Band names - Why actually naming a band - Fanboys/girls
Recently I've received a few emails with the request to change our name. Aparently there is a Texan band named 'Awen' with quite loyal fans who want to support their favorite musicians. I can only be happy for them but something about these emails was 'off'. They claimed we named ourselves 'Awen' because we want to piggyback on the succes of that band. These mails were actually quite intimidating. The assumption of having bad intentions, without knowing or asking a bit further about our music, history, or reasons to name ourselves Awen, leaves a bad taste. There even was a hint of 'threat' in the way it was written. It actually is quite ironical because these emails were a direct result of an interview we did for an 'anti-fascist' blog. One would expect a more tolerant reaction from people reading an 'anti-fascist' blog.
edit on 05/01/20: Aparently one of those mails was not from a fan, but from a band-member! Yes, there goes my trust in respect among musicians! I actually received a cease and desist letter, sent to me by the German label 'Trisol Music Group'. They claim to have the only right to use the name 'Awen' for this kind of music. It is really funny, since we didn't know it was actually a 'thing' in the first place, and we had no clue about their existence. We might keep using the name Awenydd from now on, but it can still change.
To put things in perspective, I've created a list of bands with the same (and same-ish) name. It is not complete at all. It was not a deep search. Whoever wants, can send me more, but add details, a link to the band's webpage, or a link to something to listen to. And let's face it, I had to actually 'search' for these bands, chances are very slim we all chose that name because we want to piggyback on the 'popularity' of one of us. To avoid competition even here, I've listed them in the order of finding them and that is all decided by googles algorithms, based on my search history.
- Awen (Awenydd) (Belgium) - you're on the website already, don't search any further.
- Awen (Romania) - Found as Awen Ro on soundcloud - link
- Awen (Texas) - with very loyal fans - link
- Awen (France) - currently Awenson - link
- Awen (France) - On soundcloud as Awen Folk - link
- Awen (Germany) - wow, the name is popular - link
- Awen (Uruguay) - yep, more popular then I thought - link
- Awen (Chile) - Maybe not active, but still, yet another Awen - still on Amazon!
- Awen (Brazil) - Irish in Brazil, wow! - link
- The Awen (based on the label, I guess from Spain) He's really into being named 'Awen' because it's 'The Awen' - hear it here
- Awen (No clue from where, let me know) No idea if they still play - hear it here
- Awen (No clue from where, let me know) It's on spottify! - spotify
- Awen (France/Senegal) She is on spotify too! - spotify
- Awen (No clue from where, let me know) Also on spotify, why aren't we? spotify
- There are even more on spotify... just press the search button..
It could be fun to organize a festival, with only bands named 'Awen'. Based on my list, it already is possible! Feel free to suggest a name for that festival ;-)
With all those bands named 'Awen', one would think it's not a bad idea for some of us to change our name. We clearly were less creative then we thought. So what name would be a good alternative? Yes, we like the idea behind te name 'Awen', that's why we chose it, and that probably is because they chose it too! But then the next question pops up: why having a name at all? For me personally there is no need to have a name as 'duo' or 'band'. We're a (tiny) group of people working on music, that's about it. I know many people who make music and sometimes I play with them. I also teach guitar and I've seen it happen, students meeting out of the classroom to play guitar together. The funny thing is, once they get a name, it becomes a 'closed' group. It's harder to join. But even then, making music is a social thing. In previous bands, certainly Pia Fraus, we often invited people to join an jam with us, even on stage. Speaking for myself I don't see any need to give ourselves a 'name'. It adds nothing to the music. We only thought of a name because...
Actually the only reason to give a group of musicians a name, is to promote them. And of course, having a unique name is very useful. Of course we want to be known, we want people to like our music and for that reason we chose a name, so people can say: it's the music of Awen! (now Awenydd ;-) ) One downside is that this newly formed 'identity' by 'giving it a name', causes listeners to identify themselves with it because they recognise themselves in the music. Those people are the 'fans' we musicians all want. When it becomes a fight for 'the name' it becomes quite.. hmmm... childish. Yes, I understand it makes life a tad more difficult when another group of people uses the same name. Hey, recently I went to see a the 'Ann Lee's' show with a good friend of mine. There were four 'Bart's' in the same room! Yes, confusing.. but you must admit, a bit of confusion makes life so much more interesting, doesn't it?