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  • Writer's pictureThe Mighty Ship


I recently had an interesting conversation with Nelson Stewart of The American Rogues about band names and how people react to them, which led me to think about some of the most original and memorable band names in our musical genre from over the years. Ones that initially came to my mind were: Silly Wizard, Great Big Sea, Rawlins Cross, Flogging Molly, Buddy Wasisname and The Other Fellers, etc. To learn more about the purpose and effect of band names, why I named my project the way I did, and how I decided on my logo, please read on.

Have you ever heard the theory that, when a child is born, the name he or she is given can predetermine his/her personality, how people interact with him or her, and that said name shapes what/who that child becomes? In some circumstances, I agree and I believe that band names are no different. A name matters, but why? According to DK Music Business Academy, "your new band name is going to give off a certain impression of who you are and what you sound like. For this reason, it's important to have a name that represents your sound and image as a group." (1) Big Heavy World argues that, "a band name is your brand." (2) When I think of the names listed above, it is obvious that these bands are branding themselves with cultural and geographic connections to identify who they are and the music they create. An effective name should not only define your style, but it should provoke interest in you. Its mission is to hook you and motivate you to consume the band's product, which could be as simple as seeing it perform or as complex as purchasing merchandise. Essentially, a band's name should be its initial advertising/marketing tool that theoretically acts like a dinner bell; when you hear it, it should draw attention to what's being offered.

When I was brainstorming potential names for this project, I considered options from many different angles based on what I perceived to be effective names. I considered alliterations, place names, names in Gaelic, etc, but nothing felt totally right. Eventually, I remembered a fun, little, harmonica-based instrumental tune by The Housemartins called "The Mighty Ship". Despite being Brit pop and not Celtic music, I thought that this name would strongly reflect the reoccurring maritime/nautical themes in the songs I had chosen for the repertoire. I did a quick internet search and saw that no one was using the name in this form and that the domain was unclaimed so I made it mine.

The logo story is quite a simple one. It's merely an amalgam of my Scottish grandmother's Duncan clan crest and my native provincial flag of New Brunswick As I'm a one-man band, I wanted a logo with which I had a very personal connection and nothing says personal like from whom and where you come. Nanny's Duncan crest was a great starting point. Its new motto "Savour The Moment", which was changed in 2006, from the older Latin "Disce Pati" or "Learn to Suffer" (3) is far more positive and quite an apt lens through which to view life...especially when enjoying the experience of musical performance. "Learn to Suffer" is great, as it "highlights the importance of resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity" (4), but it can be seen as being a bit dark. I switched some colours and simplified some of the images et voilà! I found a big, bold, beautiful image that reflects who I am, where I'm from, and the type of music I play.

How did you select the name and logo for your band? Let me know in the comments below.


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