Here’s how 22 bands got their names

February 4, 2018
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Linkin Park

Orginally called Hybrid Theory, trademark issues with a band called Hybrid forced the band to rethink their name. Bennington suggested “Lincoln Park” since he had to drive past there after band practice to get home. However, the doman name “” cost more than the band could afford, so they changed the spelling to Linkin Park. It was also suggested that the name change would help them appear right next to Limp Bizkit at record stores. 


“We used to always do rehearsals in this studio at 1 o'clock in the morning,” explains Taka in an interview with Jame World. “We weren't very serious about choosing the name at first, but when we thought of 1 o'clock, it fit us so well. We thought '1 o'clock' didn't have enough punch and although the spelling is different, the Japanese pronunciation of 'rock' is in the word so we decided to use the word 'rock' instead. (In Japanese, there is no distinction between L and R sounds, so they sound the same.) Looking back on it, it was pretty simple. Then, we changed the left over sound of 'o-c' to 'OK', so the band's name changed like that.”


A nickname from Sonny's teen years where friends would call him “Skrillex,” “Skrill” or “Skrilly.” It was also used as his AOL screen name. 

Twenty One Pilots

Tyler Joseph came up with the band name while reading All My Sons by Arthur Miller. In the play, a man commits suicide after causing the death of twenty-one pilots after knowingly sending them faulty parts for the good of his business during World War II. The story of moral dilemma was the inspiration behind the band's name. 

Some bands found inspiration for their names from lyrics and song titles from other really rad artists.

All Time Low

The band debated calling themselves Playground-X after alevel from the very popular shooter game Counter-Strike, but eventually settled on All Time Low from New Found Glory's “Head On Collision.”

Panic! At The Disco

Inspired by the song “Panic” by Name Taken, the band were torn between this and the lyric “burn down the disco” from the Smiths' song “Panic.”

Man Overboard

Blink-182's song “Man Overboard”…this one seems obvious.

The Story So Far

Again, “The Story So Far” by New Found Glory. Sometimes a band name sticks out at you in the easiest way possible.

Death Cab For Cutie

Another pretty straightforward one. The Bonzo Dog Dooh-Dah Band's track “Death Cab For Cutie” is the inspiration behind this name.

Rage Against The Machine

“Rage Against The Machine” by Inside Out makes a pretty badass band name.


Originally called On A Friday, the band changed their name to Radiohead after Talking Heads' track “Radio Head.”

Which band name story is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

Written by AltPress