From abstract thoughts to band names

The Loners. Since my pre-adolescent, acne-ridden days, I knew that would be the name of the indie rock band that I would one day start. That and their first album would be based off of none other than my favorite superhero’s villainous counterpart, the Green Goblin.

Now granted neither my hormones nor my brain were exactly in order at this point in my life, but I still hold my future band name near and dear to my heart. Why “The Loners” was so important at the time, I am not sure. It was probably something weird or funny that I thought of in class that day or an inside joke that I can’t remember.

Looking back on it now though, I can’t help but wonder if this is how many of the bands today pick their eccentric names. Spoon, Arcade Fire, Cake, Elbow, Radical Face, Bright Eyes, Artic Monkeys; even Jake Bugg’s last name isn’t real. Some hardcore fans don’t know the origins behind their more mainstream obsessions like AWOLNATION and OneRepublic.

I guess I hadn’t put much thought into it until now, but now I wanted to know the history behind these odd names. As it turns out some of the bands don’t have a story behind their names; others such as Red Jumpsuit Apparatus simply put a bunch of words on a board and then picked three randomly.

I was, however, surprised that seven and a half (OneRepublic listed only the reasoning behind the “One” in their name) out of my 10 artists that I listed had their reasoning on Wikipedia.  Reasons ranged from high school nicknames to naming themselves after a favorite song to seeing the words on a torn off poster.

And while I might never know the reasoning behind the last two and a half names the end result made me happy. Showing me that if the Loners ever make it past the imaginary stage that they are currently in, they will not be the only band with a funky history.