For as long as I have been a fan of hardcore punk music one thing that has ALWAYS stood out is the names that bands choose as their own. From the generic ones to the wild ones and the many in between I have often wondered “how the fuck did they choose THAT name?” What you are about to read is a continuation of sorts from “The Name Game” article that we put out in 2017. In that article we sought out the roots of hardcore bands that we thought had the best band names. With “Part 2” we scooped up some of the bands that we weren’t able to get for the 2017 article, dug up some quotes from previous articles that asked bands about the origins of their name and then took it a step further by looking through music libraries for any names that just stood out to me for one reason or another. This was a lot of fun to do… and a lot of work! 40 bands in all and well over a year and change in the making! We hope you enjoy this article and hopefully there eventually will be a Part 3! Thank you to the people who made this article happen from every photographer who is listed to Bas Spierings and Larry Cooney Jr. for their graphics work, Mike Not Like You, Josh Derr, Craig Setari and Melissa Licciardello for assisting in the compiling of the interviews and all the bands that took part.
MADBALL (NY) FORMED 1988. FREDDY "MADBALL" CRICIEN (VOCALS) INTERVIEWED JULY 2018
"I was christened “Madball” by Vinnie Stigma. I was losing my shit one day because Roger or one of the guys from the Agnostic Front camp decided to antagonize me. They used to get a kick out of how I reacted to certain things. It was basically some form of child abuse. I will say as I got older they were more fearful of how I’d react… Ha! Anyway, Vinnie starts saying “Madball Madball” cause I was pretty much an angry enraged little ball! He had heard that on a commercial for the toys “Madballs”. He just blurted it out and unfortunately or fortunately it stuck. I absolutely hated it, as is the case with nicknames sometimes. Then I just learned to embrace it and the band was formed and well you know… I was about 11 or 12. Another note, a cue ball in a sock is sometimes referred to as a Madball. That’s not where the name came from. I don’t know if our name inspired that? Handy little device though." Watch Madball. Photo by: Tim Daley
VISION OF DISORDER (NY) FORMED 1992. TIM WILLIAMS (VOCALS) INTERVIEWED JULY 4, 2018
"I believe we were introduced as Vision Of The Sword one time back in the 90’s at Sparks on Long Island. I always hated being call “V.O.D.” but I guess it grew on me. There were times I thought the name was too long and hard to capture on a shirt. Looking back I believe it’s a great name and really represents the band, our music and our experience. Mike Kennedy (our guitar player) found the name in a book he was reading very early on in our career." LISTEN to Vision Of Disorder
KILLING TIME (NY) FORMED 1988. ANTHONY DRAGO (DRUMS) INTERVIEWED OCTOBER 10, 2018
"Our decision to use Killing Time was the ultimate Raw Deal… We had been together as Raw Deal for over a year, putting out a demo, playing a good deal of shows and building a decent following. We were approached by both the Profile and In Effect labels and actually signed with In Effect as Raw Deal. I believe “Brightside” was already recorded and we were working out cover art when Howie Abrams (In Effect Records) called me at home one morning. I remember taking my parent’s remote phone (Hi-tech shit for 1988) up to my bedroom to talk to him. He was like “Drago, we got a little problem.” I was like “how bad’. He was like “pretty bad.” He explained that the label had found out that there was some glam metal band in the UK using the name Raw Deal, so Howie called them up and told them that they had to cease and desist that shit. Their label or attorney or something was like “Oh yeah, go fuck yourself”, because their act was established and had released material under the moniker already. So I asked Howie “why the fuck did you do that?” And he was like “we had to.” So it was up to me to explain to the rest of the guys that if we didn’t change the name then we couldn’t release the album that we were so psyched to get out there. I remember that each phone call to Carl, Rich and Anthony was more miserable than the one before. Everyone was pissed and nobody wanted to help choose a new name. After like a few days, I suggested Killing Time which kind of stuck out at me while glancing through a thesaurus. It kind of made sense with the “Brightside” lyrics… “Captive of time, never to be free”. One last phone call to each band member for agreement and then I pulled the rip cord with the record label. I told Howie not to be calling any acts called Killing Time and he was like, “Fuckin A".
