Naming your band can be more difficult than naming your child - after all you only really get one shot. You've got the look and you've got the sound and now you need the missing link. If you have serious ambition you really want the name to be unique and unforgettable but also to convey the right image - both commercially and artistically. Quite a tall order it would seem but sooner or later you will hit a stroke of genius. Once the decision is made it is important that you follow a few golden rules to avoid possible long-term complications.
There are thousands of musicians and performers now in existence worldwide and it is possible that your flash of inspiration may have been shared by another band. This is a situation that should be avoided at all costs. You could be stepping into a legal minefield. Can you imagine - you start to make it big & someone comes along and claims that you have stolen their name. This can become a very expensive and ugly business both for you and your record company.
Number one rule - it is very important to investigate your desired name as thoroughly as possible, within your own budget, to avoid duplication. Obviously the more unusual the name the less likely it will be in use. The Worldwide Band Name Register has the most comprehensive list of bands in the world. This has been designed to enable new comers to check through our database of nearly 200,000 band names to see if their name has been used. Registering with Bandname.com is the most positive first step that you can make in terms of initial endeavours in securing your right to that name. Once you start becoming successful the next stage would be to trademark your name and Bandname.com can offer advice on how to do that.
Another important part of your naming decision must be whether there is a domain name available for your band. This will allow fans to have instant access to your web site through our unrivaled Quick Search facility. Leonard Lowry, music industry solicitor, has suggested that the name of a band is more valuable than you think. A group name is like any trading name. It acquires a value from the people identified by it.Once you start using your name it is a good idea to start exploiting and flaunting it as much as possible to build as much goodwill and reputation as you can. This will help increase the value of your name and therefore contribute to its legal protection.
What happens to that name and how it is used should then be agreed by all band members. Many a complicated legal wrangling has resulted from names being misused when original band members have dispersed. It is advisable in that case to get a written legal agreement between all band members from the outset. After all, the main earning power of the band may lie within the name itself. This should not be open to exploitation after a band has split up unless agreed beforehand.
Even though we cannot offer absolute assurances - after all this is the weird and wonderful world of the music business - the above guidelines will help to give you a smoother ride to success.Back to magazine