25 of the Strangest Band Names and Where They Came From

Source: Lajmmoore, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Chumbawamba
> Founded: Burnley, England, 1982
> Genre: Alternative
> Representative album: Tubthumper

Apparently, members of this politically and socially outspoken band used to delight in making up stories about where their name came from. One version was that it was based on a chant from a troupe of African drummers who played next to band members when they were busking in Paris. Another explanation is that co-founder Danbert Nobacon had a dream about being in a club where the restrooms were labeled “Chumba” and “Wamba” instead of “Men” and “Women.”

Source: verve231 / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

Dirty Projectors
> Founded: Brooklyn, New York, 2002
> Genre: Alternative
> Representative album: Bitte Orca

David Longstreth, founder and only consistent member of Dirty Projectors, started using this band name in 2003. He claims to have no recollection of why he chose it or what it means.

Source: David Butler / Wikimedia Commons

The Everybodyfields
> Founded: Johnson City, Tennessee, 2004
> Genre: Alt.country, roots rock
> Representative album: Halfway There: Electricity and the South

Sam Quinn, co-founder of this Tennessee band, christened it after his childhood nickname for his rural backyard.

Source: bantam10 / Flickr

Faster Pussycat
> Founded: Los Angeles, California, 1985
> Genre: Rock, glam metal
> Representative album: Wake Me When It’s Over

This group borrowed its name from soft-core porn producer and director Russ Meyer’s 1965 sexploitation cult film “Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!,” about three go-go dancers on a killing spree through California.

Source: Justin Lynham, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Godspeed You! Black Emperor
> Founded: Montreal, Quebec, 1994
> Genre: Experimental rock
> Representative album: Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven

This Canadian collective borrowed its name, which it sometimes renders as GY!BE, from a 1976 documentary by director Mitsuo Yanagimachi about a Japanese motorcycle gang, the Black Emperors.