "which one's James" is the most boring question around.
    • They played on this with the cover for their 2001 album Pleased To Meet You, which pictured a lifelike but computer-generated man created by compositing all the band members' faces together – ergo a fictional 'James' to fit the name.
    • Just for good measure, they'd previously been known as (among other things) a name fitting the X And The Ys mould (arguably also a Grossout name); Venereal And The Diseases.
  • Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich.
  • Wilson Phillips
  • Matt & Kim
  • Almost any duo will invariably name themselves after their members, from Simon & Garfunkel to Brooks and Dunn. Notable exception: Sugarland, who began as a trio. Also averted with Blue County.
  • Schuyler, Knobloch and Overstreet. They became just S-K-O one single into their career, however. After Paul Overstreet left, they became S-K-B for about 30 seconds while Craig Bickhardt took over.
  • Dolenz, Jones, Boyce, & Hart (two Monkees with two songwriters)
  • Dutch band Johan (Dutch for John) reverses this. There is no band member named Johan.
  • Rodrigo y Gabriela
  • Sixx: A.M., the (stage) surname of one member and initials of another.
  • Mel & Kim
  • Mel & Kim (a duo created largely to share a name with the above as a gag, male comedian Mel Smith and singer Kim Wilde.)
  • Aversion: the female comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates. Neither member is named either of those things, rather the name is a takeoff on the names of two well-known bands that are legitimate examples of this convention.
  • Sharon, Lois and Bram (performers of children's music, later just "Sharon and Bram")
  • Loggins and Messina; technically an aversion since Jim Messina was simply a producer. Moreover, it was meant to just be Kenny Loggins as a solo artist (which would eventually happen for real), but Messina made such a significant contribution, that the first album was called "Kenny Loggins with Jim Messina Sittin' In".
  • Hanson, the band with three brothers whose last name is... you guessed it, Hanson. Often mistakenly referred to as The Hanson Brothers.
    • There is in fact an entirely different band called The Hanson Brothers: They aren't brothers, let alone ones with the last name Hanson - they're named after characters in Slap Shot.
  • Subverted by Fujiya & Miyagi, who are not a Japanese duo, but rather four white guys from Brighton. "Fujiya" comes from a brand of record player, while "Miyagi" comes from Mr. Miyagi, the character from The Karate Kid.
  • The Nields - two sisters, Nerissa and Katryna Nields, with Nerissa's husband David who took her last name along with Dave Chalfant and Dave Hower, leaving them with three Daves and three Nields.
  • Paul and Storm, although Storm is a nickname.
  • Tegan and Sara
  • Ford & Lopatin. They started out as Games, but adopted a "listing band members" name due to potential confusion with the rapper Game.
  • Jazz vocal trio Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross
  • Twiggy Ramirez and Twiggy, the model \ actress who was half of his namesake, once collaborated on a cover of Dusty Springfield's "I Only Wanna Be With You" for the soundtrack of the film Dead Man On Campus: The song was naturally credited to Twiggy And Twiggy.
  • Primus frontman Les Claypool's jam band supergroup featuring Buckethead, Brian "Brain" Mantia, and keyboardist Bernie Worrell technically counts for this, with the name "Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains," an amalgamation featuring all the member's handles. It's often shortened to the much easier to type C2B3, though.

Heavy Metal Umlaut

Heävy Mëtal Ümlaut UNSORTED Examples

  • Dethklok uses both umlauts & the o thing, considering the origins of some of the band members.
  • Spinal Tap is usually spelled with an umlaut over the n.
  • Deathmøle from Questionable Content. (The ø isn't an umlaut, either, but counts as a Scandinavian letter)
  • Roughly related is Brutal Legend, a heavy-metal themed game by Tim Schafer.
  • Also roughly related is an article from The Onion: "Ünited Stätes Toughens Image With Ümlauts".
  • When the PvP guys formed a band, they named it Dj̈ork (the umlaut's over the j)
  • One story arc in Bloom County had Steve Dallas form a glam-metal band called Deathtöngue with Opus, Hodge-Podge, and Bill the Cat, who performed songs like "Let's Run Over Lionel Richie With a Tank." After a run in with Moral Guardians, they changed their name to "Billy and the Boingers".
    • Before they were known as Deathtöngue, Opus wanted to call the band The Osmonds.
  • In an episode of Reaper, a wannabe rocker/Dreadful Musician whose great idea of a stage name is just "Ryan" almost does a literal Deal with the Devil and becomes the even-more-ludicrous-sounding "Ryän".
  • Phineas and Ferb give us "Love Händel" Getting More crap past the Radar since 2008! Also a Parental Bonus if you assume "Händel" is a reference to the guy who wrote "Handel's Messiah"

