If you are new to Christian rock, please read this
post about the definition of Christian rock and some of the biggest questions about Christian music.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Band Names

For this next post, I want to specifically talk about band names. When people interview bands, or when fans ask a band a question, so many times they ask for an explanation of the band name. Sometimes the band will have a serious response and a great story about the band name. Other times, the name came from a joke or even a video game. In this post, I want to give you some explanations from bands. I want to share with you the stories and meanings behind six different band names. You may already know the stories behind some of the names, but there might be a few that surprise you.

1. As I Lay Dying

The Grammy nominated metalcore group, As I Lay Dying, actually got their name from a novel. According to lead singer Tim Lambesis, the band is named after a William Faulkner novel titled As I Lay Dying.

“We got the idea from the name. I wouldn’t say that there is a correlation in the meaning of the book and the meaning of the band. We stole the name from there. It’s kind of depressing, but I guess it’s well-written. It’s not my style of novel. Coming up with a name is a lot harder than it seems. At the time, it was the best name that we could think of,” said Lambesis.

2. Family Force 5

The crunk rockers from Atlanta, Georgia, definitely have a humorous side to their band name. The first name for the band was Phamily, but the group soon changed their name to Family Force 5. During an interview with Jesusfreakhideout, Soul Glow Activator compares their name to a giant robot.

"Family Force 5 sounded like a big giant robot, basically. We're a family, we're a force to be reckoned with and there's five [of us], but I'd say there's a way better description and it's that it sounded like a big Voltron robot,” said Soul Glow.

3. Kids In The Way

Kids In the Way actually started writing and recording music before they even came up with their band name. Lead singer, Dave Pelsue, admits that their name came from a lyric in one of their songs.

“There's a lot of different meanings. We named the band Kids In the Way after the song We Are. The chorus says, ‘We are kids in the way.’ We wrote the song before we named the band and kind of took it from the song. We just liked the meaning of the name. In the song, it's talking about a generation of youth - or anybody, really - that is willing to stand up for what they believe and do what they know and feel is right no matter what anybody else says. It kind of has a negative connotation to the title, but it's kind of a sarcastic thing. Like lots of times society would view us as being in the way simply because of what we believe. If that's what they want to say and if that's what they want to call us, then we'll gladly accept that. That's where the Kids In The Way comes from,” said Pelsue.

4. The Letter Black

Formerly known as Breaking the Silence, The Letter Black was signed to Tooth and Nail Records in 2009. After realizing a mainstream band had already received rights for the name Breaking the Silence, the group decided to changed their name to The Letter Black. Mark Anthony, guitarist for the group, admits that the name of the band came from a joke.

“It came out of a joke between our manager and Paige Hamilton (of Helmet). We were coming up with band names and were just tossing names around and Paige just threw it out saying, ‘Why don’t you just call it The Letter Black? It doesn’t have to mean anything.’ And it stuck,” said Anthony.

5. Flyleaf

The female fronted rock band, Flyleaf, has dominated hard rock music in the last couple of years. Similar to As I Lay Dying, the name of the group was inspired through literature.

"A flyleaf is a blank page at the beginning of a book and at the end of a book where people take notes and write dedications and stuff. It's that moment of clarity just before the story begins and that moment of clarity just after it ends. So it's just like before you're born, and just after you die," said lead guitarist Sameer Bhattacharya.

"The moment of clarity I guess is, the Bible says that, ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you in the womb’ and so it's like that moment with God and then the moment after you die when you meet God," said lead singer Lacey Sturm.

6. Hawk Nelson

According to lead singer Jason Dunn, the inspiration for the band name came from an old school video game.

“Well when I was about 14 years old, there was this video game I played called Too Extreme on the Sony Playstation. It was like an extreme sports game - like skateboarding, snowboarding, bike riding and like all those kinds of things. And before you could play, you had to create a character name. And that was the name I made random off the top of my head. I'm like Hawk Nelson. I ripped the first name off of Tony Hawk. Nelson I got from a boot, a repair place in our hometown, Nelson Boot Repair. That's where it came from. Little piece of my childhood, don't you know,” said Dunn.