WATCH Killing Time live in Tompkins Square Park in NYC courtesy of Hate5Six. Photo by: Tim Daley
SILENCE EQUALS DEATH (NJ) FORMED 2012. SCOTT EARTH (VOCALS) INTERVIEWED NOVEMBER, 2018
“The name Silence Equals Death can be attributed to many causes. Our interpretation is similar to, if not exactly like the majority of them. As humans one of the most powerful things we can use is our voice. Uniting our voices to rally against an injustice can often be one of our most powerful weapons. Oppressors control media to spread propaganda and often make it a point to keep the masses uneducated and uninformed in order to maintain control. We feel every human voice should be heard, every opinion counts and injustice should be brought to light. A voice should only be silent upon breathing its last breath. For me personally my last band (In Search Of) ended while we were on the rise and I felt completely empty and lost. The name although synonymous with the gay rights movement was not familiar to me until after I "came up" with it and people started to ask questions.” WATCH Silence Equals Death. Photo by: Rich Zoeller
CRAZY EDDIE (NY) FORMED 2017. LENNY BEDNARZ (GUITAR) INTERVIEWED OCTOBER 12, 2018
“When we started the band Chucky (vocals) and I knew we wanted to go for and old school sound. Early 80’s where punk met hardcore. After our first full band rehearsal we started throwing around names and all throughout the week until the following rehearsal. Every time someone came up with something cool we would check the internet and see if it was being used. Finally I came up with Crazy Eddie and the guys dug it. I always wanted a name that you could associate with New York City. There were two things that associated the band name with where we grew up. I grew up on 93rd Street in Manhattan so guys from my block would take the trip to 116th Street and cop a bag of dust named Crazy Eddie. Also there was the chain of stores in the NYC/Tri-state area of the same name. So it fit perfectly to an early time in all our lives back when NYC was real.” LISTEN to Crazy Eddie. Photo by: Michelle Mennona
SHEER TERROR (NY) FORMED 1984. PAUL BEARER (VOCALS) INTERVIEWED SEPTEMBER 26, 2018
“Blake (original guitarist) heard someone say it in a movie. We had the name after two or three rehearsals. Really, that's it.” WATCH Sheer Terror at CBs from 1987 courtesy of the Core Junkie. Photo by: Rich Zoeller
TWO MAN ADVANTAGE (NY) FORMED 1997. DRUNK BASTARD (VOCALS) INTERVIEWED NOVEMBER, 2018
“We had been practicing to play our first show, a Halloween party in Vermont. We had written about 8 songs about beer for the party and didn’t even have song names. We called them “Beer #1”, “Beer #2” etc. We knew that it was Halloween and we were required to wear a costume. I suggested that we wear hockey shit and be a bunch of goons. We all agreed with the plan. We then realized that we needed a name for the one time show. Teemu (bass) and I were going over different hockey terms and Two Man Advantage came out of Teemu’s mouth. I said “That’s it, we will go as Two Man Advantage.” Told the rest of the guys and they all said ok. I don’t think any of us cared about the name that much since it was for one night only.”
LISTEN to Two Man Advantage
TOKEN ENTRY (NY) FORMED 1984. ERNIE PARADA (DRUMS) INTERVIEWED NOVEMBER 7, 2018
“Ok. in the beginning it was Johnny Steigerwald, John Wood, Andy Gortler and myself. We were kids. The band’s name was Gilligan’s Revenge. It was a good, solid name. It worked. After some time, our guitarist Andy Gortler (later from the Devil Dogs) left the band for reasons I don’t remember. Whatever it was, I wish it never happened. Soon after that, our singer John Wood disappeared (to this day, actually) and we acquired Anthony Comunale (later from Killing Time). Around this time, during all the band member changes, there was an ill-conceived idea that Gilligan's Revenge was too childish sounding and that we should change it. We were on the train when we looked up and said “Token Entry”. I admit I saw possibilities that it could be cool to tie the band to the city through the subways, and the first album was called “From Beneath The Streets” and so on, but in retrospect, I wish we never changed it. I can honestly say all these years later, out of all the bands I was ever in, Gilligan’s Revenge is still my favorite name.”
