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Names -> Band Name Origins -> A, Page 2

Do you know why a band picked out it's name? Feel free to let us know.

I can't verify all of these stories, so do take them with a grain of salt. I try and delete the ones that I know to be bogus, but I don't know the origins of every band name (and some bands intentionally tell different stories about picking their band name).

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Entries starting with A are split into multiple pages: 1 2 3

There are 4736 Band Name Origin entries on the site.

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Alan Parsons Project Eric Woolfson had an idea for an album based around the stories of Edgar Alan Poe. He made a fesw stabs at it, but couldn't get the sound he wanted until he hooked up with producer Alan Parsons, who had just finished Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. Parsons gave Woolfson the sound he wanted, and they used mostly studio musicians to record the album. After it was finished, Woolfson wanted to call it simply "Tales of Mystery and Imagination, Edgar Alan Peo," but the label said they had to have a band name so the record stores would know where to stock it. Since their long effort had been known in the studio as "Alan Parsons' Project" they decided to use that as the name, and the album was such a success that the name stuck. Greg McGann
The Alarm In 1979, The Alarm were called Seventeen, after the Sex Pistols song of the same name. After a disasterous tour with Dexy's Midnight runnersin 1980, they broke-up, only to reform a few weeks later with some new ideas and songs. The decided to call themselves "Alarm Alarm", named after the first song Mike Peters (lead vocalist) had written in his first punk band named The Toilets. On the way to their first gig as The Alarm in June 1981, they were listening to the John Peel show on BBC Radio 1. They had sent hi ma letter asking him to read it on the air to In 1979, The Alarm were a band named Seventeen, (from the Sex Pistols song of the same name). After a disastrous tour with Dexy's Midnight runners in 1980, they broke-up, only to reform a few weeks later with some new ideas and songs. The decided to call themselves "Alarm Alarm", named after the first song Mike Peters (lead vocalist) had written in his first punk band named The Toilets. On the way to their first gig as The Alarm in June 1981, they were listening to the John Peel show on BBC Radio 1. They had sent hi ma letter asking him to read it on the air to advertise their first gig. John Peel read the letter, and the said "Hmm, Alarm Alarm. We have Duran Duran, Talk Talk, and now Alarm Alarm. I think I'll change my name to John Peel John Peel". At that instant, the band decided to simply call themselves "The Alarm". Another quick note. A country/western band from the 60's was also named "The Alarm". IRS records had to buy the name from old band so The Alarm could release their first record. I'm the web master for the official web site for The Alarm ( Mike Peters from The Alarm has personally told me this story several times.  Steve Fulton
Alesana Derived from where they lived in Baltimore before officially forming as a band, on Alice-Anna Street. Alex
Alexisonfire Yes, they are named after a porn star, but not just any porn star. The world's only lactating contortionist porn star no less! Her name is Alexis Fire. They got into a spot of bother from her when she found out that they had taken the name of her website as their band name and she threatened to sue, but since she had not cpoyrighted the name "alexisonfire" they were free to use it. Natalia
Alexisonfire Named after a stripper. Vanessa
Alice Cooper Actually the story of the name Alice Cooper originating from a ouija board is false. Alice Cooper said during a Behind The Music interview and I quote "I remember we were sitting around talking about band names. I was eating Doritos and just said the first name that came to mind. Which was Alice Cooper." Funny enough. Vincent Furnier (Alice) was never supposed to be Alice Cooper. It was just a name for the band. Everyone just assumed since Vincent was the front man, that he was Alice Cooper. Glen
Alice Cooper Alice Cooper was actually an 18th century witch. The modern Alice Cooper(Vince Furnier) legally changed his name to this in the 20th Century. SarahSays
Alice Cooper While playing with a ouiji board a witch named Alice Cooper came through from the 18th century who was burned at the stake Terry Tucker
Alice Cooper Alice Cooper took his name from the band he was the lead singer in. The story about the oujia board is totally untrue, Alice himself has stated this, since again, he took the name from the band and not a witch. The name "Alice Cooper" was taken from a character on the TV show Mayberry R.F.D. (played by Alice Ghostley). Keno
Alice Cooper In 1974 Vincent Damon Furnier legally changed his name to Alice Cooper. He wanted to create the image of the meanest, baddest heavy metal freak, with a name that, in contrast, would conjour up images of sugar and spice and all things nice. He chose Alice Cooper because it sounded like the little innocent girl next door. Alice does not believe in, or play with ouiji boards. He has been married for more than 20 years and has 3 children. He spends all his free time playing golf. His handicap is 4. Shrog
Alice Cooper Although many rumors exist (ouija board reading, name of somebody burned as a witch, etc.) the truth is that it simply sounded like a deceivingly wholesome name for a shocking band (source: interview on "Welcome to my Nightmare" DVD) Bill M.
