Band names are hard. But whether yours is a total throwaway or a carefully contemplated piece of satire, think carefully: that name is going to appear on your Facebook page, album covers and – with any luck – t-shirts, mugs, picks and other assorted merchandise.
Below is a sort of spotter's guide for some of the most common band-name groupings – yes, there are exceptions, but for the most part, these are the conclusions your audience will be leaping toward first…
1. Inexplicable ümlaüt
Metallers can’t get enough of the punctuation mark that hovers over certain German vowels.
Sprinkling a fistful over your own band name is the fastest route to a morning slot at Bloodstock – though you might get a glare from Lemmy for nicking his idea.
2. Intentional typo
Whoa, dude – you’re so rock ’n’ roll, you sneer in the face of correct spelling.
In fact, you probably just threw your Oxford Dictionary out of the hotel window, along with the plasma screen…
3. Needlessly longwinded
Hard to fit on a flyer, impossible to chant, infuriating to repeat down the phone to a booking agent – you really need a rebrand and a slap.
4. Unpronounceable squiggle
In 1993, Prince drew global attention by reinventing himself as a hieroglyph dubbed the Love Symbol.
Try it for yourself, and you may find that nobody can find you on Google and everybody thinks you’re a total pretentious dick.
5. Exclamation mark
If you need punctuation to convey a sense of excitement and momentum, maybe it’s time you worked on your songs.
6. Your surname
Technically, it’s a band, not a solo venture. But we all know what’s going on: you’re a raging egomaniac, who views his bandmates as a backing track, but doesn’t quite have the balls to go it alone.
You’re wannabe anarchists who flip a finger at conformists like Coldplay and U2.
You’re out to smash the system, and make sure that Nick Grimshaw can’t namecheck you.
8. Reference to ferocious animal
If you’ve taken your name from an animal that can be kept as a domestic pet, you’re probably an artsy indie band, like Cat Power or Modest Mouse.
But if your moniker references a beast with claws, tusks or fangs, you’re most likely an 80s metal throwback, with wet-straw perms and courgettes stuffed down your leotards.
9. Starts with 'The'
You’re wearing a skinny tie, Cons and a leather jacket stolen from a New York thrift store.
You’re probably playing a two-note solo in a Bowery basement, drawling into a knackered mic – and hoping no-one finds out that you went to a Swiss finishing school.
10. Random digit
There’s nothing quite like a number that’s been seemingly plucked from thin air to give your band an instant shot of dumb-ass, frat-house, punk-lite idiocy.
Just be ready with a suitable screwball anecdote when quizzed – eg, “It’s the number of giraffes the drummer has wanked off…”