Birth of a Band Name - How These Locals Got Named (Plus 150 FREE Band Names!)

Here’s how around two dozen San Diego bands, past and present, came up with their band names, followed by 150 free band names I’ve been dreaming up, all so far unused (as far as I know). I designed ‘em for maximum internet search possibilities and cult tie-in potential – if anyone ends up getting rich and/or famous using any of my band names, I expect you to at least buy me a large pizza, and maybe a Porsche ---

LONDON BELOW (Formerly known as Tragic Tantrum) "The new name was mostly inspired by Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel and movie Neverwhere. “London Below is a place that exists beneath the city. It’s an underworld where magic and mystery can happen. It’s another dimension, so to speak, that lies right beneath the surface.” Singer, zOe

DUFF-O-CIDE "A Duff is a Designated Ugly Fat Friend. They are most commonly spotted within a small group of girls hidden behind a large burrito or super-sized meal. They have a violent temper and must be approached with extreme caution. They get drunk and occasionally hook up with average people. Duffs, beware: This group will no longer tolerate awkward, hung-over mornings waking up next to you...Duff-O-Cide is a union of concerned citizens with a shared goal of spreading awareness about the Duff problem in San Diego, through the use of power chords and guitar distortion." -- Scott Gawlik, lead guitar

WHISKEY TANGO "Our name is a code that police use to describe white trash. Example: 'We got a 4:20 whiskey tango on the corner of Bixby and Fourth.' Translation: We got some dope-smoking white also means to do the drunken stumble. When you have a lot to drink and begin to stumble around, you are doing the Whiskey Tango." --Phil Bensimon, bass/vocals

THE COYOTE PROBLEM "When we moved into this neighborhood, one of the first things our neighbors told us was, 'We have a coyote problem.' I love listening to the coyotes howl almost every night. It's a beautiful, ancient sound. They're magnificent animals, really, just trying to survive like the rest of us. Coyotes ply the netherworld between the city and the country. They're the ultimate suburbanites. They've been hunting these hills for 100,000 years. We've been here for two hundred. Maybe I should have called our band the Human Problem." -- Peter Bolland, guitar/vocals

EVE WHITE EVE BLACK "We chose the name of a Siouxsie and the Banshees song that our singer Amy and I love. It's an aggressive and loud song that captures you with its insane howling by Miss Sioux. The title is also a reference to psychosis and the multiple personalities of a woman who is schizophrenic in The Three Faces of Eve" (the book and film). -- Neva Chiva, bass

TIGERSHARKS "There are three types of people in this world: sharks, guppies, and shark bait. Sharks are the doers; they act instinctually and without fear. Guppies are the majority; they lack certain qualities necessary to explore deeper waters and are regularly feasted on by sharks. Shark bait tend to be young and female, and even the mightiest shark must realize that, while tempting, shark bait can actually be quite dangerous. We chose to name ourselves after the most stylish shark in the sea: the homey wearing the stripes." -- Travis Hunter, guitar/vocals

VIII FRAUD "Our band name was taken directly from the pages of Dante's Inferno. Our songs are about people in the different levels of Dante's conception of hell. We're completely secular -- I'm not even sure if any of us really believe in hell, or gods for that matter, but humans make an interesting study, and humans live to fuck things up. According to Dante, the eighth level of hell is for the fraudulent, the liars, the panderers, and the false flatterers. I think that covers nearly the entire human race." -- Jen Otis, vocals

THE BUZZKILL ROMANTICS "In my last band, I started to gain a reputation for anti-enthusiasm, eventually acquiring the nickname Shruggs Buzzkill. But that's pretty bland on its own, eh? Everything I write is about the downside of love, the exultation of passion, and the conflict between reason and emotion. Hence Romantics, [although] more Edgar Allan Poe than Valentine's Day." -- Jason Hee, guitar/vocals

ZONE 4 "Our first guitar player was an architect, and he noticed most of the buildings he drew up around here need to have a certain rating to be able to stand up to an earthquake. Seismic zones are labeled one through four, with the numbers representing increasing risks and magnitude of damage likely to occur due to earthquakes in those zones. Here in San Diego, buildings have to be rated to withstand a 'zone 4'--type quake." -- Jim Popeney, guitar/vocals

