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Names -> Band Name Origins -> A, Page 3

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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Apoptygma Berzerk The lead singer, Stephen Groth, claims the words were randomly picked out of a dictionary. "Apoptygma" is an old Greek word, for the fold of a woman's undergarment. Arix
Apparatus It was a random word in the dictionary. mia
April Wine Taken from the band's website: "It all began in Nova Scotia late in 1969. The Henman brothers, David and Ritchie, got together with their cousin Jim Henman and fellow musician Myles Goodwyn to form a band called April Wine, a name chosen simply because they were two words that sounded good together." GRMatthews
Aqua The band featuring Lene Grawford Nystrm and Ren Dif (not the other one), derived their name, and the name of their most famous album, from a picture of an aquarium hanging on a wall of the recording studio. Bobo
Aqua The sat in a room with a poster hanging on the wall advertising the "Danmarks Akvarium", and they choose the name from the poster. At At lest that was what the declared on national television. (confirms Bobo) Kim Garsdal Nielsen
Aqua5 The group's name is based on part of Natsuki Mizu's name (水夏希), which translates to "water". The Mole
The Aquabats They are superheroes from the planet Aquabania!  John McC
Aqualung Matt Hales of Aqualung explained that their name comes from their music as "it helps you breathe, like an aqualung used in space or underwater" Craig
Aquifer They were really into Aqualung, but of course couldn't name themselves after a band already out. In a brainstorming session, someone blurted out the word. It was Aquifer forever after that. Nikki
Arab Strap Named after a Sex aid. given that about 90% of the grumpy old buggers' songs are about shagging this should come as little surprise Dr Jimatha o' Boogie
Arabesque The name was chosen because all the band members had some Arabic blood in them. Mr. X
Arcade Fire Named after: "A story that Win Butler (Lead Vocals & other instruments) heard from a childhood friend about an arcade catching on fire. This could be referring to the Summerland Disaster on the Isle of Man, in which a Leisure Centre (not a video arcade) burnt to the ground in a disastrous fire in 1973 Dan Shaw
Arcadia As an interesting side note, when Arcadia's first (and only) album, "So Red The Rose", was in the final stages of production, it was discovered that Asia's next album was also due to be named "Arcadia" (all of Asia's albums in those days, and many since, have titles that start and end with "A"--Asia, Alpha, Aqua, Arena, etc). After a short period of tension, Asia decided to rename their project to "Astra". EJSawyer
Arcadia (Duran Duran project) The name comes from the painting by Nicholas Poussin entitled "Arcadian Shepherds". On the tomb where the shepherds are gathered, there is an inscription: "ET IN ARCADIA EGO". The literary sources are numerous - from the Eclogues or Bucolics of Virgil to the Arcadia of Jacopo Sannazaro (1502) - all invoking an imaginary place, a "kingdom of Utopia". However the phrase ET IN ARCADIA EGO can not be traced to any known classical source. The Latin words means "Even in Arcadia I exist", where "I" is considered to refer to death. Basically, Nick Rhodes thought it was pretty cool. I got this information from the Japanese-released Arcadia video circa 1986. Lady Divia
Archers of Loaf They opened the dictionary and pointed their finger randomly. The first word they placed their finger on was archer. Since there is more then one member of the band, they made archer plural. Hence, Archers. They opened it up again and landed on another noun. The third time they opened it up they landed on loaf. Thenceforth, Archers of Loaf. Travis
Archers Of Loaf It basically means nothing, but they make up things to fool people.  Bobo
Arctic Monkeys While they were trying to think of band names, one of them decided to ask where they'd want to be in the Arctic or the desert. After that, they saw a poster of a monkey. Therefore, "Arctic Monkeys" Taylor
Arctic Monkeys Made up by guitarist Jaime while in school while doodling Robert D. Arndt Jr.
