10/17/2010-BAND PRIMER-Band Names




-When you’re starting out, one of the 1st things you want to do is come up w/ a name for your band. Sounds pretty basic right? You would think so. Come up w/ a name so people can identify your band so when you do promo, people know where to go in regards to your band. Here’s a few things to keep in mind.

-1st & foremost, when you pick a name, you have to make sure no one else is using it. Again, you would think this is basic, but you wouldn’t believe how many bands I’ve seen w/ the same name. We’re not just talking something like bands in different countries or states. I mean, bands even in the same region of the same state. There are so many bands out nowadays that it’s really hard not to pick a name that isn’t already taken. Fortunately you have the internet. Do your research. Check to see if there’s another band using the name you’ve picked. If there is, check to see if that band is still active-and what they’ve done. If it was some local bar band that hasn’t been out long, released no product, and has broken up-you may be in luck. You still have to do your due diligence though. The last thing you want to happen is to see your band taking off, having a good sized fan base, and reaching higher & higher…only to get hit with a ceist & desist order from a band who has the same name yet was around before you and/or has the name trademarked. It happens a lot-even for signed bands.

-You might think you can get away with the same name but a different spelling. Not really. The main question will be is there confusion with the public when the 2 bands in question are brought up? If there is-there’s a problem.I know of 2 bands-one in CNY and the other in NNY-who have the exact sounding name-yet spelled differently. Does that matter? Yes. Although printed promo with look different, audio promo will have the names sounding exactly alike. If, for ex., the NNY band came into CNY to do a show, there would be confusion-because everyone in CNY will think it’s the CNY band playing. This can even cause legal issues-which are not only stressful but costly.

-When you’re starting out & picking names, don’t get too attached to a name until you’ve done your research. Even if you find a name that no one has, you’re not off the hook. The best thing would be to trademark it-but that can be costly. Most starter bands don’t have the money to do this. What I would suggest is to get that name associated w/ your band as much, and as fast, as possible.Release product w/ your band name & logo and get it out as far as you can. Save & document everything that has the band name/logo on it. You still need to check the internet from time to time to make sure that someone hasn’t picked up the name. You don’t need someone causing confusion w/ your fan base. Contact a music/entertainment lawyer for more info on this.


About Wayne W. Johnson

Hiya-this is Wayne W. Johnson (WWJ) & thanks for dropping by to my site! I hope you enjoy your visit to my home away from home online. If you have any questions, comments and /or concerns about this site, please let me know via the CONTACT page. Thanks & best wishes to you & yours!
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2 Responses to 10/17/2010-BAND PRIMER-Band Names

  1. starveddog says:

    Hey Wayne, that’s some good advice for new and established bands. I remember in Omaha quite a few years there was a local band (of attorneys no less) called the Firm. They struck gold when Jimmy Page & Friends decided to use the name.


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