WATCH Token Entry live in Tompkins Square Park in NYC courtesy of Hate5Six. Photo by: Ken Salerno
KING NINE (NY) FORMED 2011. DAN SEELEY (VOCALS) INTERVIEWED NOVEMBER 17, 2018
"We got the name King Nine from a Twilight Zone episode called "King Nine Will Not Return" and it just stuck so we rolled with it " It's about a pilot who crashes in the desert and wakes up in a hospital but is told he was never a pilot and didn't crash.” LISTEN to King Nine. Photo by: Rebecca Lader
GORILLA BISCUITS (NY) FORMED 1986. WALTER SCHREIFELS (GUITAR)
INTERVIEWED DECEMBER 9, 2018 BY MELISSA LICCIARDELLO
“We were hanging out on my friends stoop and Civ our singer… before he was in the band was dealing drugs. I don’t know how old he was… he had to be like 14 years old because we were like 15 and 16. He was telling us these whacky drug names that were out there and then he said Gorilla Biscuits and we said “you were selling something called Gorilla Biscuits?” and we said “that’s a fucking band name!” I think it’s a great name. When you talk about all of the New York Hardcore band names that one comes to the top.”
WATCH Gorilla Biscuits from back in 2012 courtesy of Hate5Six. Photo by: JC Photo Media
THE OLD FIRM CASUALS (CA) FORMED 2010. LARS FREDERIKSEN (GUITAR/VOCALS)
INTERVIEWED FEB, 2019
“It is more or less like a bunch of guys, a bunch of homies, like “the firm”. Like “the gang”, “the old boys on the block”. It is kind of like a play on that. It has nothing to do with any sectarian soccer bullshit."
WATCH The Old Firm Casuals. Photo by: Tim Daley
CRUMBSUCKERS (NY) FORMED 1982. GARY MESKIL (BASS) INTERVIEWED JUNE 9, 2018
“If memory serves me correctly, the term "Crumbsucker" was coined by Franco Cupelli circa 1980 or so. During our first year of high school (Baldwin Sr. High/NY) Franco and I would usually have lunch together (along with a few other close friends) in the high school cafeteria. We generally sat at the same table each day, as did the other kids. One particular fella always sat alone and directly across from us. We trembled in anticipation daily as he religiously unpacked (from a generic brown paper bag) what appeared to be a "Bologna Hero" of sorts. In retrospect, I think we were all a bit envious, as we had no choice but to eat whatever sub-standard grub was available to us at the cafeteria trough. We watched in awe as this lone wolf wolfed down each hero at a frenzied pace, only to chase them down with what appeared to be chocolate milk. As in the case of most competition eaters, a certain amount of shrapnel "on and around the tray" is to be expected. Like every true champion, this one had his own style/swagger! We snickered as he feverishly licked his fingers to delicately soak up each crumb. He literally left no crumb behind! After witnessing the ritual several times, Franco named him "The Crumbsucker".
At the start of the following summer vacation, I was looking to start a band because summer recess can be quite boring if nothing exciting is planned. So, I called Franco and asked him if he wanted to start a band (as I knew him to be a good guitarist). He said "sure, but what are we gonna call it?".... to which I replied "Crumbsuckers!". We both laughed hysterically (as we agreed on the name), and the rest is history. So, it was just an inside joke. The band became so popular so quickly that we didn't even have a chance to ponder a more "serious" name, but looking back, I think it was for the best.
For those who don't know, the original lineup consisted of the following individuals:
Chris "Hendo" Anderson – vocals, Frank "Franco" Cupelli – guitar, Gary "Mesk" Meskil- bass and Jason "Bolo" Bolognini – drums.
Side note: We began as a cover band, and played everything from UK Subs to Stray Cats. It didn't take long before we started writing our own material. "AOK" and "Be Yourself" were our first 2 originals. In time, we endured some lineup changes and as a result we had evolved into something a bit different, a force to be reckoned with. To us, our debut album "Life Of Dreams" was sort of a "greatest hits" collection of the songs we wrote from the early to mid-80's. It's nice to see that so many people remember us and still embrace our unique brand of hardcore of yesteryear. For that, we are eternally grateful. So, thanks to all from all of us!”
WATCH the Crumbsuckers
LIFE’S BLOOD (NY) FORMED 1987. JASON O’TOOLE (VOCALS) INTERVIEWED DECEMBER 23, 2018
“When other bands failed to pan out (Mr. Softee, In Control, and others) Neil, Adam, John and myself found ourselves gelling into a semi-decent hardcore band. In search of a name, we began by saying aloud every terrible band name that occurred to us – Neil’s “Pork Store” topped the list. At the time I was friends with Bug Out Society and Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys was dating a classmate of mine and hanging around the dorms. In all seriousness, I suggested the name “Ill Mission” which I wrote graffiti style and wrote some silly lyrics. That terrible name and the lyrics, “My Girl Is Def” were roundly rejected so I rewrote the song as “Counting On.” When Life’s Blood was suggested as our name, we all jumped on board. Adam decided it should be two words with the possessive S, rather than “lifeblood.” The lyrics that Adam and I wrote became more passionate, serious and often nihilistic. To this day I still wonder how Pork Store would have sounded.” LISTEN to Life’s Blood.
