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Old February 19th, 2013, 10:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Should my band change our name? (How original does a band name need to be?)

My band is called Household Tales. We chose the name because nothing music related came up on web searches, and the myspace was available. That was three years ago, and we've been gigging under it ever since.

We're now about to release our debut album, get stickers and other merch made, etc.

The other night, I found out about another Brooklyn band called Household.

They've been written up in some big name blogs like the Village Voice, Brooklyn Vegan, and even The Guardian (UK).

On the one hand, they play very different music from us (we're more in the folk/rock vein, they're an all-female post-punk kinda thing), and the name is not the same.

On the other hand, we're in the same city, and we both play rock music, and people may confuse us despite the differences.

We're just about to release our first album, and if we're going to change names we need to do it right away. But that means a huge mess as far as facebook and other internet presence, as well as confusing people who have seen us in the past.

So should we change names, or just keep going and hope the other band breaks up?

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Old February 19th, 2013, 11:29 AM   #2 (permalink)

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I'm not sure Household Tales is a real strong band name anyway, so it might be a good time to rebrand and use the other band as the excuse.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 11:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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"Household" is not the same as "Household Tales" of course but it's obviously similar and could get you confused with the other band. I'm with Koko
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Old February 19th, 2013, 11:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I started my band two years ago with 'Rocket' in the name. Since then two other bands have formed locally, also with Rocket in their name. It is causing confusion - our fans are turning up at the wrong gigs and when I call a venue to get a gig they think we've already played there. So my vote would be to change your name - or ask the other band to do it if they have formed more recently than yours.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 12:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My first thoughts were, screw it, keep your name. However, after reading the replies you've gotten so far has changed my mind. Especially what Gigsby mentioned - having a club owner think you've already played there. Would really suck if the other similarly named band sucked real bad.

Now IS a good time to do it(before the first CD comes out). The mix-up with facebook and websites can be addressed by stating "formerly known as..." for a few months until folks know who you are.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 12:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Since in three years you've never heard of the other band or crossed paths I would think there isn't any confusion. Locally I saw one well known band try to change names and it just never stuck, they finally gave up and went back to the old name.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KokoTele View Post
I'm not sure Household Tales is a real strong band name anyway, so it might be a good time to rebrand and use the other band as the excuse.
As for good names, there are so many huge bands with bizarre names that I don't think it makes any difference.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 12:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I agree that you should use this as an excuse to change the name. If the other "household" band was in another state, it wouldn't be such a big deal, but since they're in the same borough as you, you don't need the potential hassle. This happened to some friends of mine... they had just changed their name to "Elevator" when the local band "The Elevator Drops" started to get somewhat popular.

As others have said, I don't find "Household Tales" to be a blow-me-away-awesome band name anyway.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 12:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think there's enough of a difference between the two names to not be an issue but agree with Koko and the others. This is probably the best opportunity you'll have to rebrand with a stronger band name.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 12:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Change it......the confusion surrounding "The Small Faces" and "Faces" has lasted decades. Don't let it happen to you
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Old February 19th, 2013, 12:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Depends who was first. If you were first, the other band should change their name. FWIW I think Household Tales is a decent name for a folk/rock band. Not so much for a punk band. You might find the they they would be keen to change their name to something more fitting.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 12:47 PM   #11 (permalink)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sax4blues View Post
As for good names, there are so many huge bands with bizarre names that I don't think it makes any difference.
Bizarre is something different altogether, usually unique and often memorable. Household Tales is kind of a midsized sedan of a band name. Like driving an Accord or a Camry or something, there's nothing wrong with it, there's just nothing really memorable about it either.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 12:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I don't see the problem with the name, not when a band with a name as bland as "nickelback" has sold 50 million records, with completely crap music no less.

Overall I guess it depends on how much of a following you have, and what kind of names you have to replace it with. All Dinosaur Jr had to do when they found out a band already had the name "Dinosaur" was to add a "Jr" at the end of their name.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 12:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Another vote for changing your band name because it's not a very good name in the first place.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 01:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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How big is your following? If it's more than two or three hundred don't change it. If it's a hundred or so you may confuse a few but it won't be the end of the world. Less than a hundred, no big deal.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 01:23 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Califiddler View Post
Another vote for changing your band name because it's not a very good name in the first place.

He wasn't really asking for a judgment on the quality of the band name...

I think if you change it definitely do it fast and soon and get it over with. I can see it being a hassle to change names.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 01:51 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I'm with purpletele, depends on how your following is right now. If you guys have a facebook page, perhaps you could poll your followers?
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Old February 19th, 2013, 01:54 PM   #17 (permalink)
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IMO, you should keep your name if y'all like it. The two names are far enough off and this has always happened.

Examples: The Who. .. The Guess Who.
Bob Marley had the Wailers... Waylon had the Waylors
Look at all of the bands with "black" in the name... Black Crowes, Black Keys, Black Label Society, Black Flag, etc.

If the name is exactly the same then you'd have more of an issue.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 01:55 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
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He wasn't really asking for a judgment on the quality of the band name...

I think if you change it definitely do it fast and soon and get it over with. I can see it being a hassle to change names.
Not too bad before your stuff your fanbase is big and before the band stuff is published and copyrighted. Hopefully the band hasn't shelled out big bucks for website creation. The hardest thing is getting members to agree on a name! Yikes!
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Old February 19th, 2013, 02:08 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I'm a big believer in good band names, or, in my field, good titles for compositions. Songs are a different story, because they are so short and a writer can create many in a year. A composer might write 2-3 pieces a year. When a composition has an obvious-sounding, blah name, I immediately think he/she doesn't care that much about the work. Ditto for band names.

Household Tales does have something going for it. It is something of a non sequitur, as the second word does not seem to follow from the first. I can't imagine what it possibly means. The good thing is that it catches my attention, and I start running through possible interpretations. I don't dwell on this for more that a few seconds, seriously, but because it has a good rhythm and a possible, if obscure, meaning, I hold onto to it for a bit in my mind. Now, as someone who has wrestled with composition titles, and band names, for decades, my advice is to start listing substitutions for one word, keeping the other. Then switch words, and keep the first one and make a list of alternates for the remaining word. You don't have to literally do this on paper, just the regular old brain is fine.

In short, there is something good about the name, but something not so good. That alone sets up a rhythm, an energy that is worth exploring. I also agree that household probably needs to go, if only because of the other band. But, this raises an obvious question: is there an emerging or alternate meaning for "household" that most of us are not aware of? It is very odd that two bands would use the same, ordinary, yet potentially obscure word in their name. I recommend putting the thinking cap on and wrestle this to the ground.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 02:21 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Your name has to be 'original' enough to attract attention from the 'right' people.

If you want to be popular, you need a name the Masses will like. Even if you don't like it.
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