Real Life

  • Blue Oyster Cult (the Ur Example)
    • Also of note, they got their name when they found Blue Oysters on a menu.
  • There's a rap group out of Newark, NJ named Dälek. And no, it's pronounced "dialec" and is not meant to reference Daleks.
  • Motorhead
  • Infernäl Mäjesty
  • Motley Crue, of cöurse
    • Evidently, their first world tour had German fans chanting "Muttley Cruh-eh! Muttley Cruh-e!" (Where the german spell "ö" like the vocal in "girl", and not like an "u").
  • Moxy Früvous (something of a parody, since the band is pretty far removed from heavy metal)
  • Queensrÿche
  • The Crüxshadows (also not heavy metal)
  • Amon Düül (Krautrock)
    • There's also two versions of this band called "Amon Düü I" and "Amon Düül II"
      • And both Justified: It's a pre-Islamic Turkish moon god. And, well, they're German...
  • Especially hilarious (at least to Swedes) was when the band Trojan decided they wanted an umlaut, so they started spelling their name "Tröjan". Incidentally, that's also Swedish for "the Sweater" or, more generally, "the Shirt." Also, think of the utter hilariousness when you wear a T-shirt with Tröjan on it ( a T-shirt saying 'The Shirt'). Yeah, that's Badass.
  • Lothlöryen. Funnily parodied here [dead link].
  • Hüsker Dü is not a metal band, but they got their name by substituting the macrons in "Hūsker Dū?" with umlauts. "Hūsker Dū?" itself is the American name of the Danish board game "Husker du?", with macrons added to make the name more exotic.
  • Also amusing is the german punk band Die Ärzte ("The doctors"); although the umlaut in the second word is part of its correct orthography in German, they've started to spell it with three dots in order to reference the trope.
  • Blöod Düster
  • Tärpäth
  • Lääz Rockit
  • girugämesh
  • Bügsküll, who zigzag the crap out of this trope by not only being a low-key experimental pop group, but also because, to quote Sean Byrne, "the umlauts are there to make smiley faces."
  • Leftöver Crack
  • Maxïmo Park (though actually an indie band, and the 'ï' is often ignored)
  • Crashdïet
  • Aäkon Këëtrëh

Misspelled Words Titles

Also see Myspeld Rokband.


  • Wyld Stallyns, Bill and Ted's band.
  • In the movie Empire Records, Mark states he wants to start a band called Marc, "That way it's kind of that psychedelic, you know, trip thing".


  • Trollz, in Soul Music. They wanted to just be called Trolls, because they were, but were eventually pursuaded to misspell their name.

Live-Action TV

Video Games

  • Brütal Legend: Ironheade. The E at the end is there to show they're not messin' around.

Web Original

Western Animation

Real Life

  • Aerosmith
  • Korn.
  • Limp Bizkit.
  • Staind.
  • Megadeth.
  • Kreator.
  • Def Leppard.
  • Jackyl ("with a 'Y'").
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd (Leonard Skinner was a gym teacher at the band members' high school who informed them that they would never amount to anything).
  • Too many rappers to name.
  • Led Zeppelin – justified, as they wanted "Lead" to be pronounced as the metal, not the verb.
  • The Beatles, again (originally The Silver Beetles as an homage to Buddy Holly's band The Chirping Crickets, then shortened and changed to include the word "beat".
  • uneXpecT. While not really a misspelled word, "Unexpect" could be used like "Whelmed." It's logical, but it makes you sound weird.
  • t.A.T.u. (Also an example of a punctuation name)
    • Isn't this also an acronym for something in Russian?
      • Apparently, "ta tu" is "This [girl loves] that [girl]." (Grammatical explanation for non-Slavs: "Ta" is the feminine Russian form of "this". "Tu" is the accusative [i.e. direct object] form of "ta".)
        • I believe one member of the group explained that in English, the closest translation was 'Tie This Girl To That Girl.'
  • Linkin Park; as noted above, they named themselves after a Lincoln Park.
    • Deliberate, since Chester Bennington could not register the lincolnpark.com domain, so he had to go for an alternate.
  • Gorillaz
  • Kebekelektrik (pronounced "Quebec Electric")
  • The Monkees
  • Relient K put the 'e' in 'reliant' so they wouldn't get sued by the car.
  • The Hellacopters, also an example of Punny Name
  • Kamelot, a deliberate misspelling of Camelot.
  • Haysi Fantayzee (Pronounced like "hazy fantasy")
  • The Byrds
  • dEUS
  • Brokencyde
  • Puddle of Mudd
  • The Qemists
  • Thousand Foot Krutch
  • Mansun (so named because 'Manson' was seen as having negative connotations - which never stopped Mariliyn Manson, but still... May also have been named after an early Verve song, A Man Called Sun)
  • Major Lazer, who sort of counts as a band.
  • Helloween, another Punny Name
  • Toxik
  • Tygers of Pan Tang
  • Axxis
  • Feiled
  • Bronz
  • Eazy Money
  • Lääz Rockit (again)
  • iRonica
  • Karrier
  • Ezy Meat
  • Witchfynde
  • Split Enz (spelled that way specifically as a Shout-Out to their home country of New Zealand. Also, for a few of their earliest singles they went by Split Ends).
  • Mercyful Fate. It may just be misspelt, though.
  • Alcatrazz
  • Phish: Though they've given other origin stories, the most commonly accepted one is that it's just a misspelled variation on a nickname for their drummer, Jon Fishman.
  • The Bumblebeez. For a while in the US they combined this trope with "band names with numbers" and were billed as Bumblebeez 81 - there was a previously existing American band called The Bumblebees, and apparently the "z" wasn't enough to distinguish the two.

