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27 Stories Behind Popular Band Names That You Can Whip Out The Next Time Someone Asks You To Name Three Of Their Songs

One Paramore member can never use their mom's maiden name as a security question.

A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but your favorite band by any other name would have a totally different vibe. A band's name sets the tone for their entire career, so it's not a decision to be taken lightly. Often, the right band name comes to them in the most unusual way.

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Here are the stories behind 27 popular band names:

1. While working at Barnes and Noble, Mikey Way saw a book titled Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance and thought My Chemical Romance would make a great band name.

"Welcome to the Black Parade" band
Naki / Redferns / Via Getty

The book, which was written by Irvine Welsh, is a trio of novellas. 

2. YG Entertainment wanted Blackpink's name to embody toughness as well as beauty, so they chose a moniker that "aims to contradict the common perception of the color pink."

"Kill This Love" singers
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When they debuted, they released a statement that said, "Pink is commonly used to portray prettiness, but BLACKPINK actually means to say that 'Pretty isn’t everything.' It also symbolizes that they are a team that encompasses not only beauty, but also great talent."

3. In 2006, a man ran up to Matthew Shultz outside a club and hugged him, repeating, "You have to cage the elephant," and Cage the Elephant was born.

"Come a Little Closer" band
Jerod Harris / Via Getty

Previously, the band had been called Perfect Confusion and New Young Lovers.

4. When Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirwall, Perrie Edwards, and Jesy Nelson first formed a group on The X Factor, they called themselves Rhythmix, but they changed their name to Little Mix after discovering there was a children's charity called Rhythmix.

"Shoutout to My Ex" singers
Kevin Mazur / Via Getty

They weren't too happy about their new name at first. On RuPaul's podcast, Jade said, "We were like, 'It's the end of our career; we sound like children.' I guess in hindsight, it has kept us young."

5. Paramore adopted an early member's mother's maiden name as their band name.

"Misery Business" band
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They liked it because it sounded like paramour, which means "secret lover."

6. BTS stands for the Korean expression "Bangtan Sonyeondan," which translates to "Bulletproof Boy Scouts."

"Butter" singers
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J-Hope said that the band's name represents their shared desire "to block out stereotypes, criticisms, and expectations that aim on adolescents like bullets."

7. While flipping through an old book, the 1975's Matty Healy saw "1st June, The 1975" scribbled on one of the pages.

"Love Me" band
Theo Wargo / Via Getty

He said, "The use of the word ‘the’ really stuck with me. It was the perfect band name.”

8. While working at Starbucks, bassist Mike Kroeger (Chad's brother) would often tell his customers, "Here's your nickel back," which inspired the band name Nickelback.

"Far Away" band
Paul Bergen / Redferns / Via Getty

The group was originally called the Village Idiots.

9. Mel C thought the name Touch was "pretty bland" for a girl group, so when they switched management and changed members, Geri Halliwell came up with the Spice Girls.

"Wanna Be" singers
Dave Benett / Getty Images

Mel C told the Guardian, "We felt like we had to fit into a mold, and then we realized that we were quite different personalities, different to each other and to all the female groups in the past. We also realized there was a lot of strength in that."

10. Stray Kids share their name with the TV show that JYP Entertainment created to put together to form a boy band.

"Back Door" singers
Chung Sung-jun / Getty Images

The members chose the name because it embodies their desire to break the mold and be out of the ordinary.

11. Panic! at the Disco's name comes from a lyric in "Panic" by Name Taken.

"I Write Sins Not Tragedies" band
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The lyric goes, "Panic at the disco / Sat back and took it so slow / Are you nervous? Are you shaking?"

12. At a show, Fall Out Boy asked their audience for band name suggestions, and someone shouted out a minor character from The Simpsons — the sidekick of Homer's favorite superhero.

"Sugar We're Going Down" band
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They created a list of potential band names and asked their friends to vote. 

13. The letters in Loona are a rearrangement of the first consonants in the band's Korean name, "Idarui Sonyeo," which translates to "Girl of the Month."

