Playing the name game

Vowels at Hard Rock Cafe Photo: Mohammed Yousuf  

HYDERABAD: It’s only a name, but this very basic aspect says so much about them, before one even hears it play. There are no particular rules about names, but are best when they are quirky and yet true to the spirit of the music they make. What makes a perfect name and how deep is the thought process behind selecting it? Bands across the city share their ideas.

For Rajiv, guitarist and vocalist for three bands, including one that’s named Paradise Circus, the choice was deep-rooted. Growing up in Hyderabad gorging on Biryani, he’s always looked at Paradise beyond an eatery. “The city-connect is easily established and Paradise is a place we often recommend people. It’s in our system on another level altogether. Having a blast on the stage, making foot-tapping music is what we aim to do. In that way, the name just worked perfect,” he states.

Sometimes, spontaneous decisions work big time. Something as simple as ‘Siblings TV’ conveys the essence and purpose behind a band better. The city-based band features siblings Anukriti and Antariksh, who made a mark with their videos initially. “This was the first and the only name we thought of and I guess, we couldn’t have thought of any better,” Antariksh from the band that played recently at Heart Cup, tells us.

Staying true to the soil that one comes from is often a good idea in finding a name. But, a six-member band from the city went ahead to name their band ‘Isai’. They are quick to clarify that they considered many options like Raagam, Taanam, Pallavi to other ones , but rejected them as they had been used on television reality shows. So they went beyond Telugu and considered words from Kannada, Malayalam or Tamil. Ilayaraja (also known as Isai Brahma in Tamil Nadu circles) being a unanimous favourite with all the membersIsai seemed an apt and easy choice for their band name.

“It also served to eliminate the language barrier to music. It got people curious and we really liked how Isai sounded. We also added a a tagline ‘An ode to music’,” says Sai Teja, a drummer and a percussionist of the band that’s making a splash across the city.

In contrast, the band Vowels chose the name for the simple reason that the five letters stick together like the members from the band. That’s one reason why beyond public connect, it’s necessary that a name strikes a chord with its members in the first place. Be it the memories that spring up, the music or the very place where it’s made, a name can hold great sentimental value too. Samuel and team came up with ‘The Upper Basement’ to bridge both ends - the public and their team. “The ‘minus 1’ portion of a building is where we often jam. So, when people come and ask us, where are we heading, it’s a spontaneous answer. When we had to take a call on the name, nothing struck us better . That indeed represents our spirit,” Samuel reveals.

Like in many international names, the genre of a band that can be the deciding factor. Samuel, in the past, has been in a band named Silvertears to reflect the 80s rock music they specialised in, one that signified heartbreak and struggle. The choice of the word ‘tears’ was something everyone agreed upon. Silver was only a namesake addition to it, which nevertheless served its purpose.

Essentially the music is what defines a band’s identity at the end of the day, but there’s a charm in a name that makes the bands feel like a unit.

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