Alice Cooper He got it from a ouja board. Steven
Alice Cooper Alice Cooper thought of that name because he wanted something similar to "Lizzy Borden" the murderer. He said he imagined "alice cooper" being a tiny girl with a huge ax hidden behind her back. One night he was messing with a ouija board and asked it, who is Alice Cooper? The board spelled out his name, Vincent Damon Furnier. Nick Mancini
Alice Cooper First, "Alice Cooper" was originally supposed to be the name of a BAND, not of a person. After a while, people started believing that lead singer Vince Furnier's name was "Alice Cooper" (just as many people think Ian Anderson's name is Jethro Tull, or Debby Harry's name is Blondie), and he started to embrace the name. Now, members of the band have told dozens of conflicting stories about how they got the name, but the simplest and most plausible explanation Vince Furnier ever gave was this: they were a band with a reputation for being loud, crude, crazy, even sick. So, they thought it would be amusing to adopt a name that sounded, sweet, harmless, wholesome and innocent. "Alice Cooper" sounds like the name of a little pigtailed schoolgirl, or a little old lady in church. So, it seemed like a hilariously inappropriate name for a band known for doing perverted things on stage. John from Austin
Alice Cooper JMJ Alice Cooper was originally part of the name of the band he was in. Cooper fans, being Cooper fans, didn't get the concept of naming a band by an actual name, despite the fact that it was a fad then (Arthur Brown, Thin Lizzy, Pink Floyd, Molly Hatchet, etc.) They'd come up to him and go, "Hey, Cooper, great show" "Um.. Thanks, but I'm Vinnie, the band's..." "You were awesome, Alice!" Cooper learned quickly that Cooper fans were easier to patronize than to reason with, so, he became...  dobbs
Alice Cooper well the whole oujia board thing isnt true alice (vince) just thought of a sweet sounding 1st name then second evil sounding like lizzy borden, alice cooper had that ring to it halo of flies
Alice Cooper Alice Cooper did NOT get his name from a ouji board. That was just a rumour that got blown out of proportion. The Alice Cooper group at one stage were called the Nazz but had to change their name as there was another band called the Nazz also. When throwing out names, the name "Alice Cooper" came up and was chosen as the band felt it had a creepy quality to it. Having two syllables in the christian name and surname kept in the rythm of famous macabre figures. Lizzie Borden, Baby Jane, Alice Cooper... (Baby Jane being a favourite film of the group, Alice even based his early make up style on it). Cooper always said that whenever he hears "Alice Cooper" he gets the image of a sweet little girl holding a switch blade behind her back. He also felt it lulled the audience into a false sense of security.. "People hear 'Alice Cooper' and expect to see a blonde folk singer and out we come!" (he said this back when they were starting out and people didnt really know what to expect of the cooper group. Obviously they don't expect a folk singer today) Kevin
Alice Cooper The name came from when they (they meaning before VF was called AC) were thinking of band names and they thought about child killers like Lizzie Borden and they thought Alice Cooper sounded like a childs name that you could imagine her in a nice dress and pigtails with a knife behind her back. Alice Cooper (the man now) said this on VH1. Willie Teggart
Alice Cooper Yes, the ouija board bit is right, but he is supposed to be the REINCARNATION of 17th century witch, Alice Cooper.  Darryl Wilson
Alice Donut The originally called themselves "Alice Donut Liver Henry Moore" as a parody of the movie title "Alice Doesn't Live Here Any More". This was too long to fit in a CBGBs ad in the Village Voice, so they shortened it to just "Alice Donut". Dan Deparr
Alice in Chains The band was names after a Dog who had 3 legs, her name was Alice and she was chained up, the also wrote a song about this dog, their first single was "Man In The Box" which talks about animal (or specifically dog) abuse/cruelty. Lina
Alice in Chains The band Alice in Chains got its name origin from the legendary King of ShockRock Alice Cooper, who was a big inspiration. Alice Cooper's theme dark, spooky, scary, gory, & terrifying was were "Alice" came from, then the "in Chains" part come from their own dungeon, all alone, trapped, no fear, mid evilish theme. So "Alice" is for Alice Cooper & "in Chains" means dungeons & mid evil theme. Sydnei Nicole Frank