YUPPICIDE (NY) FORMED 1988. JESSE “KFW” (VOCALS) INTERVIEWED OCTOBER 12, 2018
“Around 1988 I saw it (YUPPICIDE) spray painted on a construction wall of a newly renovated/gentrified building in what’s now called the East Village. It was spelled ‘Yuppiecide’. I remember it made me laugh - the clever combination of Yuppie (Young Urban Professional) and Homocide. I suggested it to the guys in the band (I wasn’t an official member at the time) and they liked it. I didn’t like the extra ‘e’ so I took that out and started bombing it on the walls. Yuppies is an outdated term, they no longer exist, and that’s solely because of us - you’re welcome!” WATCH Yuppicide
DIRTY ROTTEN IMBECILES (TX) FORMED 1982. SPIKE CASSIDY (GUITAR) INTERVIEWED NOVEMBER, 2018
“The name came from our singer's dad who would come home from work, and want to relax… but of course, D.R.I. was practicing in his house at this same time. We were a horrible, learning to play, garage band, at maximum volume. Kurt (our singer’s dad)… the madman as we called him, called us all kind of names. He didn’t like us there, and we could not blame him. The one name he called us that stuck with us forever was you "dirty rotten imbeciles.” LISTEN to D.R.I. Photo by: Jana Perry
OUTBURST (NY) FORMED 1987. JOE SONGCO (DRUMS) INTERVIEWED OCTOBER 29, 2018
“While we were still seniors in high school, Brian (vocals) floated the band name “Dead Serious”, named after the Attitude Adjustment song off of “American Paranoia”. We were all big fans of that band so that was the tentative band name for a couple of months but we were just playing cover songs in my garage. When we graduated and ready to try writing and playing originals, Brian even wrote in my yearbook “Now we can get dead serious”. But the cool idea of us being named after another band’s song sort of wore off eventually and we decided to try and come up with a different name. Something we could all agree on. I remember we even discussed if it should be a one-word name (like Altercation or Nausea) or an expression (like Sick Of It All or Straight Ahead). Then you had all the compound word band names like Breakdown, Krakdown, Underdog Warzone, Supertouch, etc. During one practice, we were talking about words that conveyed the elements of hardcore music, like aggressiveness, loud, powerful, fast… terms like that. So George says “It’s like an outburst of noise” and then he just blurts out this short, angry “BAM!” and goes “like that, right?” So, after laughing for a bit at that, we were like “Hey, that could work.” So, we chose Outburst… and assigned ourselves to the category of bands whose names are compound words.”
LISTEN to Outburst. Photo by: Tim Daley
ANTIDOTE (NY) FORMED 1981. ROB NUNZIO (GUITAR) INTERVIEWED NOVEMBER 6, 2018
“The name Antidote came from my love of old “mad doctor” movies, like "Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde", "The Ghost", and "The Man Who Lived Twice". The first reason behind this was, these movies are very popular, so the word always pops up in the biggest scenes of the movie. Then, the definition of the word antidote is "a remedy to counteract a poison", which I felt was very fitting for the political climate of the early 1980’s, which was a time of change and uncertainty of the future, what with Ronald Regan running for office, health and financial crises lurking over the horizon. The book “1984” was required reading in those years with its predictions of a bleak futuristic society, overtaken by techno paranoia and “big brother” always watching.
