Hopefully this is something you never have to deal with, but it does happen: Bands change their names. We don’t always know why, but usually there is a lot of discussions, sometimes heated, that takes place long before the name-change occurs. The hardest thing to decide is when and why a name change should take place. Here are some tips…
Tip 1) Think about your band name as a tattoo. You are supposed to think about the tattoo you want for a long while before you actually get the tattoo, just to make sure you really want it. Do the same with a potential new name for you band: discuss it amongst your band mates and management team, wait a little while and then come back to it and see if everyone still agrees it is a good idea.
Tip 2) If there is only one or fewer original band members left in a band, it might be time to change your name. Some do this because it is out of respect, while others do it because a judge ordered it. Either way, if your band isn’t the band that it started out as member-wise, this could be a good time to change the name.
Tip 3) So you started your band when you were 15 years old with your high school buddies, and you came up with a name that you thought would be hilarious and great (think Doobie Brothers) but ten years down the line people are having a hard time taking you serious because your name sounds more like a sex position than a band name, it might be time to change your name to something a little more memorable for the right reasons.
Tip 4) If you didn’t take the time to do trademark and copyright searches and clearances on your band name when you first chose it, you should do so now, or at least before you get too big. If someone else already has your band name registered, you can either offer to buy the rights, change your name, or keep on truckin’ and hope the other band doesn’t sue your butt off when you make it big. I’d recommend either the first or second option.
Tip 5) If your band name just makes no sense, isn’t memorable, too hard to pronounce, or just doesn’t make for a very marketable name, then you should look into changing your name. You need to be marketable, and this starts with your band name and logo. Clever or simple names are the best because they are easy to remember for people who come across your music.