10 Best Band Names

These 10 best band names gained their status because they are all not easily forgotten and they help indicate the attitude or personality of the sound they represent. A name is not just something for a band to call themselves—it is their first marketing advertisement. Band names, like the ones on this list, should provoke curiosity and intrigue.

  1. De La Soul. In Spanish the "De La" portion of this name means "From the", which gives this band name the meaning: From the Soul. What more of a pure place can such clever, humorous, and poignant hip hop lyrics come from?
  2. TV On The Radio. At first notice, this Brooklyn NY rock band's name might appear to be nonsensical. But when you examine it further it gives you the idea that they want to provide music that you can almost visualize, and that will entertain you enough to turn the television set off and listen.
  3. Rage Against The Machine. This politically charged rock group's band name is like a bold picket sign for the socially conscious sounds that an audience can expect from them. It also sounds like a pretty cool science fiction blockbuster movie.
  4. The Flaming Lips. It is hard to ignore a band name like this – especially considering the intense fire-breathing dragon image that it may project in your mind. Even if I never heard of these guys my first expectation would be something truly combustible emerging from their mouths – that I must hear.
  5. N.E.R.D. The most amazingly ironic thing about this name for Pharell Williams' rock fusion band with members Chad Hugo and Shay, is it takes a word that has negative connotations and makes into it a badge of honor.  It also has a great acronym for the everlasting energy that we are all filled with – "Nothing Ever Really Dies."
  6. Grateful Dead. Does this group consider themselves to be dead already, or are they looking forward to death because they are appalled at what is going on in society? See how a great band name keeps you guessing?
  7. Public Enemy. This hip hop band has a name as brash and aggressive as it's incredible music. It helps conjure the image of them being viewed as the "bad guys" because of their desire to speak up against the real ills of the world.
  8. Sex Pistols. A powerful band name can also be provocative, allowing itself to remain engraved in your attention span. This abrasive grouping of rather opposite words – one that is sensual and one that is violent – tugs your emotions and teases your dirty mind.
  9. Gnarls Barkley. It can also be interesting to create an imaginary character to represent the members of your collective like producer Danger Mouse and singer/rapper Cee-lo Green did. It may sound like ex-NBA star Charles Barkley, but this band is only interested in rocking sport arenas, not competing in them.
  10.  Butthole Surfers. Ok … you have to give credit to any band bold enough, and completely confident enough about their private life to attach such a hard-to-digest title to their group. I am sure they get a kick out of it every time some easily embarrassed announcer has to introduce them.   
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