Original band name quiz Alternative band name changes
[Photos via Sum 41/Spotify, Yellowcard/Spotify, Flyleaf/Spotify, blink-182/Spotify]

“What’s in a band name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet…” Or whatever Shakespeare said.

The truth is, branding is actually pretty important in entertainment. Can you imagine having to call Fall Out Boy or Paramore something else? Yeah, we’d prefer not to.

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To that point, it’s hardly surprising that many bands have undergone some trial and error to find their best fit. Some have even had to make the change after they’d already publicly debuted. Of course, it always seems to work out for the best.

How well do you remember the former names of now-iconic alternative bands? Take the quiz below to find out!

More on band name changes

There are a number of different reasons why bands might decide to change their names. Groups such as the Academy Is… and blink-182 amended their names after facing legal complications presented by groups operating under their previously chosen monikers. Others favored practicality, such as New Found Glory, who’d gone by A New Found Glory until they realized that dropping the determiner would make their records easier to find in shops.

That said, the decision isn’t always that technical. Sometimes it’s just a matter of preference or a desire to better reflect the group’s stylistic leanings. Nirvana are a notable example, having gone through a number of notably punk-esque names such as Skid Row before settling on their now-legendary handle.

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Of course, it’s important that groups exercise this sort of thought early in their tenure. Jimmy Eat World illustrated this point in 2018 when they shared their regret over choosing a name that can’t be acronymized.

While you would think that the ever-connectedness of the social media age would make it relatively easy for a seasoned band such as Jimmy to make a change, there are still challenges involved. Fans, as a general rule, don’t tend to appreciate abrupt changes. Panic! At The Disco caused a significant stir in 2008 just by removing the exclamation point from their name.

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With that said, though, there are a few outfits who have managed to rebrand after establishing themselves. Believe it or not, Finger Eleven had been known as Rainbow Butt Monkeys in the ’90s. Similarly, radio-pop legends Maroon 5 previously put out three studio albums under the name Kara’s Flowers.

How many of these bands were you able to match to their former names? Let us know in the comments!