The final reasoning behind choosing Antidote as a name was, I thought I wanted a name for the band that I felt would stand the test of time. Is “Antidote” going to mean the same thing 20 or 30 years from now? Will it still hold any relevance? And my answer to these questions was “yes, the name will still hold the same meaning and power that it has now" (1981). This was why I chose the name Antidote for the band. It was something that I hoped would be around for a long time. That was the only name I considered for the band. There were a couple of other ideas thrown about by one of the other members of the band, but I didn't think they were nearly as good, and that person wasn't in the band throughout the lean and mean years, so I'm glad I stuck to my guns, so to speak." LISTEN to Antidote. Photo by: Tim Daley
COMEBACK KID (CANADA) FORMED 2000. ANDREW NEUFIELD (VOCALS)
INTERVIEWED AUGUST 2017 BY JOSH DERR
“The name Comeback Kid comes from our original singer Scott. He was looking through the newspaper at the time and Mario Lemieux was coming back to the NHL back in like 2000 or whenever. The headlines said “The Comeback Kid”. That was the best name we could think of at the time.”
WATCH Comeback Kid. Photo by: JC Photo Media
TERROR (CA) FORMED 2002. SCOTT VOGEL (VOCALS) INTERVIEWED OCTOBER 9, 2018
“Terror - the band had just started. We probably had 4 or 5 songs written. We saw that Death Threat was coming to the West Coast for a weekend of shows with American Nightmare and Striking Distance. We said fuck, this would be the perfect shows to play. We contacted Matt Pike who was an old friend and booking the shows and asked if we could open up this short run. He said “yes, what’s the name of the new band?” I replied “we don’t have one.” That was a problem and he said we needed one fast to get on the shows. So we were all brainstorming and I was sitting there watching TV and next to my VCR was a Sheer Terror bootleg video tape. I guess the word Terror caught my eye and I said to myself “that’s a pretty cool name.” I hit everyone up and we all agreed on the band name Terror. I guess it’s a pretty effective name. Pretty bold and gets the point across but not always the best when traveling across borders or flying and getting through airports… but fuck it. We’ve been Terror for 16 years now and I think it fits us just right.”
WATCH Terror. Photo by: Danielle Dombrowski
BILLY CLUB SANDWICH (NY) FORMED 1991. GLEN LORIEO (DRUMS) INTERVIEWED AUGUST 2, 2018
“The name “Billy Cub Sandwich” came around like this: our original guitarist, Rod wanted to name the band “Billy Club” and then the original drummer (who is a freak like that! and actually doesn’t even remember coming up with the name?!) James “Psy” Kocsis said, “No… Billy Club SANDWICH!” and that was basically it! He even made a pencil drawing of a guy biting into a sandwich with lettuce and tomato and that had billy club shaped bread and his teeth were all blowing out. Unfortunately, the drawing has been lost to history. However, a couple of years later (before we were playing shows yet) we actually changed the name to “Madcap” because we thought that “Billy Club Sandwich” was too weird and too long. But then Madball blew up and became who they are so we thought, “It’s too similar” and we went back to BCS!
Many people think it’s a weird name but I personally feel that the name is perfect for us as it is a hard sounding name (good for a hardcore band) but it should also make you laugh when you hear it! Much like when you see us live… we are a heavy band but we want everyone to have a good time too and Martin WILL make you laugh! In fact, I always get confused when I say the name to someone and they DON’T laugh?! The funniest thing that keeps happening when I mention the name to someone is they ask “Who’s Billy”?!? Haha! Weirdos!” WATCH Billy Club Sandwich. Photo by: Rich Zoeller
EVERYBODY GETS HURT (NY) FORMED 1996. CHRIS BEEEEE (BASS) INTERVIEWED JANUARY, 2019
“Everybody Gets Hurt was established by Rob Cullin, Steve Petit and myself in 1996. We set out to make a progressive New York Hardcore band, being true to tradition. Together we felt that all of the steps forward bands like the Bad Brains were making was getting lost. To us bands weren't making music like that anymore… taking music to the next level. We set out to make music that we were proud of from our hearts and the three of us would practice 5 to 7 days a week in Steve's bedroom. We shared a bond that was and always will be special to us… true friendship… we were all true brothers and we did everything together. The band name Everybody Gets Hurt goes back a long way. It was handed down to me from my very good friend Gene McQuaid. Gene McQuaid made up the band name Everybody Gets Hurt. This is what he had to say about it… There was a reggae band called Yellowman and they had a song on the juke box and the lyrics were nobody move, nobody gets hurt. That juke box was in a bar on 9th and Avenue A. We use to get into a lot of fights in that bar. I was 86’d from there one night for getting into a brawl while that song was on. I remember yelling everybody gets hurt. So it became sought of a battle call. When we started the band I suggested that as the name and that was that.” For us Everybody Gets Hurt always meant "No one is invincible" no matter who you are… you could be the biggest jacked up dude or some angry cop, some above the law corrupt politician… it doesn't matter… big or small no one is invincible… Everybody Gets Hurt. Plain and simple!” WATCH Everybody Gets Hurt. Photo by: Aga Hairesis
STORMTROOPERS OF DEATH (NY) FORMED 1985. DAN LILKER (BASS) INTERVIEWED JULY 26, 2018
“Scott Ian thought of the name Stormtroopers Of Death while Anthrax was recording “Spreading The Disease.” Bored in the studio during mix-down, he started drawing these comics with a brutal character who hated everyone, and this became our mascot “Sergeant D.” So, the band became the Stormtroopers Of Death who obeyed the brutal and nihilistic Sergeant D. Although some took exception to the visceral nature of the attitude and sometimes offensive lyrics of the band, we were just trying to be as obnoxious as possible with the lyrics, they weren't heartfelt. It was more about making bone crushing music that combined what we thought were the best aspects of metal and hardcore. While I realize that maybe we went a little too far being offensive, I really don't regret any of it either, as they say, fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.”
