Cool band names. We’ve all thought of one at some point, whether for a real band, or for hypothetical amusement. Juliet just didn’t get it:

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet.”
–From Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

Cool Band Name Brainstorming...The perfect rap, country, emo, or rock band name is an elusive find. We expect too much, looking for good band name ideas that spontaneously explode, speak volumes about our rock personna, instill awe in those that hear it, and easily translate into memorable URLs. Meanwhile, the list of unused band names grows shorter…as the number of aspiring rock stars sprout about.

GarageSpin has laid out one possible path you can take to discover and own a good name for your band.

1. Think of a Cool Band Name
Ok, easier said than done. Find it within yourself to create the ultimate band name. Or, try a band name idea generator…

Random Band Name Generator Sites:

Leon’s Random Generators – Besides a random band name generator, Leon includes random generators for song lyrics, chord progressions, and other amusing nonsense.

Rock’n’Roll Generator – Simple, efficient…and not very helpful. The last run generated the band name “Rump-Shaking Unborn Folksingers”. My band name search continues…

Band Name Maker – This band name generator allows you to insert an optional word into the mix. I tried a run with “GarageSpin” inserted; “Garagespin Tsunami” was the best result. (Or worst?)

2. Conduct a Band Name Search
Conduct a Google band name search for your chosen name, to make sure it hasn’t been taken. Then, check…

Band Name Registry Sites:

ASCAP and BMI – Two performance rights societies with large rosters that collectively cover most active, signed bands, as well as many unsigned acts.

Band Name – This site seems to offer much more than just a band name registry, such as classifieds, newsletters, and digital store functionality.

The Band Register – A band registry, A&R Network, and band name trademark info (band names are trademarked, not copyrighted) are included in this resource.

Check independent music sites as well, such as GarageBand.com and SoundClick.com, Phonolog (a listing of published albums), and don’t stop there. You don’t want to have to change your band’s name after two years of building a fan base for it.

3. Protect Your Band Name
What if your name is being used by another band? Protection and ownership of a band name involve both “territory” (where is the band and its fan base located), and “priority” (who used the band name first?). The question is too large to cover here, so I’ll save the answer for another post. If you’re serious about your band, you will want to eventually trademark your band name.

In any case, band name creation is a blast, even if you have no intention of actually starting a group. Do you have any best/worst band name ideas? Submit them below!