Hard Word Soft Word

Use a word that evokes something hard, strong and deadly, then a word that evokes something soft, fluffy and lovely. Quite common among hard rock bands.

Fan Works

Real Life

  • Guns N' Roses, formed when L.A. Guns and Hollywood Rose (respectively) combined, and named after its founders Tracii Guns and Axl Rose.
  • Velvet Revolver (which is Guns 'n Roses with Scott Weiland from Stone Temple Pilots replacing post-insanity Axl) is a reversed example.
  • Quiet Riot.
  • Led Zeppelin yet again. Reportedly Jimmy Page liked the combination of the names when he heard them, since it combines the heaviness of lead and the lightness of the gas which fills zeppelins.
  • Divine Heresy.
  • Cradle of Filth.
  • Iron Butterfly.
  • Bullet for my Valentine.
  • The Stone Roses.
  • Iron & Wine
  • Killing Heidi.
  • The Sex Pistols, anyone?
  • Rose Tattoo
  • Savage Garden
  • A variation in Killswitch Engage: a kill switch is an emergency shut-off during situations where normal means are inaccessible. It sounds calming when you think about it.
  • Iron Maiden, though there is of course the instrument of torture. Might work with Judas Priest.
  • Morbid Angel.
  • The Chainsaw Kittens.
  • Death in June
  • Angel Witch
  • Sacred Reich
  • Love and Rockets, reversed form.
  • Sweet Savage
  • Stiff Kittens, later known as Warsaw, then Joy Division
  • Soft Machine
  • Emilie Autumn's backing band, the Bloody Crumpets.

Compound Words

Stick two potentially cool-sounding words together into one really cool-sounding word. CamelCase is encouraged.

Live-Action TV

Video Games

Real Life

  • Fastball
  • Fightstar
  • Fireflight
  • Foghat (Amusingly, they were actually named after a band member's attempted Scrabble Babble.)
  • Mudcrutch
  • Redbone
  • Silverchair (It was later confirmed as a reference to C.S. Lewis' The Silver Chair, but they used to claim it had to do with writing down the titles of Nirvana's "Sliver" and You Am I's "Berlin Chair" and spelling the former wrong)
  • Starsailor
  • Stonehoney
  • Whitestarr
  • Wolfmother
  • Megadeth (which means they're in three different categories on this page)
  • Hawkwind
  • Ladytron
    • As stated above, they named themselves after a Roxy Music song.
  • lostprophets
    • Except they didn't just stick two words together; they named themselves after a Duran Duran live bootleg, recorded during a 1988 concert in Italy, and Ian Watkins of lostprophets has acknowledged he's a big Duran Duran fan.
  • Supertramp
  • Wintersun
  • Sungate
  • Nightwish
  • Soulwax
  • Edenbridge
  • Whitesnake
  • Remedy Drive
  • Radiohead. Named for the Talking Heads song Radio Head (two words)
  • Sportsguitar
  • Soundgarden. They were named after a huge sculpture in Seattle
  • Audioslave
  • Hammerfall
  • Powderfinger
  • Grinspoon
  • Maybeshewill
  • VersaEmerge
  • Nickelback
    • Came from Mike Kroeger's time working at Starbucks, at which the coffee was priced so that the customer would get a nickel in change — he'd tell them "Here's your nickel back." Then, when he was asked about a name, he memetically replied "Nickelback" and it stuck.
      • And the similarity to the words Nickel Bag, slang for a $5 bag of marijuana, is purely coincidental
      • Coincidentally, a nickelback is also a term used in American football for an extra (fifth) defensive back, coined by analogy with "quarterback" on the offensive side.[5]
  • Coldplay
  • Finntroll
  • Powermad
  • Terrorwheel
  • Stormwitch
  • Atomkraft
  • Angelspit
  • Dreamtale
  • Dreamtone
  • Leatherwolf
  • Leathermouth
  • InnerPartySystem
  • teenagersintokyo
  • Loverboy, though it may be a long shot
  • Soundlovers
  • Masterboy
  • Superchunk (who were originally just Chunk until they found that another band was using that name)

