Weird band names to have fun with

Published 3:22 pm Saturday, February 23, 2019

There’s no doubt that names are important. We all had a name bestowed upon us at our birth, and then we grew up naming lots of other things along the way. Places, pets, other people, inanimate objects, distant stars in the sky, etc.

There’s almost nothing we won’t try to stick a name on. And of course, that’s all for convenience. How else could we communicate! If different kinds of food, for example, didn’t have different names, recipes would be really, really hard to read. Imagine: pour one cup of food into the food mix containing food, food, and food. Then stir in a half-cup of food.

Uh, you’re going to have be more specific there if you want something edible!

So yeah, everything’s got a name. Sometimes the names hold a lot of importance and reverence, and sometimes they’re slapdash and cobbled together at random.

Band names, I think, are perhaps the most random and most entertaining of all the things we name. (Car models are probably second, but that’s a topic for another day.) If you want to make memorable music, it helps to also have a memorable band name. I think that’s the thought process behind several of the strangest names anyway.

My brother once mentioned a band named “King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard.” It’s certainly a fun name to say (if you can remember the right order). Their band name contains twice as many z’s as ZZ Top!

A friend of mine was telling me recently about a band named “Bump of Chicken.” She said she’s never been able to figure out the name. Frankly, neither can I. Every time I read it, I just imagine someone holding a live chicken while attempting to fist bump everyone who walks by. Actually, that sounds pretty funny… and now I’m disappointed that’s not what they do.

I remember the one semester I worked at my college radio station, we used to have a large collection of very, very, very alternative rock music. One band name that always stuck out was “Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head.” They were, of course, not affiliated with the actress herself.

I, too, listen to plenty of bands with strange names. Most of them are, admittedly, Japanese bands with names that sound like they pulled random English words out of a hat. (And maybe they did?) Names like “DOLL$BOXX” and “Exist Trace” and “Rip Slyme” and “Swanky Dank.”

My personal favorite ridiculous Japanese band name, however, is “Kis-my-ft2” which is actually just an acronym of the band members’ initials. I don’t actually like their music but their name makes me laugh every time.

Sometimes I wonder if band members really think these names through before they settle on them. There are some names which are downright impossible to Google. Okay, famous bands like “Yes” and “The Band” do actually pop up when you type in those words. But there are others who aren’t so lucky. If you type in “Pink” or “Chicago,” the musicians are not what appears first in the search results. And honestly, I’m a bit afraid to Google search “Barenaked Ladies” to see if that band shows up.

For those of you out there thinking about creating a band but have no idea where to start, you’re in luck! There are plenty of “band name generators” on the internet to help. The website gives you an entire form to fill out before it suggests a variety of names. You can put in adjectives to describe the band, the name of a special place, an animal, a body part, and much more.

Fun, right? I did it myself and my favorite weird result was “Holly Eats the Guitar.”

Since I’ve got the name now, I guess maybe I should start a band?

Holly Taylor is a Staff Writer for Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at or by phone at 252-332-7206.