New name, same band

New name, same band

The name of a band, of an artist is a fundamental element, it is the one, as happens with people, that identifies you, the one with which you go down in history, it is also a commercial “brand”. The choice of name is linked to different reasons: they can be evocative words, used for their sound, which hide concepts or give direction to the band's style or simply dictated by the customs of the period.

However, there are occasions in which the choices made require, for different reasons, a change, a variation of the “factory name”.

Here is a short list and the related reasons for some of these changes.

The Raconteurs
The experience of the White Stripes, Jack White (John Anthony Gillis at the registry office) has formed The Raconteurs, a supergroup founded with musician friends from Detroit: Jack Lawrence, Patrick Keeler (both from the rhythm section of the Greenhornes) and singer-songwriter Brendan Benson. Navigating blues rock, garage and power pop, the explosive The Raconteurs prepare for the worldwide release of “Broken Boy Soldiers”, their debut album. However, a problem arises given that in Australia, in the state of Queensland, a jazz group already uses the same name and the Australian band has no intention of giving up its name. Due to obvious rights issues, the album's release was postponed in Australia, pending a resolution to the problem. A solution that arrived in a Solomonic way: instead of paying the astronomical sum requested by the local gang, Jack White decided to change the name of the group in the area. This is how White's band is called all over the world The Raconteursexcept in Australia where they are known as The Saboteurs.

Gilla Band
A group of four Irish guys who appear on stage under the name of Girl Band, is enough to make anyone turn up their noses. Many female groups are generically labeled with the term “girls band” and not always in a positive sense. It is thus, evidently after long reflection, that Daniel Fox and his bandmates decided, in November 2021 – ten years after their formation and two studio albums – to give up their initial name, chosen “without thinking too much, to naivety and ignorance,” they admitted in a statement published on social networks.

So they wrote in the message: “We will no longer perform or record under the name Girl Band. We apologize for choosing a name.”misgendered” (gender mismatched) and to anyone who was injured or affected by it. When we started we chose it without thinking too much. In a naive and ignorant way. At the time we didn't understand the weight of the matter and in recent years we have found it impossible to justify or explain this choice. Regardless of our intentions, the effect of the name has been harmful to people. To try and negate any unfortunate role we've had in propagating a culture of non-inclusiveness in music or otherwise, we decided to change that. Thanks to those who talked about it and explained it to us, directly or indirectly. In the future we will perform and make records with the name Gilla Band. Gilla is a name taken from the ancient Irish.”

Gilla is an ancient Nordic word meaning servant of God. In Celtic tradition, it is associated with “gil”, meaning “bright”. In Nordic-speaking countries, it is a unisex name, although in Italy it is often given to girls.

The last album with the old name was “The Talkies”, released in 2019. On November 7, 2022 the Irish band releases on the market, “Most Normal” the third album of the formation, the first as Gilla Band. This summer the quartet will be guests of Lars Rock Fest 2024 and will go on stage in Chiusi (Si) on Saturday 6 July for a concert with free admission.

Sea Power
There was a long time ago when the United Kingdom dominated the seas of the world and was a colonial power. In the early 2000s a band called. was born in Brighton British Sea Power (in reality the first name chosen was British Air Power), a name that recalls, in spite of itself, the imperialist past of the United Kingdom… A “binding, like an ancient heritage” name, as written by the six members in a statement print published online in August 2021. Although the name had been chosen 20 years earlier in reference to the “elemental power of the oceans” and “Britannia ruling the waves”, all in “a kind of tongue-in-cheek humour” (and despite the fact that the first album was titled “The Decline of British Sea Power”) the British finally decided to strip it of the adjective “British”, becoming simply Sea Power. A decision taken “after much reflection and introspection”, explained the Brighton sextet, just as Brexit came into force: “In recent times we have witnessed the rise of a certain type of nationalism in the world, an isolationist and antagonistic nationalism with which we do not want to run the risk of being confused”, underlined by the group. They later admitted: “We always wanted to be an internationalist band, but maybe having a specific nation-state in our name wasn't the smartest way to show it.”

