What’s in a name? A lot, because a band by any other name might not sound as sweet (thx, Shakespeare). Band names give off a first impression and points us in a direction of what to expect from a group. Since there’s so much riding on a group name, I’ve taken a deep dive into how today’s biggest and up-and-coming groups chose the names that stuck with ’em to the top.
Why Don’t We
The guys of Why Don’t We took inspiration from the question they kept asking themselves when teaming up: “why don’t we form a band?” In an interview with Sweety High, Corbyn Besson said that the name “stuck because it applies to so many spontaneous situations we’ve experienced as a band.” Why don’t we all stan Why Don’t We?
There was no easy path for Camila, Normani, Lauren, Ally and Dinah to find their name. As the legend goes, the girls were originally named LYLAS for “love you like a sister” while competing on season two of The X Factor, but had to change their name since Bruno Mars’ sisters had a group with that name. They changed their name to 1432 for the amount of letters in “I love you, too,” but viewer backlash led to Simon Cowell asking fans to tweet their own name suggestions. Imagine being the iconic fan behind this tweet!
Front woman Syd got the inspiration for The Internet’s name from Left Brain, a rapper from the hip hop collective Odd Future that they both were both a part of. When asked where he was from, Left Brain would respond “I’m going to start saying I’m from the Internet.” Syd liked the answer, with The New York Times saying that it spoke to the regionless of the group: they were “defined by a completely different geography, the social networks and websites they spend their time on.”
Lead singer Matty Healy came up with The 1975’s name after seeing the strangely-written date “1st of June, the 1975” within a diary he picked up while on vacation. Matty explained the whole story to Independent Philly, saying he wasn’t “sure why they used the word ‘the'” in the date, but it stuck with him and felt perfect for a band name.
As lovelytheband blasts into the mainstream, I’ll be impressing all the new stans with my in-depth knowledge of how they got their name. Mitchy Collins, Jordan Greenwald and Sam Price told a wild story of going to Joshua Tree National Park in California, using some ~illicit~ substances and coming up with the band name word by word — one word for each member. How lovely!
Zion Kuwonu inspired PRETTYMUCH’s name with a strange lil’ soft-spoken voice he used with friends, always putting “pretty much” into their sentences for comedic effect. That quirk made its way to the rest of the PRETTYMUCH boys; they found it so funny that it became their name! You can hear Zion rock the voice in the video below.
Harry Styles took credit for the band’s name last year in an interview with CBS Sunday Morning, but admitted that he can’t quite define what the name means: “I thought it sounded good.” He said they all pitched names but once he said One Direction, everyone liked it and it stuck.
5 Seconds of Summer
There’s not much meaning behind 5 Seconds of Summer’s name, which Michael Clifford came up with after all the guys tried thinking of band names during science class. He texted the idea to his bandmates and they liked it, revealing on 6o Minutes Australia that it was a better name than one of their other ideas, Bromance.