Why They’re Called… Land of Talk
Frontwoman Elizabeth Powell shares the story behind the winsome Montreal band's name
Welcome to the weekly SPIN.com feature “Name That Band” inwhich we get the inside stories behind the mysterious monikers of some ofour favorite artists.( See past episodes of Name That Band! here.)
This week: Elizabeth Powell of Montreal’s Land of Talk, currently touring behind their breakthrough Cloak and Cipher.
Why Land of Talk: “I feel like a douche telling this story,” laments singer-guitarist Elizabeth Powell. “I was in my apartment in Montreal talking to a friend of mine who’s a writer. This was in the summer of 2005. He kept talking about the great novel he was going to write. Then he would switch and say he was going to write short stories instead. He was so inspired but also paralyzed. So we were talking, and he was going on about his writing and I just said, ‘Yeah, we’ll see what happens in this Land of Talk.’ It was such a cynical thing to say — implying that he was all talk. It was jokingly said, of course. We’re good friends. He laughed when I said it. But he knew I was looking for a band name and he was like, ‘Land of Talk is a great band name for you!’ So in this moment of losing patience with my friend, he helped me find a name.”
Previously Rejected Names: “I had a bunch that I can’t remember right now, but I do remember that the worst one was Branch Mansion.”
Best Band Names Ever: “Portishead is awesome. I love Sigur Ros and Deerhunter. Beach House is a great name. It evokes such a great image.”
Worst Band Name Ever: “Nashville Pussy I could do without. They’re probably amazing, but the name turns me off. And I loved Pearl Jam, but I always found the band name a bit disappointing. When Ten came out, I loved it. But I was like, ‘Why do they have such a weird name?’ My mom’s theory was that the members of the band all wrote a word on a piece of paper and put it in a hat and then the two words they pulled out became the band’s name. Another band name I could do without is Does It Offend You, Yeah? Well, it does now.”