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Eighteen Band Names Inspired by Other Bands

August 2, 2010  |  7:00am

It’s not unusual for young bands to draw inspiration straight from their members’ record collections. Sometimes, though, the influence isn’t strictly musical. Here are eighteen artists that took their very names from other bands—sometimes directly from song lyrics, occasionally from misunderstood quips, and once straight from a legend himself.


It seems fitting that this now-iconic band’s name would come from a band equally as legendary: The Talking Heads. Their original band name was On a Friday, but after a request from record label EMI, it was altered, taking inspiration from the song “Radio Head” from the 1986 Talking Heads album, True Stories.

Cold War Kids
Frontman Nathan Willett has a pleading a voice that seems to tremble and break at all the perfect moments. It’s every bit as emotional, raw and in-your-face as the band’s music. Which is to say, it’s kind of the opposite of the lyrical piano man who inspired the band’s name: Billy Joel. The phrase Cold War Kids comes from one of his songs, “Leningrad.”

Pretty Girls Make Graves

The band bears the name of a song from The Smiths’ 1984 self-titled debut. Watch an early, live performance of the song, below.

The Killers

If you’re a big New Order fan, perhaps you’re aware of the origin for Brandon Flowers & co.’s band name. If not, watch the music video for the New Order song, “Crystal,” closely. Pay special attention to the drumset.

‘Til Tuesday

You may not remember Aimee Mann’s short-lived new wave group, but you’ve definitely heard their song, “Voices Carry.” Listen to the 1967 David Bowie song that the group gets its name from, below.

Suburban Kids with Biblical Names

This Swedish pop band formed in late 2003, and have since released all of their albums and EPs with titles that correspond with their numerical release (#1, #2, #3, etc). Their band name, however, is a little more inspired: it comes from a lyric from “People” by the Silver Jews.

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