Arcwelder This Mpls band was originally named Tilt-A-Whirl, but after being threatened by litigation from the company that manufactured the carnival ride, changed its name. Roderick
Argent Named after frontman Rod Argent, the former lead singer for "The Zombies". oldsong
The Ark The singer and founder Ola Salo's father is a priest, so he was raised on the Bible. He wanted to build and Ark to retain glamrock in the music business. Flo
Army Of God Named after some militant Christians responsible for kidnapping a couple of abortion providers in the 80's, and now suspected in various bombings in Atlanta. The band flirted with Satanic imagery, sucked each other's blood on stage, and generally tried to shock audiences.  Bobo
ArnoCorps Inspired by the emotional vocal delivery from bands in the genre of "Emo-Core". The band writes and sings songs about Arnold movies, so they called their music "Arno-Core". On-stage presence includes commando fatigues and a militaristic theme, so the phonetically identical word "Corps" was substituted for "Core". ArnoCorps!! Chet
The Art of Noise Named for one of the manifestos of the Italian futurists, "The Art of Nosies", by Luigi Russolo. Eiki
Art Of Noise Named after the 1913 manifesto called "The Art of Noises" by Italian Futurist Luigi Russolo. Russolo made noise machines, wrote music for them, and also recorded sounds from the environment for musical pleasure.  Bobo
The Artwoods Taken from the lead singer, Arthur Wood. Originally the The Artwoods Combo. noitall
As I Lay Dying Jazz Age author William Faulkner wrote a book of this title, companion to The Sound and the Fury. Alex
Ash When they first formed, the three original members (Tim Wheeler--lead vocals and guitar, Mark Hamilton--bass, and Rick McMurray--drums) flipped through the dictionary until they found a word they thought sounded cool. Kendra
The Ashes All the band members have come from other bands so this band has risen from 'The Ashes' of the past. And of the old Oxford music scene. Howie
Asia The early '80s supergroup, formed by ex members of Yes, King Crimson, and ELP, was named by their manager Brian Lane, who supposedly wanted the new group to have a name that sounded big, and what could be bigger than the largest continent? tim gueguen
Asia According to Asia's offical website,, the name was a suggestion of then-manager Brian Lane. EJSawyer
Asia They wanted something beginning with A. So record-store browsers would come across it first thing. Jerry Petersen
Asking Alexandria Taken from Alexander the Great (Editor's Note: Before you submit something, please check to make sure it's not already there.) Robert D. Arndt Jr.
Asphalt Ballet The 90's metal bands name came from a motorcycle accident Julius J. Ulrich was in where the motion of the bike rolling over on the asphalt road was termed an "Asphalt Ballet."  Stephen
The Association The Association began in the spring of 1965 at the Troubadour Club in Hollywood. A thirteen man band called "The Men", made their debut there with a new kind of music called folk-rock. They played several local dates but after one stormy rehearsal, angrily broke up. Five of them walked out with singer-songwriter Terry Kirkman, who led them back to his place for some drinks and consolation. Someone suggested forming a new band, perhaps using the name , "The Aristocrats". Terry's wife went to the dictionary to look up the word for them and found a better name on the very same page..."The Association".  Tim K.
Aswad Means Black in Arabic Bobo
At The Drive-In Named after a line in the chorus of "Talk Dirty To Me" by Poison Pawn Scum
At The Drive-In From a Poison song. Cedric Bixler said it was that and "Master of Puppets" that made him want to be a singer. Ryan Neill
The Ataris Named after the old video game console (now a video game manufacture). They just put "the" in front of it and added "s" on the end. TCfan
The Ataris Back in the early 80s, the first home video game system was the Atari. The Ataris got the name from there. Mike
The Ataris Kris Roe (lead singer/guitarist) named the band The Ataris from his huge collection of the Atari games. Dude
ATB Composer/Producer's name Andre TanneBerger Reece Kino
Atheist Originally called RAVAGE, but there was a Dokken-like band with the same name at the time, so they put periods between each letter (R.A.V.A.G.E.). It didn't mean anything at first, but when asked what the name stood for, they said "Raging Atheist Vowing A Gory End". Later, when they changed their name, they held on to the "Atheist" part of their stupid acronym. ironman
Atomic Kitten Originially they were going to be called Automatic Kitten, after a friend's clothing line. But they decided it was too long and shortened it to Atomic Kitten. They then realised that Atomic Kitten described every woman in the world: loud and outgoing sometimes, and quiet and shy others. Manchester*Enfys
Atomic Rooster According to Arthur Brown, while touring the US with the band Rhinoceros in 1969, one of the members of that band shut himself up in a cabin for an entire weekend, up to his eyeballs on LSD. When he came out, he emerged dressed as a chicken, and declared himself "The Atomic Rooster!". Brown's backing musicians (Vincent Crane and Carl Palmer) took the name home with them when they left the band shortly afterwards and named their new band after that. Mike Healy
Atreyu It's the main character from the fantasy movie "The Never Ending Story". Ed
Atreyu They got it from the movie " The Neverending Story" bill
atreyu Atreyu is the name of the main character and hero in the fantasy film, 'The Neverending Story', in which a boy gets sent to on a quest to save the land of Fantasia from nothingness. ozman
Audioslave Chris Cornell says that the band's name came to him in a vision. A Guy
Audioslave When this band formed,they were going to call themselve "Civilian" unfortunately they had to change it due to the fact that the name was already taken.Therefore, the band came up with "Audioslave" which means as fans we are slaves to audio of rock music.Makes sense doesnt it? Jimbo
August Burns Red The original vocalist was dating a girl named August who he wanted to break up with. When he broke up with her, she got really mad. The vocalist also had a dog named Redd. August went to his house and burned his dog Redd alive in his dog house. The next day the front page of the local newspaper said "August Burns Redd" they just dropped one of the "d" in the name. Von
August Burns Red Here is a quote from guitarist Brent Rambler. "We had our name because in high school, one of our best friends, Jon Hershey, who was also our vocalist at the time. But right before he joined the band, he was dating this girl named August. And the relationship got a bit out of hand and he really wanted to end it. So he ended the relationship and instead of getting just sad about it, she got really really really angry and Jon at the time had a dog named Redd, it was an Irish setter and it had red fur and everything. So she got really mad, went up to his house, and burned his dog Redd alive, in his dog house. And the name and everything comes from, because the next day, the headlines in the newspaper in the local news was "August Burns Redd" and then we just kind of went with it. It really affected Jon, so when we were picking a band name, that was one that stuck in his head, so he decided to use it. So our name doesn't mean nothing, it just had a really weird and kind of gross meaning. " - guitarist Brent Rambler Travis
Autograph According to wikipedia, the band were fans of the Def Leppard song "Photograph", so, they wanted a name that sounded similar. G
Automatic Baby This was a short-lived (one song) supergroup formed of members of REM and U2 in the early nineties to perform at Bill Clinton's inaugural concert. Their name comes from the two bands' most recent albums, "Automatic For The People" and "Achtung Baby". Brian Kelly
Automatic Hotel They were on tour in Europe and needed a place to stay for the night. They found a place that didn't have a receptionist, just a vending machine. They though, "Cool, an Automatic Hotel." If they hadn't found that place, they would have been named Sleeping in Piss Under a Bridge. Nick
Automatic Pilot From psychiatric testimony characterizing Dan White's state of mind while killing George Moscone and Harvey Milk. Robert D. Arndt Jr.