The Chicks
Country music is often associated with a concept and culture linked to conservatism, even if there are striking cases to the contrary, such as that of Dixie Chicks who often joined the struggles closest to progressivism. In June 2020, in the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests, the American trio Dixie Chicks suddenly became The Chicks. The reason: the connotations of the term “Dixie,” used to describe the territory covering the former American Confederate States — which supported slavery. The three Texans made the announcement with a song, without going through other forms of communication. “March March” – a song whose lyrics refer to Black Lives Matter and whose video includes the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, all killed by American police – was released under this new name. In the accompanying video, the Chicks declared: “Use your voice, use your vote.” Since then I have been alone The Chicks (“The girls”).

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. Or at least that's what Thom Yorke, Ed O'Brien, Phil Selway and Jonny and Colin Greenwood must have thought when they first got together under the name On A Friday. At the turn of the '80s and '90s, this group of schoolmates met in the high school music room to rehearse. And they did it every Friday. Until the middle of their university career, the five Englishmen played around their student commitments, performing, like many other young bands, wherever they happened to be… until they met the producer Chris Hufford, which opened the doors of success to them. Shortly thereafter, they landed a six-album deal with the EMI label. The only constraint imposed by the label is that they must change their name. Fascinated by the Talking Heads song of the same name (contained in the album “True Stories” of 1986), they opt for Radiohead (the song title is actually detached).

In history
In addition to these cases, the history of rock presents other name changes to historical groups. THE Queen for example they are born as “Smile” and become “gifts” with the entry of Freddy Mercury. THE Led Zeppelin are born from the ashes of Yardbirdsband where they passed Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and finally Jimmy Page. The latter, having acquired the rights of Yardbirdsgave life to New Yardbirds where they entered Robert Plant And John Bonham and then Joh Paul Jones and in 1968 they changed the name to Led Zeppelin.

Feedback it was instead the name chosen by Bono and his associates for their group which then transformed first into The Hype and then definitively became U2

Even Italians change their names
Even in Italy some bands have gone through a name mutation.

The Minister of Time, a name that smacks of the progressive period of the 70s, was the one chosen in 2003 from the benches of the Milanese gymnasium “Berchet” (the same as Enrico Ruggeri) by Federico Dragogna (lyricist, guitar and backing vocals), Davide Autelitano , (vocals and bass) and Michele Esposito (drums) for those who would later become famous, more famous simply as Ministers.

The story of the New Guinea you then become Nu Genea. The duo, composed of Neapolitan but Berlin-based musicians Massimo Di Lena and Lucio Aquilina, was formed in 2014 as Nu Guinea, the name under which they released two albums (2016 and 2018) and two EPs (2014 and 2015). In June 2021 the two decided to change their name, becoming i Nu Genea.

This is the place on social media with which they announce the transition to the new name:

“Hello lovely people
during the last year we have been inactive on social media. We spent some time with our loved ones, we enjoyed nature, we cooked some excellent ragù and… we composed lots of new music that we can't wait to share with you!
This pause allowed us to reflect on inequalities and the lack of ethnic-cultural diversity, not only in the music industry, but in multiple areas of society. In particular, the protests last summer, relating to these reasons, sparked something within us.
Hence our decision to change our name to NU GENEA.
With reference to the Greek word “γενεά” (genea), which means “birth”, Nu Genea wants to mean a new birth in our consciousness, as well as a name that more directly reflects the concept of our music, that is, mixing styles and sounds, which in throughout history they have touched the Gulf of Naples, and given them a new birth. This slight modification of letters has changed the meaning considerably and reconciles us to the primary objective of our music.
Our previous name was chosen in 2013 in relation to the nature of the island of New Guinea, in the Pacific Ocean, in particular its splendid fauna and floral variety, which inspired us with an idea of ​​colorful music.
We later realized that, historically in America, Southern Italians (like us) were referred to as “Guineas”, referring to the darker skin tone and therefore we felt entitled (mistakenly) to use that word without realizing we were continuing to fuel old stereotypes.
At the beginning it seemed like the right choice, in a naive and superficial way, taking into account only our perspective and not that of others. Those places and those people have a very complex history and a specific culture, therefore we do not feel we have the right to use that name without having a real connection with it.
We think that the exchange of ideas, styles and traditions is one of the cornerstones and joys of a modern and multicultural society, but to encourage greater connection between human beings, careful sensitivity is needed.
We have thought about it thoroughly and this is a very important decision for us.
We love you.
peace out xx
Nu Genea”