Band Names Derived from Literature

As strange as this may sound, I am fascinated by band names; or, more specifically, the reasoning behind the name. Recently, I’ve come across the realization that several bands have ties to many books, plays, or poems within their nomenclature. I put together a list of bands that were inspired by, or borrowed from, literature. I hope you are just as fascinated as I am.

Twenty One Pilots– front-man, Tyler Joseph, was inspired by the Arthur Miller play “All My Sons,” where the main character is responsible for the death of 21 pilots

Of Mice & Men– derived from the John Steinbeck novel Of Mice and Men

Modest Mouse– taken from a passage within Virginia Woolf’s short story “A Mark on the Wall”

My Chemical Romance– bassist of the band, Mikey Way, was inspired by the Irvine Welsh novel titled Five Tales of Chemical Romance; his brother, the lead vocalist, added “My” to the term

As I Lay Dying– derived from William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying

The Doors– derived from Aldous Huxley’s essay “The Doors of Perception”

The Velvet Underground– derived from Michael Leigh’s novel The Velvet Underground

Atreyu– the band is named after a character within The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

Avenged Sevenfold– the name is taken from a passage as seen in The Book of Genesis

Devil Wears Prada– derived from The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

Joy Division– the band is named after a particular wing of a Nazi concentration camp mentioned in House of Dolls by Ka-tzetnik 135633

Saving Abel– the band borrowed from the story of Cain and Abel as seen in The Book of Genesis

Toto– named after Dorothy’s dog featured in L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz

Iron Maiden– front-man, Steve Harris, borrowed the name of the torture device as seen in the movie The Man in the Iron Mask, which is loosely based off of Alexandre Dumas’s novel of the same name

Steely Dan– a name borrowed from William S. Burroughs’s Naked Lunch

Coldplay originally called “Starfish,” Coldplay adopted the name of a friend’s band inspired by a book of collected poems called Child’s Reflections: Cold Play

Belle & Sebastian– inspired by the French children’s book Belle et Sébastien by Cécile Aubry

Black Crowes– the band originally named themselves “Mr. Crowe’s Garden” after their favorite children’s book Johnny Crow’s Garden by Leonard Leslie Brookes; they eventually renamed upon the suggestion of their producer

Although the following bands used a dictionary, I still wanted to include them:
Evanescence

Grateful Dead

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