LISTEN to Stormtroopers Of Death
JFA- JODIE FOSTER’S ARMY (AZ, CA) FORMED 1981. DON REDONDO (GUITAR)
INTERVIEWED NOVEMBER 1, 2018 BY MIKE "NOT LIKE YOU"
“When the story broke that (John) Hinkley did it (shot President Reagan in 1981) to impress Jodie Foster there was (allegedly) at least one other nut job that was writing her letters and when the FBI looked into it he had a bunch of guns. I was talking to George Dillon (from the PHX band International Language) who knew I was putting together a band and he said you should call it Jodie Foster’s Gun Club. I said nah, more like an army!” LISTEN to JFA. Photo by: Mike Not Like You
SKARHEAD (NY) FORMED 1995. EZEC (VOCALS) INTERVIEWED OCTOBER 19, 2018
“The name Skarhead was originated by my boy MQUE… I think we were talking about LASH KAC’s scars on the back of his head due to the removal of cancerous tumors. We both thought it would be a hard name. I guess I wanted a name that was like Madball. One word but two syllables and it showed the hardcore kids that Skarhead and Madball were down with each other and the DMS brotherhood. Later on while Skarhead toured LASH actually got the word Skarhead tattooed on the back of his neck under the surgical scars!” LISTEN to Skarhead. Photo by: Tim Daley
FIREBURN (CA) FORMED 2017. TODD YOUTH (BASS) & ISRAEL JOSEPH I (VOCALS)
INTERVIEWED NOVEMBER, 2017
Todd: "There are a few different meanings. Fireburn is always a name that I’ve had in the back of my mind for a band. Again, going back to the Bad Brains and stuff, it’s Jamaican slang which means to denounce. Also that the fire still burns for this kind of music all these years later."
Israel: "Fireburn has a few other meanings too. Fire symbolizes a force that is connected with what we can call God, right… it symbolizes a judgement time, a time of purification. A fire in the forest can burn trees down and then new trees grow. The fire is like a creative force. In Rasta, when you chant Fireburn you are chanting like burn it up. You chant Fireburn on something that is negative. Actually what you are doing is you are asking the force to create something positive in place of that negativity."
WATCH Fireburn from October 1, 2017 in NYC’s Tompkins Square Park courtesy of Hate 5 Six.
Photo by: Joe Calixto
NIGHT BIRDS (NJ) FORMED 2009. BRIAN GORSEGNER (VOCALS) INTERVIEWED NOVEMBER 2015
”At the time we chose the name, Night Birds which was an Andy Milligan film from the 70’s that had been previously unreleased. The film has since come out and it's awesome! The name was a suggestion by our mutual friend Evan.” WATCH Night Birds. Photo by: Keith Marlowe
YEAR OF THE KNIFE (DE) FORMED 2015. TYLER MULLEN (VOCALS) INTERVIEWED OCTOBER 26, 2018
“The name Year Of The Knife was thought of and formed from our original singer and it came up from a Tears For Fears song. There really is no meaning to the name (but maybe for TFF). But it’s catchy and just seems to hold an aggression to it when you hear it. We abbreviate ourselves and are known as YOTK as well, so both names really have stuck through the time of being a band.” WATCH Year Of The Knife. Photo by: Anne Spina
BERTHOLD CITY (CA) FORMED 2017. ANDREW KLINE (VOCALS) INTERVIEWED DECEMBER, 2017
“Berthold City is actually the name of a font used by bands like SSD, Chain Of Strength, Gorilla Biscuits, and many more. I wanted a name that was rooted in hardcore but was a bit different and maybe a bit less obvious.” LISTEN to Berthold City. Photo by: Michael Thorn
NEGATIVE APPROACH (MI) FORMED 1981. RON SAKOWSKI (BASS)
INTERVIEWED OCTOBER, 2018 BY CRAIG SETARI
"The story I got from J.B. was they were trying to come up with a name for the band when John said "whatever we call ourselves, it's gotta have some sort of “NEGATIVE APPROACH” about it!”
