What's in a name (that you hate)?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Remyd, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. Remyd


    Apr 2, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    The BL changed the name of our trio. He told our next venue and the one after that. Then he told me about it. Not asked, told. And there's a problem.

    Old name was Gin Mill Minstrels, which was fairly representative of the old-timey Americana sound and acoustic instrumentation we use. There's a website/twitter/fb/instagram/email/etc already setup. I've personally been paying for domains and merch and stuff hoping to recover later, so I've got maybe $200 in on the old name, besides the 50+ hours of setup time, and the many hundreds of fb/twitter/instagram followers that I've developed, not to mention the gig history, videos, photo sessions, demos, etc.

    The new name that he picked is The Rabble Rouser Thing Band. The problem: I hate the new name.

    I haven't been a rabble rouser for a very long time, the chick singer isn't either, neither is the BL, and neither is the music. Five words is very long, picking something that sounds like "string" (but isn't) for a string band basically guarantees that we'll get mixed up, and I really don't like band names that include either the word Band or The, much less both. Google searches turn up dozens of punk bands with some flavor of Rabble Rouser and I don't think there's any reasonable way to get on the first results page without a ton of work. Too long for merch, too may letters for a good logo or website name, it's only semi-pronounceable, and I think it indicates a style of music that we don't have anything to do with. It's just not a good name for any non-punk band, much less this all acoustic Americana trio with roots in busking.

    Thinking that maybe it was just me, I've asked around and of two dozen people so far I got 0 positive response. Mostly "Why would you name your band that" and "What's a Thingband" and "Didn't you mean string" and "What was wrong with that other name" That's bad.

    My wife was doing the marketing stuff, but has clearly indicated she's giving it up because that band name is ridiculous and she doesn't want anything to do with it. She was peeved about abandoning our work and more so that we didn't talk about it openly first. She was previously our biggest fan and was putting in 40-50% of the marketing time. That's worse.

    The BL didn't ask me, didn't get my buy-in, blew off every objection, then changed our name at actual venues (knowing that I didn't like it), and thought nothing of invalidating my hard work and $. I'm fairly steamed about that and insulted that my effort and opinions don't matter to them. It's just disrespectful and that's even worse still.

    He's the touchy artistic sort, so I figured that I'd approach this gently. First we talked about it - "Well, I don't know about this", then approached again the next day "We'll have to throw out all the marketing and fb and twitter and website and merch and photos and promos and history and start again" His response to this was that he was having sort of a crisis and he had the agreement of the other member (aka his girlfriend) and he was the artistic force behind the thing and that it was his vision and that this was the new name. Then he shot down a half-dozen other ideas/variants as soon as he heard them. I dropped a half-dozen hints at our next rehearsal a few days later to no avail. And brought it up directly a few days after that, but was blown off due to time constraints.

    This is my favorite project in at least 5 years and I don't want to give it up.

    How on earth should I approach this?
    Imaginary Pony, CatSquare and Oddly like this.
  2. EddiePlaysBass


    Feb 26, 2009
    I would quit anyway. You were in the Gin Mill Minstrels and never volunteered to be in the Artistic Midlife Crisis Thing Band.
    Robroy, letsrumble, INTP and 40 others like this.
  3. Roland GR 88

    Roland GR 88 Commercial User

    Sep 16, 2013
    Ontario Canada
    Retail store manager
    Bah.... if you guys are good and put on a nice show you'll rise above the name. Just ask the Butthole Surfers.
  4. Remyd


    Apr 2, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Aren't they a punk influenced rock band that got that name by mistake? My apple and your orange are different colors, I think.
  5. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Fire the drummer.
  6. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    1) Take the old name.and start a side project. If the side project winds up being better, guitar the Thingband.

    2) Never EVER join a three piece where you're the only one not sleeping with the band leader. Do you not have a calculator????? It's ALWAYS going to be two against one......even when the ideas are as incredibly stupid as that band name. I'm fact, I would go so far as to say never ever join a band that has less than half a.dozen other members not sleeping with the band leader. Then maybe.... just maybe 6 or 7 of you can work around the band leader and his SO. Other than that, you're hosed. Your marketing efforts will never trump her getn neked with him. And as long as they agree, you're hosed.

    This guy is an @$$ and he won't change. Anyone who would call venues and change the name to something utterly stupid after you invested time and money in another name WILL NOT CHANGE.

    Don't say I didn't tell you.
    LowFish, Robroy, zontar and 27 others like this.
  7. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    I'd retain the GMM name/fb/website etc for future use, regardless of who's in the band. And don't volunteer to be involved in any marketing of this new name, let alone invest any time or $$$ into it.

    For the record, I don't like the new name either. First name was great!
  8. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    You're referring to him as the BL so there you go.
  9. Remyd


    Apr 2, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    I guess. In a trio, I wasn't really thinking you could ignore one of the members. When I've been a BL I wouldn't even consider changing the name of an in-process project.
    Sartori and HolmeBass like this.
  10. Remyd


    Apr 2, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Done! Thanks for the very original and not at all de rigeur advice.
    Shannon, Gazman and LowActionHero like this.
  11. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Start sleeping with the BL...?
    I never would have thought of that.

    By Jove you might be on to something... Brilliant!
  12. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Your BL is clearly showing a serious lack of respect for you, your opinions, and the amount of work you've put into the 'Brand'.
    I get he's the BL, but in a trio, I'd have expected a much more democratic set-up...unless you came in purely as a hired hand.
    As said above, though, clearly you're not gonna win this argument...and most likely any other ones that come up.
    Long term you're probably best getting out now, before it all goes south.

    If you can, keep hold of the name, and the website, etc (It's a damn fine name, a lot better than his new one), and get a new project started with that.
  13. Crash 56

    Crash 56

    Mar 13, 2014
    Spokane, Wa.
    Go find another guitar player that smokes him, and start another band using the old name......
  14. Plectrum72

    Plectrum72 Supporting Member

    New name is too wordy and the initials for shorthand are still too much (TRRTB). Old name is cool. Keep it (for yourself if not for this band). If this thread doesn't get too far out of control, show it to him. For some (the BL?), the desire to be liked by semi-anonymous people on the interwebs is strong. Then again, he may dismiss it all as the fool ramblings of a bunch of bass players ;)
    Imaginary Pony, PillO and Sartori like this.
  15. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    the old name has a ring to it. the new name, not at all. and the old name had a fan base. i get that the BL is the BL, but seems like an all-around stupid decision.
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Simple answer...unless you're willing to take a stand that could get you tossed, you're stuck.
  17. Stewie


    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    Learn to sing, then you can find a hundred guitar players and choose the best one to continue your old band. He will have no claim to the old name, since he abandoned it. Also, at your last gig, take a leak into his guitar case.
  18. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Hey, if he can provide something for the guy she can't it just might work.
    Nev375 likes this.
  19. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Pretty much this. You either take a stand or you don't. Simple as that.
    PillO and Ellery like this.
  20. FerruleCat


    Mar 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    It could be worse. I want to put together a sprawling acoustic Americana project called The Mount Pilot Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Program.