I need your opinion and ideas. I have a new theory for your consideration – when it comes to musical artists, band names are more marketable and more fun than dude’s names. Johnny Assface And The Wieners is better than Johnny Assface. Umm….okay, bad example, but you get the idea.
This notion has been sloshing around in my meat computer for a few weeks and recruiting neurons to it’s cause. I’ve only become more convinced after having a conversation about it with two of my musical heroes (both hyper-intelligent heavy-hitters in the Rock And Roll Unifactor). They both agreed that The Chris Merritt Band or Chris Merritt And The Guys or Chris Merritt And Fart Factory is something worth considering. But, you know, an actually good band name.
This goes right along with some books I’ve been reading lately on society and the human psyche. Malcolm Gladwell’s books, especially The Tipping Point, Chabris/Simons’ The Invisible Gorilla (amazing/scary), and Richard Wiseman’s books. Often, subtle flavors play a big part in what catches and retains attention. My reasons for liking the group name idea are as follows:
- People tend to want to support a group or a cause, and are less inclined to support one guy’s inflated ego
- People want a band name on their t-shirt. A guy or girl’s name just ain’t the same on a shirt, man.
- They want to be in the club. A band feels like a secret fun club for cool people. A guy’s name feels like a secret fun club for a guy.
- People aren’t all musicians. They have trouble understanding how to apply an individual’s name to recordings that clearly have lots of instruments.
- People like to check out the band and get to know the different faces and personalities of the group. And chicks like to drool over the drummer.
- Bands are larger than life and seem magical and legendary.
- Through history, solo acts never do as well as the band. Ben Folds Five. The Beatles. The Police. The Pixies. Bush (yeah, has anyone heard Gavin Rossdale’s solo stuff?)
Those are the reasons I think band names work, but on a personal level, here is what I like about the idea:
- I have a band of insanely talented, professional New York rockstars who add a lot to the music. Chris Merritt feels like a band, for the first time in years.
- I like the idea of talking about my music without saying “my band is called Chris Merritt. That’s me. Chris Merritt. Yeah I named my band after myself.”
- My band is damn handsome. This has nothing to do with anything but I’m just pointing it out.
There are reasons I don’t like a band name too. For example, when members change, it feels like you have to write a new thesis and change the organization’s title. I also don’t love the idea of “Jonny Blah And The Blahblah” as a name, but I want to retain “Chris Merritt” or “Merritt” in the name somewhere. I have a tiny eensy beeeensy bit of name recognition now that I’ve built over five years.
I briefly considered going back to Paperface. Even with Paperface, I saw how the fans got a little more cult-ish with the band. But I don’t know, I like the idea of Chris Merritt And The Something. It sounds quirky and fun. A lot of people don’t like bands with names in them, but this could be different. Weird enough to work. Here are some ideas (thought up by me, the band, or awesome friends):
Chris Merritt And The Supercolliders / Chris Merritt And The Virginia Squires / Chris Merritt And The Killscreen / The Chris Merritt Tabernacle Choir / Chris Merritt And The Fundamentalists / Chris Merritt And The Non-Opera Singers / Chris Merritt And The Tokens / The Chris Merritt Conspiracy / Chris Merritt And The Moving Targets / Chris Merritt And The Virgins / Chris Merritt and The Imaginary Guns / Chris Merritt And Superstrings / Chris Merritt And The Space Monkeys / Chris Merritt And The Quantum Leaps
So here’s where you come in. I want your honest opinion. What do you think? And most importantly, can you think of any great band name ideas? You guys always come up with better things than I can! Think science. Humor. Virginia. Whatever.
There are wonderful things afoot, my friends. News will come your way in due time. But first, I need a name that will kill people on utterance.