Alice In Chains i've heard two reasons for this name... 1) a Brady Bunch episode ( i know nothing about the Brady Bunch so I don't know if this is true) or 2) the band was discussing Alice in Wonderland and the conversation turned to a new name... someone suggested Alice IN Chains. who cares
Alice In Chains One night while getting drunk (before they were signed) Lane Stanley and Jerry Cantrell were watching metal videos. A Poison/Warrant video came on, Lane Stanley started yelling "Alice In Chains!" A mockery of the high hair/glam bands. Well, after a few moments, Lane and Jerry realized that was a great name for a band. I read that in a book of band name origins. Nick Mancini
Alice In Chains Alice in Chains is the title of a Brady Bunch Episode. It sounded bizarre enough to be a band name. David
Alice In Chains They got their name from a cereal in the 80's called, "Apple Alice In Chocolate Chains". Of course, they dropped the snack references. How would anyone take them seriously with a name about food? By the way, the cereal was pretty good. Haven't seen it in the stores since I was 6 or 7. Bye. Jonko McStab VanKill
Alice In Chains They thought of it as a name for a speed-metal band that dressed in drag.  BMW
Alice In Chains The other submissions here are not quite (or in some cases not at all) accurate. According to the liner notes in Alice In Chains' box set "Music Bank", lead singer Layne Staley was in a band in high school called Alice 'N' Chains. It had no particular meaning other than sounding cool. The band was short-lived. Later Staley met guitarist Jerry Cantrell and they decided to form a band, with drummer Sean Kinney and bassist Michael Starr rounding out the lineup. After trying out other names (they played their first show as "F*** - the band), Staley suggested they use the name of his old band. They changed the spelling slightly and became Alice In Chains. downinahole
Alice In Chains The name originated out of a joke of them being a Slayer cover band that wore dresses. The original name was "Alice 'N Chains."  Bobo
Alice In Chains One day, while Layne was walking, he spotted this dog chained to a doghouse. Layne named her Alice. So there you go, Alice In Chains. Glenn Rousseau
Alice In Chains The name came from Layne he thought of a metal band dressed in drag hince the name Alice In Chains also they spelled it Alice N Chains before  meegs
Alice In Chains The REAL way they got there name was from an episode of the Honeymooners, Ralph said to Alice one episode he would like to see Alice in Chains, the band liked it. J L
Alice In Chains actually, alice in chains is a reference to drug addiction believe it or not. coming from layne staley himself, he said that "ALICE" represented the frail person, and the "CHAINS" represented the drug addiction. and the music was about "ALICE" breaking free of her "CHAINS", a.k.a. drugs. and thats from layne staley himslf, r.i.p. p.s.- man in the box is not about dog or animal abuse, its about how people dont do anything w/ their lives and live in "A BOX" and "EAT THE SHIT THATS FED TO THEM", like calves that are raised for veal. again, from layne's quotes. dan
Alice In Chains Layne really loved S&M, and they originally wanted to call the band "Phallus in Chains", but they slightly modified the name so they wouldn't scare off record labels. Lisa Baldwin
Alice in Chains It's a play on "Alice in Wonderland", being a heavy band with dark lyrics, henceforth Alice in Chains. System
Alice in Chains It's actually in direct relation to the old classic Disney movie "Alice in Wonderland", "Alice in Chains" is a darker perspective indicating the trauma and pain of human existence and the false sense of being free Fan
Alice in Chains Layne Staley ( R.I.P ) was in a glam band in about 1987 called Alice 'n Chainz. They screwed with a few ideas including the band title F**k and would pass out condoms at the end of the show with " F**k the band" written on them! But eventually they went with the modern spelling of what is ( was ) now Alice in Chains. BTW, when Layne did Mad Season in '95 the did a few shows as "The Gacy Bunch" as well. Red Ant
Alice In Chains They found a stray dog tied up in chains and named it Alice. They decided to name their band Alice In Chains. bloodymime
Alice in Chains The lead singer Layne Staley used to be in a garage band called Alice n' Chains (short for "and"). All the band members would dress in drag to perform. This name was later changed as new members joined and formed "Alice in Chains". Kozy