THE PLOT TO BLOW UP THE EIFFEL TOWER "We're a gang of Jews and homosexuals [who] draw our main inspiration from the rioting queers at Stonewall, babies throwing temper tantrums, the Hell's Angels at Altamont, and really ugly, greasy sex noises...we're proud of that piss waterfall that got us banned in Baltimore. So we took the [band] name from a book by rock critic Greil Marcus called Lipstick Traces, because we figured he might write about us if we plagiarized him." -- Brandon Welchez, vocals/saxophone

BORBORYGMUS "[It means] bowel sounds, the gurgling, rumbling, or growling noise from the abdomen caused by the muscular contractions of peristalsis, the process that moves the contents of the stomach and intestines downward. The group has been rumbling around the San Diego area since 2000. The sounds they make are the perfectly normal gurgles and growls from the belly of the musical underground." -- Marcos Fernandes, percussionist/improvisation

ABIGAIL'S ATTIC "Our first bass player grabbed a dictionary, and I did too. We started at A. She came up with Abigail, and I came up with Attic. An 'Abigail' turns out to mean 'a woman's servant' -- weird shit. At every show someone yells out, 'Who's Abigail?' and we show them our mascot doll. She always sits on the bass drum. Abigail is a cutie pie who aspires to front her own all-mascot band someday." -- Val Easterbrook, guitar/vocals

MIDDLE-EARTH ENSEMBLE "Besides being an obvious rip-off of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, the name also describes the style of music we play. Looking at Earth from space, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe all come together in the Mediterranean, literally meaning the 'Middle Earth.' A lot of our music is derived from the Middle East. Also, Led Zeppelin had an influence on us. They had a lot of Middle Eastern elements in their music, as well as many lyrical references to Tolkien...we do instrumental covers of a few Zeppelin tunes." -- Frank Lazzaro, drummer

BLOODBAT "It started as a Kinko's error. We originally called ourselves Bloodbath, but the first time we had show flyers printed up, they cut [the flyers] at the wrong size and cut off the H. We went ahead and got a refund from Kinko's, but we kept the name Bloodbat because we're goth, so blood and bats make sense. All our [song and album] titles now play on existing titles...our Christmas album was I Saw Mommy Ripped by Satan's Claws." -- Jose Torres, guitar KETCHIKAN

"The three indigenous Pacific Northwest Indian tribes are the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian, who considered northern British Columbia and southeast Alaska their territory. Ketchikan has two meanings in the common native tongue among these tribes. Depending on how it's pronounced, it can either mean 'sound of bird's wings' or 'stinkpit.' We tell girls it means sound of bird's wings, and we tell guys it's stinkpit." -- Jarad Johnston, guitar/vocals

B-SIDE PLAYERS "San Diego is an odd place to grow up if you are my personal opinion, Chicano culture in San Diego is considered a novelty. It has been designated simply to a park in National City and similar areas were you can't deny the overwhelming presence of the people who live there. These are the barrios of San Diego. They were designed to keep a culture and a race of people segregated from the rest of America; glass menageries to keep novelties like Mexican culture in. There are other cultures in similar situations here, to be sure, but Mexico is in our blood, so this is who we represent. We are the Brown Side Players, and we are taking the culture out of glass cases and displaying it to the rest of the world." -- Russell Gonzales, saxophone

RETURN OF MR. BLACKSHIRT "The name came from a person I used to work with who only wore black shirts. Just a normal T-shirt, not a uniform or anything like that. He wore the same black shirt every day or he had a closet full of black shirts so he could wear a clean one every day. I never had the nerve to ask him, and the legend grew from there. So he left the company for a while, and after a few months he came back to work. Thus, the Return of Mr. Blackshirt." -- Mike Eckhart, guitar/vocals

A WEEKS WORTH "A week is the cycle of our life's routine. We work in this cycle, plan in this cycle, count the time that has passed, and even use it to justify our behavior. Some people promise to themselves this week will be different, while others enjoy a steady routine. Seven days can mean as much as the creation of the world or as little as the menial accomplishments many strive for in their work lives. Either way, a week's worth is what you make of it, just like everything."


