Welcome to the new weekly SPIN.com feature “Name That Band!” in which we get the inside stories behind the mysterious monikers of some of our favorite artists. (See past episodes of Name That Band! here.)
This week: Mutemath, whose tour hits the Bamboozle festival on May 2. Watch exclusive video of the New Orleans band performing “The Fight,” a previously unreleased song, right here.
Why MUTEMATH: “[Keyboardist-vocalist] Paul [Meany] andI actually as a started out as an electronic duo called Math,” recalls drummer Darren King. “We thought Math would be easy to remember and easy to print. It looked angular. But we ran into copyright problems because other bands had been called Math before. So we had to come up with something else this was in 2005 in New Orleans. I had a big notebook full of names and Mutemath was in there. I think one of things that we liked was that it looked really symmetrical in print. Our name looks good on festival bills, you know?”
Previously Rejected Names: “One name I remember championing was Control Alt Delete. I had this buddy that I used to call up and ask if he’d go see a band called whatever name I was thinking about at the time. When I said, ‘Would you go to a club and see a band called Control Alt Delete?’ he was like, ‘Only if the club is also holding a Star Trek convention.’ I guess that was a pretty nerdy sounding name.
Best Band Names Ever: “Talking Heads is my favorite band name of all time. The Pixies is another great one. I like that their name counters what they sound like.”
Worst Band Name Ever: “I think the Beatles is a horrible band name. It’s a bug they misspelled to sound like drumbeat. But of course it didn’t matter. They could’ve been called Kajagoogoo and they would’ve been amazing.”