band name origins, between the buried and me, rage against the machine, st vincent, all time low
[Photos via: Between The Buried And Me, Rage Against The Machine, St. Vincent/Spotify, All Time Low/Jimmy Fontaine]

For as long as music has existed, artists have been inspiring other artists. Right here within our own beloved scene, we’ve witnessed many examples of newer-era bands drawing inspiration from the OGs. What’s especially endearing is that not only have bands influenced each other in terms of musical style; they’ve also taken from the lyrics of their predecessors the most crucial aspect of their identities: their names.

We can imagine how awesome it must feel for any artist to have their work become a namesake, and we love to picture the moment when a band realizes, while listening to their favorite music, that they’ve found the perfect name. (Okay, maybe it never actually happens that instantaneously, but we still like to picture it that way.) Here’s our roundup of 12 bands who did just that.

Read more: 20 bands keeping the riot grrrl spirit alive in their own unique way

All Time Low (taken from “Head On Collision” by New Found Glory)

There’s no denying that New Found Glory have been a huge cornerstone and a major influence in the pop-punk scene. They hit the ground running with their 1999 debut album, Nothing Gold Can Stay, and proceeded to release hit after hit (including the single “Hit or Miss,” ironically). An up-and-coming band from Baltimore, the members of which were only preteens at the time, would eventually take their name from NFG’s wildly successful track, “Head On Collision.” Today, you know them as All Time Low. Of course, they have now earned their own rightful place in the scene, and we can’t really imagine them being called anything else. (Lesser-known fun fact: New Found Glory’s name was also inspired by one of the greats before them: The Get Up Kids’ “A Newfound Interest in Massachusetts.”)

Rage Against the Machine (taken from “Rage Against the Machine” by Inside Out)

Before the formation of Rage Against the Machine in the early 90s, Zack de la Rocha was the frontman of a hardcore punk group called Inside Out. The name of his new would-be band came from the title of a song he wrote for the previous one. Whether it’s used as a song title, a band name, or a general label for a non-conformist way of life, “rage against the machine” is a powerful 4-word combination, and we’re glad it was popularized by this iconic rap-rock group.

Neck Deep (taken from “Boom, Roasted” by Crucial Dudes)

There’s been a steady trend of two-word band names in the newer era of pop-punk (Knuckle Puck, State Champs, Moose Blood, Modern Baseball, Real Friends…), and Neck Deep is one in particular that instantly sparks curiosity. As it turns out, the name comes from a line in the song “Boom, Roasted” by Crucial Dudes, who recently put out a 10th-anniversary edition of their beloved debut album, 61 Penn. The lyrics are full of angst, and we can definitely hear a similar energy in Neck Deep’s music.

Man Overboard (taken from “Man Overboard” by blink-182)

If New Found Glory are the godfathers of pop-punk, blink-182 are the cool great uncles. The two bands are often credited with laying the groundwork for the genre’s success, and they were both huge sources of inspiration for younger artists in many ways. Man Overboard, the band that coined the motto “Defend Pop Punk,” took their name directly from the title of the blink-182 song, which is about losing a friend to alcoholism.

Funeral for a Friend (taken from “Funeral for a Friend” by Planes Mistaken For Stars)

Hailing from Bridgend, Wales, post-hardcore band Funeral for a Friend have graced stages all over the world. They’ve played at plenty of big-name festivals and are considered to be hugely influential in the British post-hardcore scene. They themselves were influenced by Planes Mistaken for Stars, one of frontman Matt Davies’ favorite bands, taking their name from a song of the same title. Funeral for a Friend disbanded in 2015, but they have since reunited—and are set to kick off a UK anniversary tour in 2022! 

Scary Kids Scaring Kids (taken from “Scary Kids Scaring Kids” by Cap’n Jazz)

Scary Kids Scaring Kids is another band name you can’t hear without wondering where in the world it came from. Its origin is a song of the same title by Chicago-based emo band Cap’n Jazz. While “Scary Kids Scaring Kids” may be a curious song title, it’s got nothing on the name of the album it appeared on, Analphabetapolothology, or the name of Cap’n Jazz’s only full-length album, Burritos, Inspiration Point, Fork Balloon Sports, Cards in the Spokes, Automatic Biographies, Kites, Kung Fu, Trophies, Banana Peels We’ve Slipped On and Egg Shells We’ve Tippy Toed Over. SKSK clearly had a lot of material to work with, and we’re glad they decided on something memorable.

As It Is (taken from “Life Is Hard Enough” by Have Heart)

Have Heart was a straight-edge hardcore band whose lyrics spoke volumes. They covered a wide range of topics, such as loss, perseverance, and inner strength, and were generally known for writing powerful songs. In particular, “Life Is Hard Enough,” the opening track on the band’s 2006 album The Things We Carry, talks about fighting and pushing through life’s most challenging times. The song’s closing line, “we all know life is hard enough as it is,” resonated with the members of what would become successful British pop-punk band As It Is, and the rest is history. 

Northlane (taken from “North Lane” by Architects)

Northlane emerged as part of a new wave of incredible metalcore bands in the early 2010s. Their name pays homage to an Architects song called “North Lane,” which talks about feeling lost and worn-down. It’s hard to explain exactly why, but combining the two words into one just somehow makes the name feel more metalcore.

Between The Buried And Me (taken from “Ghost Train” by Counting Crows)

North Carolina icons Between The Buried And Me are known for their unique and innovative style, combining all the best elements of prog, death metal, and straightforward rock. Lead vocalist Tommy Rogers has stated in interviews that the song from which BTBAM took their name, Counting Crows’ “Ghost Train,” always stood out to them. In choosing a name that was different from anything else they had heard before, the band decided that their music itself would take on a similar identity and direction. 

The Naked And Famous (taken from “Naked and Famous” by The Presidents Of The United States of America)

The Presidents of the United States of America lent naming inspiration to electro-pop duo The Naked and Famous, who are originally from Auckland, New Zealand. If the line “everybody wants to be naked and famous” is actually true for the band personally, they’ve certainly got the “famous” part down. Despite having a distinctly different sound than previous albums, their most recent release, Recover, received critical acclaim. We’re seriously hoping to see them start touring again in 2021. 

St. Vincent (taken from “There She Goes, My Beautiful World” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds)

The lyrics to “There She Goes, My Beautiful World,” by Australian powerhouse band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, are pure poetry. The song is widely believed to describe a lack of inspiration. However, with such rich and colorful lyrics, it’s no surprise that the song would actually be a great source of inspiration for a unique and innovative artist: singer-songwriter Annie Clark, better known as St. Vincent.

Bad Brains (taken from “Bad Brain” by the Ramones)

It’s safe to say that there are plenty of bands in various subgenres of punk rock that wouldn’t exist today if not for the Ramones. And, the band formerly known as Mind Power might never have become Bad Brains. They, too, have proven themselves influential in the hardcore punk scene. Not only have they released nine successful albums; they also introduced racial diversity where it was severely lacking, challenged negative stereotypes about the genre, and even earned a nomination for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.