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How They Became… The Temper Trap

The grandiose Aussie alt-rockers share the story behind their name.

By: David Marchese // June 1, 2010

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: Australia’s the Temper Trap, currently on tour.

Why Temper Trap: “It’s derived from Temper Temper, which is a name we were thinking of,” says bassist Jonathon Aherne. “But we changed it because there was already an emo band in Milwaukee or something called Temper Temper. I remember not wanting to go with the Temper Trap because I thought it didn’t mean anything. But I guess it has sort of a psychological angle to it. To be honest, feelings in the band are still mixed about the fact we’re called the Temper Trap.”

Previously Rejected Names: “I wanted us to be called Hearts. Unfortunately the rest of the band didn’t.”

Best Band Names Ever: “I think Local Natives is great. I like Mumford & Sons, too. It sounds old fashioned in a nice way.”

Worst Band Name Ever: “I used to dislike R.E.M. until [drummer] Toby [Dundas] told me that it stands for Rapid Eye Movement. Now I think it’s cool. I remember seeing a band once called Gay For Johnny Depp. That’s a ridiculous name. Another band name that I don’t love, even though they’re the biggest band in the world, is U2. Something about it seems forced.”