Music, Pop Culture

Top 6 Dumbass Band Names

SXSW is a good time to sit back and reflect on all the dumbass band names that people come up with.

Oh, and there are a lot of them.

Take for instance the SXSW crowd favorite Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All.

What does this mean!? It’s not even a dark and brooding sentence like most ridiculous band names. It’s like they did the old Bowie trick and put some words into a hat. What’s so odd about the future, huh? And why does Mozart have to be wrangled in to your poor naming skills? Leave him alone! And don’t go making him killing everybody! Mozart was a good man. He wrote ‘The Magic Flute’ and I kind of like it.

I will not listen to this band purely based off of their name. There. You lost a potential listener due to your inability to come up with a winning band name (absolutely nota Charlie Sheen reference). Same goes for most of these bands below. Your band names suck and here is why….

Tell me your favorite dumbass band name!

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (or CYHSY)
Where the name came from: According to thisLAist article, the band was performing in Brooklyn and had no name, so they did what any intelligent hipster set would do and scoured the bathroom walls for inspiration. So in other words, some other asshole came up with the sentence “clap your hands say yeah” and these guys stole it. Sounds like the typical hipster code of ethics: find something irreverent, witty, and/or weird that you did not come up with and make it your own.

Why it’s dumbass: This will be the first of two bands that has the word “yeah” in the name. Why is “yeah” such a popular word? It’s not even a good word. Why not ‘Clap Your Hands Say, Aye!’ or ‘Clap Your Hands Say, Indeed!’ I like those band names much better. Also, maybe I don’t want to clap my hands to your music. Maybe I just think you’re a total ripoff of David Byrne. Maybe you should change your band name to “Clap Your Hands If You Think I Sound Like David Byrne, Because I Do….Yeah!”

…And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead (or Trail of Dead or …AYWKUBTTOD…or not)
Where the name came from: Wikipedia says that the name comes from a Mayan chant. It also says it’s similar to an Egyptian chant. It also says it’s a joke. Whichever one it is, they all blow hard. Not that Mayan or Egyptian chants blow. In fact, they’re kind of cool, but assuming a phrase that implies you leave heaping mounds of rotting flesh wherever you go is lame. I’m not even sure you leave a trail of happy listeners?

Why it’s dumbass: Why are so many sentence band names super dark? I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness, This Will Destroy You, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, These Arms Are Snakes… do you want us to feel like shit before we even listen to you? I’d like to point out the completely unnecessary use of the ellipsis and the fact that this band is ten words long. The word “unnecessary” seems to be a common theme in most of these band names. Also, the acronym looks like a dyslexic rephrasing of the sentence “awkward butt wad’.

Does it Offend You, Yeah? (or DIOY, Y?) recommended by Joel Buchanan
Where the name came from: Band member Dan Coop says that they took their name from the first things they heard when they turned on the television: Ricky Gervais saying, “Does it offend you, yeah? My drinking?” Dan Coop is also quoted as saying that he put zero thought into the band title. That is kind of obvious.

Why it’s dumbass: Every time I hear this band name I think of shirtless Austin Powers rubbing his massive rug of chest hair and prodding the question. I don’t like this visual. In fact, it kind of makes me scrunch up my face when thinking about it. I don’t like a band asking me questions either. I just want to listen and enjoy- not worrying about whether or not I’m being offended. If you really want to know DIOY, Y?, then yes, your stupid ass band name not only offends me, but makes me throw up in my mouth a little.

I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness (or ILYBICD)
Where the name came from: For SXSW last year, lead singer Chris Goyer states on Spinner, “I didn’t come up with it. It’s a full sentence that I think speaks for itself.” I have no comment on this.

Why it’s dumbass: Anyone who answers that question seriously needs to be taken out behind the barn. “It’s a full sentence that I think speaks for itself.” Yeah, it says that you’re a raging douchebag, that is what. I must admit that at one point I thought your band name was kind of cute and clever, but after reading your answer, I’m like, “I’ve chosen darkness because you  made me go there with your stupid answer. Now I will have to leave a trail of dead. Does that offend you? Yeah? YEAH?!” The sad thing is, this is another band from Austin. Two bands from Austin made this list. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised…?