Verb the Noun

Verb the Noun UNSORTED Examples

  • Bring Me the Horizon
  • Bless the Fall
  • Bomb the Music Industry
  • Pierce the Veil
  • Protest the Hero
  • Hail the Villain
  • Escape the Fate
  • Haste the Day
  • Rage Against the Machine
  • See The Light
  • Face The Fallen
  • Kill The Prom Queen
  • Swallow the Sun
  • Saves the Day
  • Cage the Elephant
  • Kill The Arcade
  • Minus the Bear
  • Toad the Wet Sprocket (Listed above but it follows this format)
  • Enslave The Mollusk
  • Hit the Floor
  • Foster The People. Interestingly enough, they started out as an X And The Ys band instead - Their lead singer is named Mark Foster, so they were originally Foster & The People. However, after it was misheard as "Foster The People" a few times, he decided he liked that name better.
  • Scale The Summit
  • Design The Skyline

Complete Sentence

Live-Action TV

Real Life

*-ist Band

More Metal counterpart to "The" Band. Band names ending in -ist or -ic, usually a (singular) term for a real or invented ideology, religion or occupation. Popular in Technical Death Metal genre.

UNSORTED Examples of *-ist Band

Any and All of the Above

Fan Works


"Oh yeah, we'll need a name, too. I'm assuming you're not gonna go for The Jun Suzuki Project," [Jun] added with a smirk.
"I was thinking maybe The Ui Hirasawa Rhythm All-Stars," Ui countered, grinning.
"The Western Empire Ballet Company," said Jun.
"Student Drivers," Ui replied.
"Orangebender," Jun declared.
"Ooh, that one's not bad," said Ui.
"What? Seriously? It's lame. I was trying for lame. ... Hmm! Trying For Lame."
"That actually is lame. What about The Above Average?"
"The Junior Varsity."
"That's a little bit on the nose, don't you think?" Ui wondered.
Jun eyed her. "Oh, and 'Student Drivers' wasn't? I know! Media Blackout!"
"Void Where Prohibited..."

They eventually settle on "Frame Shift".


For bands and band names that just don't fit anywhere else.

UNSORTED Examples of Others

  • Revelstoke sounds like a loud 80's heavy-metal hair band.
  • Mr.Bungle fronted by Mike Patton, they take their name from an educational film in a Pee-Wee Herman special, yep their name is as clowny as their music.
  • Frightened Rabbit, in that it contains none of the naming conventions mentioned above. Both words are perfectly acceptable alone and together, the name doesn't have the word "the," no "ist" suffix, it isn't a complete sentence, it isn't one word, it isn't a list of members, it isn't a lyric, album or song title of theirs and both words are rather soft.
  • In the Glee Slash Fic Story of Three Boys, when a homophobic pastor talks about "wayward youth" and "vandalism", Finn says that he's going to start a band called Wayward Youth. Their first album will be called 'Vandalism' and have naked dudes go-go dancing on the cover.
  • In the books and movies of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Gregory's older brother Rodrick's band combines 3 of the common naming conventions into Löded Diper. Though Greg remarks that Rodrick probably can't spell "Loaded Diaper".
  • It's a common misconception that Green River are named after the Creedence Clearwater Revival album, or it's title track. In fact they're named after Gary Ridgway, a Serial Killer who was known as "The Green River Killer" because his first five victims were found in the Green River in Washington.



Dragonred of Blood
Inhuman Sand


The BBC gave me a list of the entire 2015-2018 lineup for the South by Southwest (SWSX) festival in Austin, Texas - and I helped them generate names for a “Real Band or Not?” quiz.
We have already established that neural nets can learn to sound metal. (More or less)
    Death Mill
    Bad Carrier
    Hard The Heart
    Death Frothers
They can learn the patterns of just about any genre, really. Surfer rock? Classic rock? Indie? A neural network can blend right in.
    The Chilliams
    Surf Code
    High Mile
    Freaky School
    Love Mine
    Bung Guest
    Never Beer
    Bold Big Stones
    Show Comment
    Dirty Stone
    The Dills
    The City Root

  1. Does anybody else think "Attacking Tucans" is a good name for a rock band?
  2. The front cover of their most popular album, Fat of the Land, and the subsequent Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned showed only the word "Prodigy." However, Liam Howlett stated that the band's name has always included the article.
  3. "!" is also a symbol for a click consonant, employed by the International Phonetic Alphabet, that a non-native speaker could reasonably approximate as 'chk'.
  4. Which might qualify them as a real Fake Band.
  5. There's also a dimeback for a second extra d-back for deep passing situations; presumably a pennyback (a seventh d-back) would be possible in Canadian football, which has one extra player on the field.