"Eclipse" singers
The Chosunilbo Jns / ImaZins via Getty Images

The band's 12 members debuted one at a time in order to showcase their individual personalities and to help build up their fandom.

14. Liam Payne originally wanted to call his boy band USP (Unique Selling Point), but when the other members shot his idea down, Harry Styles suggested One Direction, which just stuck.

"What Makes You Beautiful" singers
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Harry said, "I thought it sounded good...everyone was like ‘Yeah we like that’ and...and that was what it was.”

15. The name Migos stems from the Spanish word amigo.

"Bad and Boujee" singers
Gerardo Mora / Getty Images

In a radio interview, Quavo and Takeoff explained, "We always ran together on the North side, as Migos, as boys...it's the hub of drugs out there, so everything that comes to Georgia got to touch Gwinnett first, so we just call it Migos."

16. Pink Floyd originally called themselves the Tea Set, but when they saw another band playing under that name, they decided to change theirs to reflect two of their musical inspirations — Pinkney Anderson and Floyd Council.

"Another Brick in the Wall" band
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Other names they cycled through included the Megadeaths and the Screaming Abdabs.

17. When Brian Jones was asked to suggest a band name, he looked down at a record for inspiration — Rollin’ Stones by Muddy Waters.

"Gimme Shelter" band
Shirlaine Forrest / WireImage / Via Getty

At first, the band called themselves the Rollin' Stones, but they added the "g" later on.

18. Peter Green titled a song "Fleetwood Mac" after fellow bandmates Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, then he decided it would make a stellar band name.

"Dreams" band
Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images

Even though it was named after him, John McVie originally didn't want to leave John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers to join the new band.

19. Stuart Sutcliffe suggested the name "Beatals" as a play on Buddy Holly and the Crickets, but as the band's membership changed, its name evolved into the Silver Beetles then finally the Beatles.

"Help" band
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A friend suggested "Long John and the Silver Beetles," but John Lennon rejected that idea outright. He also refused to call the group "Long John Silver."

20. Jimmy Page told Keith Moon, Jeff Beck, and John Entwistle that if they created a supergroup, it would go down "like a lead balloon" — and a Zeppelin is the biggest balloon of all.

"Stairway to Heaven" band
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He told Ultimate Guitar, "It was a name that Keith Moon had mentioned back then. He was talking, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to have a band called Led Zeppelin?’ And I asked him if we could use the name because I was gonna be in this band Led Zeppelin with Keith Moon, so was Jeff Beck.”

21. When a critic dismissed their music as "daft punk trash," Darlin' changed their name to Daft Punk.

"Get Lucky" band
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The critic who wrote the review was Dave Jennings in Melody Maker magazine.

22. Between his freshman and sophomore years of college, Ezra Koenig worked on a short film called Vampire Weekend, a title he later used for his band's name.

"Campus" band
Steven Dewall / Redferns / Via Getty

A lot of songs on the band's first album reference the unreleased film.

23. The name 30 Seconds to Mars comes from a former Harvard professor's thesis about the exponential growth of technology in relation to humanity.

"Hail to the Victor" band
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Former band member Matt Wachter said, "What it means to us is, we thought it best described our music, in short."

24. Chvrches replaced the "u" in their name with a "v" so that Google wouldn't confuse the band with church buildings in the search results.

Jc Olivera / Getty Images

The members also thought the name would project "a strong vibe that could be interpreted in many different ways."

25. Bastille is named after the French holiday Bastille Day, which is also frontman Dan Smith's birthday.

"Pompeii" band
Jim Dyson / Getty Images for Hilton Honors

July 14 marks the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille.

26. After people kept mishearing Foster and the People's name as "Foster the People," they decided to just go with it.

"Pumped Up Kicks" band
Sergi Alexander / Getty Images

Mark Foster liked the new name because of the nurturing image it evoked, especially because the band's first few shows were for charities. 

27. And finally, Bring Me the Horizon's name comes from a Jack Sparrow quote in Pirates of the Caribbean.

"Can You Feel My Heart" band
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The quote that inspired them was, "Bring me that horizon." Oliver Sykes explained, "[It] sort of stands in for our feeling of wanting to see what the planet had to offer.”