Band names come from all over the place. Today, we’re talking about some that had a little geek in their influence. So here are the top ten geeky band names.


Childish Gambino
Image by EWatson92 on Flickr

10. Childish Gambino – Remember using all those internet name generators to come up with your soap opera name? Well, Donald Glover used a Wu-Tang Clan name generator during his sophomore year of college at NYU. When he put in his real name, Childish Gambino was the result, and it stuck!

9. Duran Duran – After the band played at Birmingham’s Barberella’s nightclub, they were inspired by the cult science fiction film of the same name. The villain, Dr. Durand-Durand’s name was modified into the British band.

8. Modest Mouse – Okay, this one’s for all you literary geeks out there. In the Virginia Woolf story “The Mark on the Wall,” there is a passage which reads, “…and very frequent even in the minds of modest, mouse-coloured people…” Remove the comma, and Modest Mouse was born.

7. Fallout Boy – Nameless for their first two shows, they asked the audience to yell out their ideas for a name. One audience member suggested Fallout Boy, which is a reference to the sidekick of the Simpsons cartoon character Radioactive Man.


Anne Rice novels.
Image by thirtyseven on Flickr.

6. Savage Garden – Rosalind loved this band, and I’m pretty sure part of the reason was that their name comes from a phrase in the Anne Rice novel Interview With The Vampire. In fact, the phrase was used many times throughout her books, including in The Vampire Lestat where she says “beauty is a savage garden.”

5. Casey Jones – This Florida hardcore band got their name from the vigilante character from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comin books. The character also shows up in the TMNT animated series’ in the 80s and the modern reboots.

4. Eve 6 – The band best known for their song “Inside Out” were inspired by the geeky alien television series The X-Files. In the show, Eve 6 was a clone from the Lichfield experiment and was extremely intelligent and strong with homocidal tendancies.

3. Marillion – This band originally named themselves “Silmarillion,” a name was taken from the title of a J.R.R. Tolkien novel. However, due to legal problems, they dropped the first syllable.


The Neverending Story.
Image by blakespot on Flickr.

2. Atreyu – The character from the story inside the story in Michael Ende’s book The Neverending Story. Bastian reads all about Atreyu’s quest to find a cure to save the land of Fantastica with his luckdragon Falkor.


An episode of The Twilight Zone.
Image by cote on Flickr

1. The Number Twelve Looks Like You – This band got their name from an episode of what I think is the greatest science fiction show of all time, The Twilight Zone. In the episode’s future society, all people undergo a tranformation to look alike, and one girl who refuses the procedure.

So what do you think? Did we miss your favorite band with a geeky backstory to their name? Let us know in the comments!


  • Deserving of places on this list:

    The Human League, who took their name from an SF wargame, Starforce: Alpha Centauri:

    Heaven 17, who took their name from a band in A Clockwork Orange (book and movie):

    Zen Faulkes 29.Mar.2013 3:29 pm
  • Great suggestions! Both bands I’ve really only heard of in passing. Thanks!

    – Dawn

    Girls Are Geeks 30.Mar.2013 3:15 pm
  • How could you miss one of my favorite bands?? – Toad the Wet Sprocket – who took their name from a Monty Python sketch.

    Heather 30.Mar.2013 9:36 am
  • There’s one I’ve never heard of. Looks like we might have to make a Part II!

    – Dawn

    Girls Are Geeks 30.Mar.2013 3:16 pm
  • I am always going to love Nerf Herder which not only did the Buffy theme song for the tv show, but their name is from Star Wars after Leia calls Han “Why you stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder!” Their songs are pretty pop culture heavy and humorous though occasionally quite juvenile as well.

    And I am always going to love Veruca Salt named after Veruca from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

    Smirking Revenge 31.Mar.2013 8:29 pm
  • More entries!

    At least two bands have taken their names from Doctor Who villains.

    Dalek I Love You:

    The Autons:

    And going to comics, The Thomson Twins took their name from detectives Thompson and Thompson in TinTin:

    Zen Faulkes 1.Apr.2013 9:14 am

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