Band Names

I'm pretty sure that when you have to name your myspace page Larvaeband because someone else has already got a page with your band name, it's time to look for another thing to call your group.  I mean, in the age of digital downloads, MP3 sales, Myspace, Twitter, Facebook, and Google, how do you really pick a band name that someone is clearly already using?  I can see two bands stumbling upon the same idea or catchphrase or misquote at the same time and both trying to rush to put it to good use, but when someone's been using a name publicly and professionally for over a decade, I think it's fair to say that name is taken.

Now to be fair, Larvae isn't the most original name in the book.  While I did choose it in 1997 (and played shows that year with flyers and the whole nine,) there are other bands that have used that name or a variation.  There's a group called Larva, of course, and there's a punk band called Larvae that pops up in all the same places that I do, even though their first record appears to have come out after ours and they haven't done anything else that I can see since then.  I think I've got a pretty fair claim on this verbal territory, but then I'm sure the Charlatans UK thought the same thing.  I remember the Tampa band The Catherine Wheel opening for the much bigger and better-known UK band of the same name and the awkwardness that proceeded.  The lead singer from the Catherine Wheel that got to keep the name said "yeah, there's a Catherine Wheel in every town where we play."  Oops.

When I picked Larvae, it meant something to me and it sounded adequately weird, but I was never in love with it.  To me, it was a good name for a new project that was just being birthed, out from under the other band I was in at the time.  It was also inspired by Godflesh's use of "Mothra" as a song title--something that I always appreciated and something that pointed at what I initially wanted to do.  Larvae in fact started as me trying to make purely electronic music that had the kind of grit and anger as Godflesh.

Now, years and several albums later, I look back and realize that I probably could have picked a better name.  It's a little silly if it's just referencing a giant monster and it's a little grotesque if it's supposed to conjure a real bug.  It's no surprise really that the other bands I've seen using it are a metal act and a punk group.  It's not like some couple making folktronica somewhere in the midwest is going to come up with Larvae and think 'wow, that really fits our pastoral sound!'  I'm not sure it really fits MY sound anymore, but at this point I think I'm stuck with it.