Alice In Chains There was once a girl named Alice, she was neighbor of the lead singer. Alice loved chains, she'd wear chains to her clothes, her room was full of chains. Everyone called her "Alice In Chains" because she was simply always in chains. Alice was a little metalhead. :) Then the band Alice in chains, decided to get that name, because they also love chains.... but not as much as Alice. *LOL* Just Me
Alien Ant Farm They chose this name because their guitarist had a dream where aliens put him in a giant ant farm so they could study him snarbulex
Alien Ant Farm It was actually inspired by an episode of "The Outer Limits", in which alien ants from Mars were building a colony in a laboratory on Earth and after killing the scientists, the escape. Rob
Alien Ant Farm The Guitarist had a theory that we were being kept in a giant cage and we had been cultivated by Aliens. This is somewhat like an ant farm, so, Alien Ant Farm. Linkin Child
Alien Ant Farm An ant farm is cultivated- you watch how the ants grow and build and work. this band is imagining that we are being cultivated and watched by giant aliens- as in, the world is an alien ant farm. bassist_emma
Alien Ant Farm The guitarist had a theory that all humans were stuck in an ant farm bred by aliens. Linkin Child
Aline In Chains It's a play on "Alice in Wonderland", being a heavy band with dark lyrics henceforth Alice in Chains. System
Alkaline Trio Matt Skiba, Rob Doran, and Glenn Porter were the original members of the Alkaline Trio. Alkaline means "basic" and trio obviously means "three." The story about Matt flipping through a dictionary for a band name is true--he got as far as alkaline and stopped. Emily
Alkaline Trio the alkaline elements are metallic elements that are ver reactive. I have no idea if that is how they got the name meaning it prob. isnt but i thought that was a pretty cool corelation. max
Alkaline Trio Matt Skiba basically just looked up a word in the dictionary. Then he added trio to it. Obviously he didnt make it that far into the dictionary. Nose Over Tail97 is correct. Nomarfar
Alkaline Trio I read in an interview that Matt (Guitar/Vocals) just saw the word "alkaline" in the dictionary and thought it was cool. Then, since there were three of them, they became the Alkaline Trio. Nose Over Tail97
All About Eve Taken from the black and white film of 1950, of the same name, starring Bette Davis  Goony
All American Rejects The lead singer remembered ''we are rejects, all american'' from green day's nimrod cd black sheep
The All American Rejects (The information here is incorrect). There is aline in the Green Day song 'Reject' that goes "The reject all american". The band are fans of Green Day and took their name from this particular lyric- they just reversed the words. Ramona
All American Rejects The guitarist for the all american rejects remembered a line from a green day song that says :we are rejects, all- american, so they flipped it around and now they are the all-american rejects  marissa
All American Rejects The band was doin a charity thing for this group of kids that had disabilities. At the time they didn't have a name... but one of the lead singers' neighor was one of this kids in the group... the kid liked to call him choo choo beause when the lead singer babysat this kid they'd play a train game. So anyway... they were introduced as the choo choo's! At the end of the gig they decided taht these kids were awesome and they wanted to remember them- so they named themsleves the rejects after the reject little kids!!! harsh right?! but true!!! then the All american came in when they were hangin at the special olympics... one of their drunk friends was like 'hey they r like all american athletes- cept like with problems' so they band was like hey tahts like us n those little kids!!!!! Hence *the all american Rejects!!!* allie
All Saints The name of the street where the band's London recording studio was located. pop
All Saints I don't know if this is relevant but the Spice Girls formed in a house in Boyn Hill Road, Maidenhead in England. If you walk along this road you will magically find yourself in....All Saints Avenue! Fang
All Time Low They got their name from a line in the song "Head On Collision" by New Found Glory- "and it feels like I'm at an all-time low". Alex
The All-American Rejects The "All-Americans" and "the Rejects", both suggested to the band as names, were merged. Robert D. Arndt Jr.
