Why They're Called... An Horse

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An Horse / Photo by Shervin Lainez
WRITTEN BY
David Marchese

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: Former Tegan & Sara tourmates An Horse, whose Walls, the follow-up to the highly touted Rearranged Beds is out in April.

Why An Horse: "The name came from an argument that I had with my sister," says singer-guitarst Kate Cooper. "She was living next door to me in the same apartment block in Brisbane. She's a book editor and gets to work on incredible ones like Nick Cave's and Leonard Cohen's. We were chatting. Grammar came up, as it often does with us, and she said that you say 'An' before 'H', rather than 'A.' I was like, 'That's bullshit.' She said, 'No, that's true!' and it became a running argument between us. We'd go out and she'd just say out of nowhere, 'You know it's An Horse not A Horse' -- stuff like that. Then one day she gave me a sweater that had the words 'An Horse' printed on it. People would come up to me and ask if An Horse was a band. So when [drummer] Damon [Cox] and I got a gig I thought I'd use An Horse as a joke for my sister. Thankfully, Damon liked the name, too. The grammatical argument over the name still rages today. Some people come up to me and point out that our name is incorrect grammar. Other people come up to me and say it is correct. But my favorite thing was when one of the Wiggles came up to me after a show and thanked me for using the correct grammar. That was the best, because my three-year-old niece now thinks I'm the coolest because Murray from the Wiggles talked to me."

Previously Rejected Names: "I honestly don't think we had any. We weren't going to use anything boring like Kate and Damon. Maybe we should've thought about it some more."

Best Band Names Ever: "My friend's band's name is No Anchor. I love that. Arcade Fire's band name is genius -- like everything they do."

Worst Band Names Ever: "Anything with the word funk isn't good. Funkadelic or funky should be illegal. There should be rules, and they should be adhered to. Funkabilly. Funkadelic. No thanks."

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