LISTEN to Negative Approach. Photo by: Tim Daley
LUDICHRIST (NY) FORMED 1984. TOMMY CHRIST (VOCALS) INTERVIEWED JULY, 2014
“Al Batross and Mark started the band and went to Catholic school together and they kind of had this pent up anger against organized religion and things like that. They had the name before they even had a full band. It was Al, Mark, then they found Chuck and me right after that and we started the band so the name was already in place.” LISTEN to Ludichrist.
PAGAN BABIES (PA) FORMED 1986. MICHAEL MCMANUS (VOCALS) INTERVIEWED NOVEMBER 8, 2018
“Three members of Pagan Babies went to Catholic grade school. In Catholic school in the 70’s Pagan Babies were kids in third world countries that didn't know about a God. If our families donated $$$ to the school the church would make sure these pagan babies would at least be taught about God and that is where our band name came from.” LISTEN to Pagan Babies. Photo by: Anne Spina
NOWHERE ROADS (PA) FORMED 2017. VINCE SPINA (VOCALS) INTERVIEWED NOVEMBER 6, 2018
“Picking a name is torturous because of its finality… and there are so many bands, making it harder to come up with something original. For Nowhere Roads, it boiled down to two names. The other name was False Tiger. We liked the imagery of both names, but ultimately, Nowhere Roads was more open ended, and we just liked the way it sounded better. For me it represents poor choices, or choices made with poorly aligned motives. It sounds somewhat negative too, yet many of our lyrics are positive, so it creates a juxtaposition.” LISTEN to Nowhere Roads. Photo by: Anne Spina
MCRAD (PA) FORMED 1982. CHUCK TREECE (GUITAR)
INTERVIEWED DECEMBER 18, 2018 BY MIKE NOT LIKE YOU
“McRad was started in the fall of 1982 with some friends of mine that I skated with in West Philadelphia and South Philadelphia. Myself, Zeke Zagar, Ethan Jarvis and Ras Tristan Rocker decided to go to a Minor Threat, SS Decontrol, YDI, FOD show and hang out to think up some band names. At that time Zeke was playing bass for FOD and Zeke had been a friend of mine since we started skating Cherry Hill Skate Park together. We were looking for a name that would represent our way of punk rock and skateboarding. Spring time of 1983 we all decided to go see Husker DU at Jeff Jenkin's house in West Philly. We all started talking to Greg from Husker DU about band names before the show in Jeff's living room. All sorts of people around and friends while we are there with our skateboards Names and suggestions start happening and then Greg Husker says "McRad" and then I say “McShred.” As a new band we all made a decision to stick with McRad and I took the name McShred to start up my little SK8 CREW from West Philly. All of us chose to wear McDonald's hats in our first set of band pictures and rehearsal at Ethan's house in the burbs of PA. Maximum Rock ‘N Roll posted a black and white photo of us when we sent our first demo in for a review that summer of 83. Fun history, great time and big ups to Jeff Jenkins for throwing all those hardcore shows and punk rock shows in West Philly. Also Steve Eye, Bruce and Skatecore for booking McRad to play a Minor Threat show at Love Hall. Classic times every time in Philly.” LISTEN to McRad. Photo by: Mike Not Like You
FIT OF ANGER (NY) FORMED 1987. CHRIS WYNNE (IN EFFECT) INTERVIEWED OCTOBER, 2019
"Fit Of Anger started off as a bass with no strings in singer Nick Cirillo’s bedroom. I would always say “you string that thing up and I will learn how to play”. After the first practice I knew I was no musician and was better off helping the band get their name out there… but there was no name at first… that is until I had a huge blowout with my mother in our apartment. During this blowout I tore a kitchen cabinet door right off its hinges and tossed it across the kitchen… in a Fit Of Anger as either I or one of the band members liked to say. For the record the kitchen was being redone by the landlord at the time so I will stop short of putting myself in the troubled youth category, just had a bad day I guess!" LISTEN to Fit Of Anger. Photo by: Chris Wynne
WORLD BE FREE (CA) FORMED 2015. SAMMY SEIGLER (DRUMS) INTERVIEWED NOVEMBER, 2015
“World Be Free was inspired by the basketball player Lloyd Free, who legally changed his name in 1981 to World B Free. The world being free is a great concept so we stuck with it.” LISTEN to World Be Free.