The All-American Rejects When they were trying to come up with a band name, one of them suggested "The All-Americans," but that wasn't cool enough. Then , someone else suggested "The Rejects," but there was already a band with that name. So, they decided to put the two together, thus becoming "The All-American Rejects."  Natalie
The All-American Rejects It has nothing to do with Green Day. In an interview, Nick said that he was just typing in band names to see if they were taken; and The All- American Rejects was the first one that wasn't taken. lora
All-American Rejects They got their name by flipping the lyrics "You're reject all-American" on the song by Green Day called "Reject". snowburton
The All-American Rejects I took this right out of a magazine. But Nick says, "That the band name honestly means nothing. We're just poor white trash from Oklahoma" Speeder0222
Allister they were watching a show on nickelodeon (sp?) called "you cant do that on television" and there was a kid with an unusual talent named alistair and they decided to be nicer with the spelling of the name... low and behold Allister was born.... krystina
Alter Bridge Named after a bridge in Chicago, Illinois  Locomotive
Alter Bridge Alter Road is a boundary between Detroit {poor] and Grosse Pointe [rich]. david hayes
Alterbridge its a place in mark tremonti's (lead guitarist) home. it represents the alterbridge in his town that as a small child, he wasnt alowed to go there because it was unknown wat was on the otherside. so they named the band that because they didnt really know what was going to happen and where they were going Lee
Amboy Dukes Ted Nugent's original band - taken from the title of a 1940's book about street gangs by Irving Shulman. Lea
Amen Corner/Wishbone Ash Amen Corner is the name of an intersection, cross roads on the Cranbourne chase in Dorset. Same for Wishbone Ash, another cross road in Dorset, where the names of these lonely intersections and others are nicely spelled out in a circle above the name signs. I know not why the bands chose these names, presumably they saw them on cross counrty jaunts, they are certainly memorable. David wills
America Three boys in England performed their pop/folk rock songs at pubs in England where their fathers were stationed (American servicemen). Locals began calling the the Americans. Not to be confused with "Jay & the Americans" they simply decided on America for their name/ Bill Stoner
America The band's name developed from many sources, including a deep homesickness for the USA. When they noticed a jukebox with the "Americana" label, they discovered (at least in part) their permanent name. Taken from the biography "America: A Short History".  Brenna McAdow
Amon Amarth From J.R.R. Tolkien's book "The Silmarillion," it means "Mountains of Doom."  Bobo
Amon Amarth It means in Elvish ( a language created by J.R.R. Tolkien) "Hills of Doom" ("Mountains of Doom" would be "Ered Amarh", as the other post says it means) Bradley
Amon Amarth  It is named after a location in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth. The name means "Mount Doom" in Sindarin, one of Tolkien's Elvish languages. weirdkid106
Amorphis From the word amorphous, meaning "without definite shape." Appropriate name.  Bobo
Anamanaguchi From band member pronouncing gibberish in the style of Jabba the Hut Robert D. Arndt Jr.
