Thursday, May 8, 2014

My Musical History, Episode 8: A New Name

I don't know why, but I've always believed in the power of a name - like, you know, "Max Power." I like band names that are original, simple, and convey a sense of what the band sounds like. Bonus points if the name is a cool or interesting reference to something meaningful to the band members (or is an inside joke). Usually, a unique combination of basic words seems to work best - Soundgarden and Mudhoney are good examples.*
Max Power
So anyway, The Krayons was an okay name for a casual indie-pop-rock duo playing to pre-recorded bass and drum tracks at shopping malls, but since we were now going to be a "real" band again and do all kinds of cool stuff, we decided that we needed a new, "real" name. Something that we would put some actual thought into, not like previous names that we had just come up with on the fly. Something that would meet the criteria I mentioned in the first paragraph - original, simple, and reflects the bands' sound.

Now, it's hard enough coming up with a "real" band name on your own (see: "The Krayons"), but when you throw several other band members and their opinions into the mix, it can get downright Rubik's Cubish. We brainstormed a really long list of ideas that included such memorable gems as Brainglow Steeple and Beat Up The Bad Guys, before finally settling on...drum roll...Tone Deaf Teens.

Okay, I know what you're thinking, it probably wasn't the greatest name in the world. But hey, it was original - check, simple - check, and it at least sort of captured the essence of the quasi-pop-punk sound we had at the time (we would joke that it was named after our fans). Also, it sounded good as a pre-show or encore chant ("Tone! Deaf! Teens! Tone! Deaf! Teens!" You get the picture.)

With that taken care of, we were now free to make stuff - stickers, press kit folders, t-shirts, the whole nine yards. Which we did. At the same time, we prepared ourselves to go into the studio and record five songs, including Shampoo (the song I wrote in five minutes that sort of prompted this whole endeavor). This was going to be my first experience in a "real" recording studio - the dorm bathroom where R.F.H. recorded doesn't quite count - and I was really excited and looking forward to it. But, as you know by now, whenever rock 'n' roll is involved, things don't always turn out how you expect them to.

Next: Fixed

Also, Soundgarden was named after a sculpture in Seattle, while Mudhoney was named after a Russ Meyer movie. Bonus!

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