What are your thoughts on reviving an old band in a different format?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by MatticusMania, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    I'll try and be brief.
    Myself and a drummer, both former members of the band Ugly Ape, are putting together a band.
    Ugly Ape was an experimental improv rock band. We didnt write songs, we were a jam band that made all of our music up on the spot.
    It was great fun, and people liked us, but eventually I grew tired of it and left to join a friends band.
    So here we are, the rhythm section, now living in the same house with some great rehearsal space.
    We auditioned a guitarist last night and it went well, though we're not sure if this guy is "the one" yet. We're lining up a few more auditions.
    I was talking with the drummer after our jam about whether we should pick up the Ugly Ape moniker, or rename ourselves going forward. He didnt seem to mind one way or the other and basically left it up to me.

    I can make a pros & cons list here, but I dont know if that'll help me make up my mind, so I ask you, people of TalkBass, for your opinions.
  2. father of fires

    father of fires Commercial User

    Nov 29, 2006
    Chief of Medicine at Damnation Audio
    If it's a new band give it a new name. You don't want to be weighed down by the expectations of the old band.

    I remember your initial drama with wanting to stay improv but others wanted to write songs. Which format are you going for this time around?
  3. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Some pros:
    - Wont have to think up a new name
    - I like the name Ugly Ape
    - It doesnt seem anyone else has picked it up after we split a few years ago
    - Our sound is similar enough, though there will be less focus on Improv

    Some cons:
    - People might expect Improv (there wil be some) if they knew of the bands previous style
    - A previous band member may have irked a few venue owners, though these particular venues are long gone
    - I cant really think of many cons, which to me might mean Im looking at this with blinders on
  4. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Living in the past is a definite con. Without all the original or classic members, it would be a re-name for me.
  5. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Oh man, you do remember! Back then, I fired the members who wanted to write songs. Well, fired might be a loaded word, we split with those members, and they went on to do nothing together. We stuck with the improv, added some new members, but eventually disbanded.

    The sound of the music is quite similar, though now we will be writing some songs. We do plan to do some improv jams at our gigs, keeping the original spirit of the band alive (whether we use that name or go by something else).
  6. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I would recommend a new name.

    Yes I know (do I ever) that coming up with a name is the worst part of starting a band but I think you will do better to dump the baggage (good and bad) that came with your prior name. Now, in your promo materials or whatever if you want to say, "featuring former members of Ugly Ape" then by all means do it, but on its face I think you need to market yourselves as a new entity... ESPECIALLY if a style/format change is part of the deal.

    It will also help the guitarist feel like he/she's more of an equal partner in this thing rather than just an add-on to you and the drummer. Let him/her get involved in the naming process and they will very likely take more ownership in making the project a success.
  7. capncal


    Apr 14, 2009
    six of one, half dozen of the other i say.

    if you had anything of a following or leftover merch, then def bring back the name.
  8. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    There's a band in my area where over the past 10 years the two core members have actually "re-invented" their band (format and personnel) not once, but twice... they went with a completely new name each time and it seemed to always work out for them.
  9. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    New band name: Ape Ugly
  10. Drunk Heffalump

    Drunk Heffalump Tone that I have. Skill? Oh, that? Well....

    Feb 28, 2009
    Great White North
    Nothing wrong with keeping the old name, there's a sense of majic that a name will inspire and you need that 'spark' sometimes.
    That said better google it to make sure someone else hasn't snapped it up. All the good names are gone these days...

  11. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Maybe you could type Ugly Ape into one of those online anagram makers and see what comes out.
  12. Raymeous


    Jul 2, 2010
    San Diego
    New name.... You're creating a new "product" so it needs a new title.

    You may want to hold off of the naming thing until you find "the one" guitarist guy/gal as they may have some good ideas for the name and it would give them a sense of being part of the band as opposed to being merely an after thought.

    Additionally, using the old name keeps you kinda in the past and whatever past thoughts, ideas, and feelings you had then can dilute your current endeavour. If you had any negative vibes from the old band, they may creep their way back into this one. By seperating completely from the old era, it frees you from limitations imposed by an old ideal that no longer applies to you.

    Short form:
    1) New band new name.
    2) Reusing the old name automatically brings limitations to the new project.

    Quit living in the past (too late to do anything about "back there") and just enjoy the new adventure.

    How's that for internet pop psych? He he. :hyper:
  13. madrob


    Aug 22, 2006
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    I think you could come up with a better name than "ugly ape".
  14. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    I was holding on to a band name to use when the time finally came, and then one day I googled it and, whup... someone has already used Cain Enabler. :(

    Ugly Ape isnt in use, as far as I can tell. The only music related stuff that comes up on Google is tied back to when we were first using the name.
  15. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    It seems to me like the main reason you want to use the name is that you then won't have to think up a new one. I can understand using the old name if your old band had a good following and you were planning on playing the old material that that following was familiar with. Otherwise, I'd just start fresh and come up with a new name. If you do decide to go with the old name I'd definitely ask for permission from your old bandmates (unless you were the band leader back in the day).
  16. Drunk Heffalump

    Drunk Heffalump Tone that I have. Skill? Oh, that? Well....

    Feb 28, 2009
    Great White North
    Then if your OK with it best proceed with all haste and lock down the .com. That way even it it takes a bit you've got it when you need it.

  17. cwsbass


    Mar 28, 2012
    You could always call the new band "Another Ugly Ape".
  18. nojj

    nojj Guest

    May 20, 2013
    Misshapen Monkey........
  19. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    I actually dig that, but I couldnt use it. There is a local band around here called Ms. Shapen Figures, and your suggestion is too similar. But thanks!
  20. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Thanks for the responses everyone. I think Im going to take the advice of the majority here and go with a different name.