Danish Plato

Watchers From the Blind

P Test

Duodnym Duo

Same To You Bud

Why You I Oughtta

George LeRoy Tirebiter

Logan’s Sun

Rizzuto’s Revenge

The Hell You Say

Sickon U

Strapon Dickoff

Schwing Kings of Bling


Manos Hand of Fate

Zoey Loves Zeus

Aaark Aaark

The Steekin Badgers

There’s No Need To Fear

Restless Natives

Nightmare Feet

The Saggy Baggies

My Fellow Terrariums

Pudding Pipers

Things Won’t Leave


Not Wearing Pants

Spa Fon

Squa Tront

Quitcher Wining

Opposing Bums


Icy London

Icy France

I.C. Underpants

Eye See Eeew

He’s Dead Jim

Giant Rats of Sumatra

Monsters Due

Orion Slave Traders

Jenna’s Douche

Way 2 Bigg

Mylar Zone

Bees, She Sees

Lionel and the Security Blankets

Thank You Mask Man

So Far So What

Zoso Mofos

The Whoop Woops

Jerkin Gerkins

WTF Whitey

Alba’s Abs

Overlord Obscura

Yorga Counts

I Said Goode Daye

Broken GayDar




Tara La Bouvier

The Shoephones

Tents On Fire

Bitten by Barnabas

Attaway Castaway

Jay Men Forever

Beware of Torgo

Milk Me Dammit

Freaky Fantasm

Phrankly Phinks

Wish You Were Beer

It Takes Beef

Coconut Radio

Eggplant Revenge

I Got a Rock

Who Killed Todd Loren?

The Phoneups

The Homegrownups

Minor Murders

Max Madder

Themes of Josette

Chef Schweaty

The Shaft Workers

Scary Serling

Servants of Sexploitation

Cathouse Theater

The Hairy Poms

See Thru U (abbreviated as C/U)

Put That Thing Away

Robert’s Ridge

Work the Shaft

Munchin Brady

Mystic Hamburg Highway

Y Knot

Future Faire

Joel VS Mike

Miss B. Natural

Psycho Tsunami

The Friendly Giants

The Fraidy Scats

Sax Afire

Margo Escargot

The Pullout Nows

Nobody For President

Ducking Howard

Bare Whiz

The Golden Hind


Kitten Kundalini

Bunches of Hooey

Knot Insane

Fuggit Forgot


Fleas on Feet

Peeble’s Pet

Wholly Moley

Klondike Kittens

Cheez Toe

Demons of Demi


The Tube Grooves

Groovy Groo Bees

Bozo Buskers

The Dwarf Crushers

Rotten Cratchet

Cartman’s Probe

More Science High


See Sigmund

The Vulcan Itch

Whynot Measles

Ribsey’s Treat

Clams Got Legs


Highway Bloody Hwy


Whacko Mole

R.U. Nutts

Tearaway Newsome



Eyes of Bohemia

Duz Not Die

Know Duh

Nose Hoes

Harden Gardens

Ghostly Trioka

Takeout Wrenched Ankle

Gallery of Night

Lowbrow Unibrow

The Unibrowser

Bundy’s Bride

Buddy Buddha Breath

Zeta Zilch

The Beta Rays



The Crankups

Indoor Outhouse

Freddie Fullasheet

Return of Mr. Hand

Faster Phoebe and the Fallouts

Wot the Hey

V.A. Jay Jay

Gamma Made Me Green

Collector’s Attrition

Lela’s Eyeball

Tubby La Mesa

Finches of Attica

Busted Chifarobe

Busted by Boo

The Tumblin’ Tombstones

Stewie Luvs Rupert

The Giggity-gigs


Pigga Fuggen Name

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Related story in today's new issue, in the Blurt column, with members of hard rockers Canobliss explaining why they were legally forced to change their name to Psychothermia -

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