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Why They’re Called… Anberlin


Welcome to the weekly feature “Name That Band!” in which we get the inside stories behind the mysterious monikers of some of our favorite artists.

This week: Florida alt-pop band Anberlin, whose new album Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place is out September 21.

Why Anberlin: “I was in my dorm room at the University of Central Florida in 2002,” says lead singer Stephen Christian, “and I was listening to Radiohead’s Kid A. I was infatuated. I listened to that album every night for a month. But in the song ‘Everything In Its Right Place,’ I thought I kept hearing something in the background that sounded like Thom Yorke was singing the word ‘Anberlin.’ I kept hearing it: ‘Anberlin,’ ‘Anberlin.’ I searched online for ‘Radiohead and Anberlin,’ ‘Thom Yorke and Anberlin’ but didn’t find anything. Eventually I realized that I must’ve been mishearing something and that the word ‘Anberlin’ was a figment of my imagination. It has no meaning. I just liked the sound of it and thought it was original. I thought it would be a good band name.”

Previously Rejected Names: “The other guys in the band thought of using Laredo, but I felt like that would be a great name for a country band but not for us. At one point I really wanted us to be called the Clamor, but the other guys thought it was too much of a punk thing, like the Clash.”

Best Band Names Ever: “Being raised in a Christian home, I always liked names that the bands themselves had nothing to do with, like when people said AC/DC stood for Anti-Christ Devil Child or that KISS was short for Knights in Satan’s Service. My mom knew all of those.”

Worst Band Name Ever:“There are some legendary bands with totally asinine names. Toad the Wet Sprocket and Jimmy Eat World come to mind.”

See past episodes of Name That Band! here.

Watch: Anberlin, “Impossible”