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin (or SSLYBY) recommended by Jennifer Sinski
Where the name came from: Frontman Phillip Dickey told Spinner that they wanted a light and happy name and Boris Yeltsin was really getting dumped on by the media at the time, so they decided to combine happy with former Russian bureaucracy. If that is the formula for a good hipster band name, then my next band will be called, “I Will Have Your Baby, Putin”.

Why it’s dumbass: This has to be the most admirable of the dumbass band names. At least they’re trying to lift the spirits of a fallen president. Dickey said that he felt bad for Yeltsin who was “disgraced and life was in ruins”, but he thought somewhere in the world someone loves good ol’ Boris. Well, Boris, wherever you are, a band from Missouri kind of likes you. Oh wait, you’re dead, aren’t you? Never mind.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor (or GY!BE)
Where the name came from: Wikipedia states that the band got their name from a 1970’s Japanese black-and-white documentary by Mitsuo Yanagimachi about biker gangs. Of course they did. Again, following the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah rule of finding something clever that you did not come up with yourself and making it your own.

Why it’s dumbass:  Because this sounds like a name my highly pretentious NYU film school graduate roommate would come up with. Everything about this band name screams, “I’m more cultured than you because I’ve actually seen a 1970’s black-and-white Japanese documentary about biker gangs and you haven’t!” Well, I hate to break it to you, Godspeed You!, but I’ve seen some Kurosawa films, yeah. So I see what you’re getting at and I’m not impressed.

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Vanessa March 22, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Haha, I love this! You could easily make this a weekly post, and I would love you even more for it.

    • Reply Kari April 11, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      And You Will Know Us By The Trail of disappointed concert goers…

  • Reply Anthony Strand March 22, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    When I saw this post title, I immediately thought of the horrible-named "We Were Promised Jet Packs."

    Remember 10 years or so ago, when "The [Noun]s"-type names made a big comeback? (The Shins, The Strokes, The White Stripes, The Hives, etc.) I miss those days.

  • Reply Mr O March 22, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Yea, there are definitely more of these that you could do and I would read because I loved your break downs.

    Though the irony is at some point today I am probably going to jam out to some Does It Offend You, Yeah?

    Whoops 😉

  • Reply Hipstercrite March 22, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    @Vanessa- Ha! You might be on to something…

    @Anthony- Yes! Someone recommended that band, but I had to stop somewhere. Vanessa may be right…this could turn into a weekly post! I miss the days of 'the noun' too. In fact, is there a band called The Nouns?

    @Mr O- Hahaha. Thank you! Let me know how that jammin' goes!

  • Reply YoungUrbanAmateur March 22, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Oh man… I saw this title and totally did NOT expect this to be as hilarious as it is. I tend to tune out these band names… and I just realized how hilarious and obnoxious they are.

    I also realized that I've heard most of the bands in question but not checked many of them out… probably due to a subliminal effect of having such a ridiculous name.

  • Reply MG March 22, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Ok – seriously all these bands suck. Well, they could be good for all I know but the names are total crap. First of all, waaaaayyy too damn long. Brevity, anyone? Also, acronyms, however fond of them I am, have no place in the name of a band. It's too much to remember and too trendy. If I have to work too hard to remember your damn name do you think I'll listen to the shit you're selling? Doubtful.

    My favorite band name? hmm…that's a toughie. I like radiohead. 3 syllables & easy to remember.

  • Reply Mademoiselle Hautemess March 22, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    This is a topic I have thought a lot about ever since reading how pissed off Darius Rucker used to get when people called him "Hootie." I just wanted to tell him that it was his penance for picking such a dumb ass name!

    I love this and I second Vanessa – I would dig seeing this as a regular post! 🙂

  • Reply theTsaritsa March 22, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    And I thought Death Cab for Cutie was bad when I first heard them in 2001… damn. I've heard of AYWKUB… and some of these others, but the first band name is just terrible. Definitely sounds like they're trying too hard, and they didn't have to fuck up Mozart!