Avenged Sevenfold Theyre named after the biblical story of Abel and Cain.Everyone knows that.Heehee lol bye Tilly
Avenged Sevenfold they got their name from the Biblical story of Cain and Abel. When Cain murdered his brother, Abel, God told him, 'Therefore whoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold'. It basically means, "what goes around comes around". dez
Avenged Sevenfold They got it from Genesis, Chapter Four where Cain killed his brother Abel. They also made a song (Chapter Four) about this story. Travis
Avenged Sevenfold The Biblical term of Avenged Sevenfold, is the first murder on Earth. It is when Cain killed Abel. Then God said murder will come upon you Avenged Sevenfold. Basically what comes around goes around.  Kevin Hamula
Avenged Sevenfold It's from a certain book with a murder on page two. Go look on that page and you'll find it quite easily there. Bell
Average White Band In the '70's, the popular slang phrase in Scotland, when describing something, was to end it was to end it with: "for the average white man". For example: "How cold is it outside?" "It's too cold for the average white man." So Hamish Stewart decided to name the group The Average White Band.  Woodchuck
Average White Band I was managing a hotel in Detroit in 1980 and they were playing a venue called Center Stage and staying at our hotel,Hamish told me that they were trying to come up with a name when a girl walked through the room and said "you're just an average white band" and he looked at everyone and said "that's it."From the horses mouth. David Smith
Average White Band Was trying to to get a gig for the then 7 piece unnamed soul band. Ents convener at Dundee University, Keith Harris (Stevie Wonder Management) asked, "Are they any good?" The reply was, "Well, they are better than the average white band." obelix
AVM Rock band AVM was originally known for many years as AvenueMax. According to the band's founder Robert Mackey (singer/songwriter) "Avenue means 'a chosen pathway' and Max means 'to the greatest degree'. The name was simply shortened to become AVM... Bernie Allen
aVocalyptica It's a mix with Apocalyptica, the Finnish cello ensemble, and the word "vocal". They both cover famous metal bands songs, but this one only with the use of vocals for each track instead of cellos Seraphim
Avril Lavigne "Avril Lavigne" is her real name, and it means "April of the Vine" in French. She's from Canada, so it's probably Candian-French. (This is the *origin* of her actual name, not a made up name). anon.
Avril Lavigne It's her name. Scary Guy
Axl Rose AXL ROSE . It's an acronymn for ORAL SEX. (the letters are just scrambled. clever huh? ) anonymous
Axl Rose This is the true story,so pay attention please. W. Axl Rose (real name: William Bailey) is born in Lafayette,Indiana. His stepfather's last name is Bailey. But when he discovers that the name of his real father is Rose, William changes his last name into Rose. AXL was named a band in which William used to sing. That's it folks. Kostas
Axl Rose William Bailey Rose was in high school and a fellow classmate used to try and come up with names for bands. One day he suggested Axl and when he Axl started Guns N Roses, he changed his name to Axl Rose because it sounded cooler. Lance
Ayre Ayre was the last name of 3 of the 4 members. Originally it was The Ayre Brothers but their drummer Mike Armstrong protested strongly and said that he wasn't related and didn't want to be in a family band like the Osmans or Partrige family. Flex
Ayumikurikamaki From the band members' names, Ayumi, Kurika, and Maki. Future Backer
Aztec Two Step A two-man folk duo; the name was an irreverent reference to a gringo term for the runs a non-native can get in Mexico. Country Paul
Aztec Two-Step They took their name from a line in "A Coney Island of the Mind" by Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, DS Aztec Two-Step Webmaster. Dave Sleight

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