Caption: these bands managed to choose the same name as someone else
Picture it. You and your bandmates have just finished your best practice yet. You’re a death metal band, so naturally, the vocals were growled like some kind of beast, the drums were thumping, guitar gnarly, bass felt like it was coursing through your veins.
You’re totally ready to book in your first show, but you haven’t thought of a name yet. Death would describe you perfectly, but wait, there’s not just one, but two bands who are already called Death. Back to the drawing board then.
The problem with naming bands is that oftentimes the best names are already gone, but that didn’t stop these unlikely music twins from just rolling with the same name anyway.
Death and Death
We’ll start off with the example we mentioned already, Death. Most of our readers will have heard of the metal band Death, with frontman and guitarist Chuck Schuldiner at the helm. He was the founding member of the band and the only one that remained constant until his tragic passing in 2001. Chuck founded Death in 1983 and, as such, is often credited with being the godfather of Death Metal. Great as Death’s successes were, they were actually preceded by another band, a punk band, also called Death.
This iteration of Death were formed in the mid-1970s and had already broken up by 1976, almost a decade before Chuck brought his version of Death together. Although the punk trio had got to the name first, their band didn’t receive any kind of notoriety until 2009, when their album ‘For All the World to See’ was released. They had recorded seven songs for the album in 1975, even though the plan had been a full 12-song album. When they entered the studio the producer said they’d have to change their name or they couldn’t record. Death declined and so, the album was hugely shortened.
Thankfully, Death’s bassist would go on to have three boys, each skilled musicians in their own right. His boys got together to play the seven songs which would be released in 2009. The album was incredibly well received by many respected musicians, people even commenting that they were years ahead of their time and true fathers of the punk movement.
OAR and O.A.R.
OAR and O.A.R. it’s easy to see why the two sometimes get confused. The former is an Australian band who are metal to the core, post black metal to be exact. Although their Spotify monthly plays reach just shy of 300, they’ve got a dedicated cult following, with hits including The Blood You Crave and Doomed and Damned.
O.A.R. on the other hand are a platinum-selling band from America who play soft, heartlands rock. They are most famous for creating one of the greatest songs inspired by poker, That Was a Crazy Game of Poker, as well as Shattered (Turn the Car Around), which even a diehard metal fan might find themselves struggling not to hum along to.
Whilst O.A.R undoubtedly have more fans (more than 1.5 million plays per month) and a whole load more albums under their belts, OAR get the vote from us.
Ice Age and Iceage
Ice Age and Iceage are the first set of bands that come from a similar background and, in fact, if we could include one further Ice Age to take the total to three. The first band, the one with the spelling ‘Iceage’, are a Danish post punk band who have been truly revolutionary over the past decade or so. They’ve put out songs with a genuinely different sound, including fan favorite Pain Killer which was recorded with Sky Ferreira. Their droney vocals combined with unexpected blasts of brass make for exciting listening, a band that are well worth taking the time to catch at a live show.
The remaining two bands, both spelt ‘Ice Age’, fit more neatly into our niche, one being an American progressive metal band, the other a Swedish thrash metal band. The Swedish version have some inspired tracks, but haven’t reached their peak yet, whilst the American band are, to put it politely, hard to listen to.
Nirvana and Nirvana
caption: Most people wouldn’t believe that Nirvana weren’t the first band with their name
Many people wouldn’t believe that Nirvana weren’t the first band to use that name. The Nirvana we all know formed back in 1987 and lasted until just 1994, beloved by anyone who has even a passing interest in grunge music.
However, they were preceded by a British band who were formed in 1965 and who since reunited in 1985. It doesn’t even need to be said that Kurt Cobain’s Nirvana has the greater legacy, but if you’re into weird psychedelic pop then it might be worth giving the ‘original’ Nirvana a listen.