Anathema Actually this word is derived from the greek wortd/saying which says go to the Anathema or go to hell. Basically it's from Ancient Greece not used in greece anymore but widely used on the meditterenean island of Cyprus. greek speaking island near turkey and egypt. GAP
Anathema This name has got several meanings and connotations i) A curse ii) Anything cursÚd iii) Anything laid up or suspended; hence anything laid up in a temple or set apart as sacred. iv) A detested person. Bobo
Anberlin a "made up" name of the future daughter of one of the members. i say it was combined with amber, lynn, and anne. john
Anberlin The band decided to name themselves after the second wife of King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn. When pronounced, it can be miswritten as "anberlin". mike
Anberlin Band member Stephen Christian has offered the explanations that he planned naming his first daughter Anberlin and that the name was a modification of the phrase "and Berlin" from a list of cities Christian wanted to visit. The one story that Christian asserts is true, however, is that he heard the word in the background noise of the Radiohead song "Everything in Its Right Place".  Robert D. Arndt Jr.
And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead Named after a prayer to Mayan corn gods. Ben
Andrew W.K. Andrew W.K. is short for Andrew Wilkes-Krier. His mother's last name is Wilkes and his father's last name is Krier. He started using the shortened version in school to distinguish himself from another boy named Andrew.  Mike Vanier
Angels Without Wings angels without wings really just means a regular person they haven't hit it big yet but lars urich nephew is in the band patrick
Angra Angra is an island in Brazil. The band is Brazilian...pretty obvious. Mac
Angra Angra actually means "Fire goddess" Shawn McNally
Animal Farm Contrary to popular belief, Dane didn't get the name from the George Orwell book, but rather from a lyric in the Blur song "Country House" which he first hear when he was a teenager. It was chosen because it fit in the "A" section of the record store between "ABBA" and "Ash" which he didn't consider a bad thing. Plus, it was at the beginning of the alphabet, and so it would be more visible for shoppers to spot at a record store. InAltruism300
The Animals In 1962, What began as a three man Alan Price combo playing Saturday night gigs at Newcastle's Downbeat club,evolved into a group containing, Alan Price,Bryan Chandler,Hilton Valetine. Eric Burdon and John Steel. The club was over a warehouse, and near enough to The Railroad tracks that the passing trains shook the crowded, damp room periodically, but the music made by the combo shook it til closing time. It was a frenetic scene,and it was the beginning of a group that became known as The Animals,not through their own design, but because thats what their audiences began to call them, and they were smart enough to recognize a good thing when it came along. Mike Thurber
Anthrax  Comes from back when the boys were sittin' in school in their Biology class. They were contemplationg band names and like Anthrax cause nobody really knew what it was back then. Taylor
Anti-Flag The band hates modern American culture, so they came up with this name. They purposly spelled it with a hyphen to rebel against "proper english" Robby
Anti-Flag One of the band's biggest beliefs is that people are people, despite race, religion, sex, and nationality. Anti-Flag is the idea that people do not belong to a country and should not be separated by a flag. Cody
Anti-Flag The name is meant to show the band's hate of imperialism, arrogant nationalism, and war, not because they hate America. Originaly, they said that the hyphen was misused to show their hate of modern society and refusal to conform, but now Justin admits that they "were just to dumb to know the correct use of a hyphen. holdrobin
Anton Digital cameras Store - huge choice audio video of the equipment. Digitalcameras Store
Anything Box From a children's store about a girl who found a box that when opened gave access to anything she desired. Her anything box. Woofus
AoA Ace of Angels Robert D. Arndt Jr.
Aphex Twin The 'Twin' comes from Richard D.James brother who died before he was born. They shared the same first name, and Richard James Snrs memorial stone appears on the cover of the Boy/Girl EP. Aphex is a manufacturer of audio equipment, which has been used by RDJ.  Jonny EOL
Aphex Twin The Aphex twins were minor characters in the Indian epic, the Mahabharata.  Trent Blankenbote
Aphex Twin Original pseudonym was the now-consigned to Rephlex "AFX", which stood for "Acid Effects". This morphed over time into "Aphex". Alex
Apollo 440 The number 440 refers to concert pitch, which is the A above middle C, having as it does a frequency of four-hundred and forty Hertz. Oliver Levy
ApologetiX The word "apologitics" means "in the defense of the Christian faith. They added the "X" and voila, a new band name.  Xtreme Parody

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