  • Reply Hipstercrite March 22, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    @YUA- Yeah, the only band I can say I've really listened to is CYHSY. What the f even happened to them???

    @MG- AND! the best part is….Radiohead got their band name from a Talking Heads song!!!!

    @Hautemess- Are you kidding me? Hootie gets pissed off about that? Opps, I almost wrote "Hottie".

    @Tsaritsa- I was going to include Death Cab for Cutie but didn't have the energy. 😉

  • Reply Rahul March 22, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    I can't believe "The The" didn't crack this list. How the hell are we supposed to google search that?


  • Reply Lavina March 22, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Hahah this SHOULD be a weekly thing, so many stupid ass names are swirling in my head

  • Reply kellynD March 22, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Agreed!! There are so many dumbass band names out there (Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, anyone?). I love the idea of this being a weekly post!

    Though I really like some of these bands, the names are so hard to remember/say during conversation. It's kinda out of hand.

  • Reply Cathy Benavides March 22, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    SPOT ON!! You crack me up, you brilliant woman you!

  • Reply nate March 22, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    article about SXSW in the NYtimes about this band: "Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All". worst band name i've ever heard.

  • Reply nate March 22, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    article in NYTimes about SXSW ( was about this band: "Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All". Worst band name ever.

  • Reply Elephantom March 22, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    "This Will Destroy You"

    Ugh, just the worst.

  • Reply Carol March 22, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    It’s so clever to have a crappy band name. It protects you from things like being successful and making money. Thank God there’s no chance of that for these boys. And, frankly, I’d miss seeing their forced smiles behind the counter at my local Starbucks, wouldn’t you?

  • Reply Carol March 22, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    It’s so clever to have a crappy band name. It protects you from things like being successful and making money. Thank God there’s no chance of that for these boys. And, frankly, I’d miss seeing their forced smiles behind the counter at my local Starbucks, wouldn’t you?

  • Reply Big Mark 243 March 22, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Great post BUT I definitely disagree (hey, a double 'D' is always a pair!) '…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead' sounds like something Conan The Barbarian (no, not THAT 'Conan' but the one drew by John Buscema!) would say… or a cat who is a knockout puncher..! (not gonna mention any names..!)

    Then there are all the potential permutations… daresay if I was still whoring around, I would say stupid stuff like, '…and you will know me by the trail of girl's panties', or something else equally douchebaggish…

    …anywho, jus' sayin'…

  • Reply A Kitchen Witch March 22, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    These are great and I love how you combined, "but after reading your answer, I'm like, 'I've chosen darkness because you made me go there with your stupid answer. Now I will have to leave a trail of dead. Does that offend you? Yeah? YEAH?!'" Hillarious.

  • Reply tennysoneehemingway March 22, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    I know most of the bands you've mentioned but couldn't tell you anything about the music they play because, as previously mentioned, the band name puts me off checking them out. They might be awesome but they sound like such pretentious fucks that I just don't care. Worst band name I've heard? How about, 'Death from Above – 1979.' Why 1979?

  • Reply Scott Tammaro March 23, 2011 at 12:41 am

    I like Godspeed You Black Emperor. They'll be the soundtrack after the Apocalypse when people are eating each other for sustainment.

    You could just call them GYBE but that sounds like some type of sex jelly or something.

    Gotta get back to you on this one….

  • Reply Ludwig March 23, 2011 at 12:56 am

    "Panic! At the Disco" with "Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off"

  • Reply dull boy March 23, 2011 at 1:20 am

    there used to be a band around melbourne in the 90's called 'crowd dispersal unit' which i thought was rather funny and clever

    (sadly i think they lived up to their name)

  • Reply Band Names: The List | World (and Lunar) Domination April 11, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    […] Top 6 Dumbass Band Names ( […]

  • Reply Frank Candybush January 10, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    The Beatles
    Jay Z
    Run DMC
    The Shins

    Who are you to have an opinion?

  • Leave a Reply