OLDE TIGERS (PA) FORMED 2010. MC HYSER (VOCALS) INTERVIEWED JULY 2018
“A lot of people think the name came from an Olde English ad featuring a tiger but it’s really a Sean Connery quote from “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” At one point his character, Allan Quartermain, says “Old tigers, sensing their end, they’re at their most fierce.” It seemed to fit with what we had started working on.” LISTEN to Olde Tigers. Photo by: Studio 11 West
DEAD BLOW HAMMER (NJ) FORMED IN 1996 AS AGAINST THE GRAIN.
A.G. (VOCALS) INTERVIEWED MAY 15, 2019
“As far as the name game goes: so you know we came back reuniting as Against The Grain for the Black 'N Blue Bowl 2014. Months before Black 'N Blue, we were getting annoyed that so many bands were popping up as "Against the Grain" in our absence. Nobody reads, fact finds, or uses the internet anymore I guess, LOL. We ran with Dead Blow Hammer, which Pete, our old drummer came up with. No special backstory, except that we can be disagreeable pain in the asses that couldn't agree on a name for months. We had been through so many name ideas that by the time Dead Blow Hammer floated around us, we were just like "Yeah, yeah, yeah, that one!" just so that we could finally move forward with a name! Thankfully, the name fit the music!”
LISTEN to Dead Blow Hammer. Photo by: Tim Daley
THE CAR BOMB PARADE (NY) FORMED 2013. WILL E. RAMONE (GUITAR) INTERVIEWED AUGUST 16, 2019
“It was a little wacky how the name came to be. One night I was having a dream about the bombings that took place at the Boston Marathon some years back, but for some reason in my dream it was more of a parade than a marathon event. And all the vehicles transporting the floats at the parade started exploding while they were in transit. So when I woke up I just had the name Car Bomb Parade stuck in my head. At first I thought it was stupid, but Nicky Bullets shot down all my other suggestions for sounding “too generic punk rock.” But anyone else who heard the name was intrigued, so it stuck and I’ve grown to love its uniqueness.”
LISTEN to The Car Bomb Parade
DYING FOR IT (CA) FORMED 2015. THOMAS (DRUMS) INTERVIEWED JUNE 2018
“Dying For It comes from the name of the 7" EP by Panic, released on Bridge 9 Records in 2001. Rikki and I were thumbing through our record collection for inspiration and this one stuck out to her in particular. It just so happens that this is one of our favorite hardcore bands, favorite hardcore releases, and taking a name from this time period was almost done deliberately, since we want the feel of the band to be reminiscent of that time period.” LISTEN to Dying For It. Photo by: Dave Mandel
SUPERHERO STATUS (HOLLAND) FORMED 2015. MATTIS (VOCALS) INTERVIEWED NOVEMBER 2018
“Our band name... when we had a bunch of ideas for a band name we immediately knew that all those names were too hardcore, too tough and definitely didn’t fit the fun we had and the music we made. Our guitar player Bart and our drummer Ray are nerds that like superheroes a lot! I do mean a lot! Posters in the rehearsal room, tattoos on their arms, toy’s at home (they say it’s for their kids… don’t believe ‘em). So I thought, we should do something with Superhero in it. Superhero Status was the name that brought the most laughs to the table, so we picked that name. We don’t have the name to be cocky and we don’t think we have any kind of Superhero Status. We’re just some kids that want to have fun, dream about being a superhero once in a while and smile together with the crowd when we play a show.” WATCH Superhero Status.
RELATED READING: "THE NAME GAME PART1" FROM 2017. CLICK BELOW TO CHECK IT OUT!