How the band got named and other cross-dimensional moments

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Today, music lover, in the Band Remembers, I shall try to relate the story behind how the band got its name.

Haven’t we all tried naming something or someone in our lives? A pet name for your friend, loved one, or sibling, a name for a pet, your favorite doll, your dumbells, your vehicle, and even the voices in your head. We name them all! It’s just human nature to name things. Sometimes it’s to assert ownership, sometimes it’s avoid confusion, and other times it’s  just fun to call someone something that ticks them off. We all have our reasons.

A band can probably write a book about how they came up with a band name or how difficult it was to find a name. Almost everything you can think of is already taken.  And Google makes it very difficult to feign ignorance. Like any band, we too needed a name. Something to cap this whole collaboration. A band name can become a brand name. This was serious stuff. This is the abridged version of how we got our band name. I would write you a full version but, ironically, I’ve forgotten most of it. But this is a true story.

Imagine two standup guys, Sharjes and Sam. This was 2010. We’d just recorded our first song and feeling really happy. We recorded the whole song with a broken mic and a low-end Ibanez guitar. We mixed and mastered the song as well. Then one of them, let’s call him the first one, had to spoil the moment by asking, “What do we call ourselves?” The other, let’s call him…the second one, promptly replied, “Nothing. Everything is already taken. What about a symbol?” The first one thought for a while and responded, “Prince already did that.” To which the second one replied, “We are doomed.” To which the first one replied, “Nope. That is taken as well.” A spew of words all in bizarre combinations and permutations were thrown around—for three days! Every name was either already taken or too absurd to be taken seriously. Really, we didn’t want to name ourselves “These Pretzels are Making Me Thirsty,” or “Yum Yum Jumbo Prawns in Fried Ketchup,” though we like prawns and the occasional ketchup. Frustrated, the first one said, “Let the music speak for itself. Let’s just call ourselves Led Zeppelin.” The second one, head down, now looked up at the first one. He looked straight into his eyes. The first one stared back. Blank. The second one knew that the first one was obviously losing his mind. The second one didn’t want to push it any farther and said, “Yeah, man, that’s a good name. Let’s…uh..think about it.”

Something had to be done. And then on the fourth day, there was silence. We were quiet. And then through the silence came a breakthrough. The second one uttered, “It should be something about silence.” To which the first one enquired, “You mean, being silent?” The second one replied, “Well, maybe, getting rid of it. Our music will drown out the silence. The silence that envelopes us; the silence made from a thousand cries of injustice.” To which the first responded, “Pipe down on the philosophy. It’s 2 in the morning and we are out of coffee. Let me google it.” So the first one googled—”Our music will drown out the silence” and said, “Not taken! But a bit long, don’t you think?” The second one, now with an unlit cigarette in hand and an air of solemnity, replied, “How about just ‘Drown Silence’?” The second one, finally looking like his sanity was returning, ecstatic, slowly googled “Drown Silence,” trying his best to keep his shaky hands from mistyping—also murmuring the Lord’s Prayer for good measure. Drown Silence was not taken! Both high-fived and accepted the name as their own. The second one flicked the unlit cigarette into another dimension, went into his dark room, and was rarely seen again. The first one went home and made the Facebook page, the Reverbnation page, the Twitter page, and every other goddamn social page possible before someone else did.

That’s how the name

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came into being.

Well, it went something like that1. I remember we went through a host of names before settling on Drown Silence. Some of the names we considered:

  • Gotham Projects
  • Something About Silence
  • Headlight Gaze

Gotham Projects was a favorite, but I believe it was taken. In fact, here’s one of the first images we made for This Is Why I Love You, the first song we recorded. After a hard day’s work, this is what we had.

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We’ve come a long way with creating song art.

Terrible! This particularly horrendous image was created on MS Paint. And if Paint had a conscious, it would’ve started a self-destruct sequence like the Yautja in the movie Predator after the image was made,

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or at the least hid itself in my system so that it’s never used to create such ‘works of art.’

Anyways, we let go of Gotham Projects and went with Drown Silence.

But what’s in a name? The music should speak for itself. Why give a lot of thought for a name? Well, why not have a good name? I guess a band and the music is like an artist’s child, and much like how parents spend time thinking about a good name for their new born, an artist wants to encapsulate certain philosophies or ideas with a name. It’s like naming a product. You want it to say something about the band. This need not be true for many bands but there is no doubt that even putting on an irreverent band name would require thought.

What do you think? Is a band name important to a band’s success? Or is it irrelevant? What are some of your favorite band names?

– Sharjes


 

1 Note to self – this blog should’ve been named “The Band Tries Hard to Remember”

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