Why We Changed Our Name (Again)
We liked the name Hurry Death. Provocative, good story behind it.
I don't know if the name Hurry Death represents who we are as people or what we're trying to do musically.
Andrew was right. If we're expecting our upcoming EP (and the band as a result) to be successful, we couldn't continue to create a huge obstacle for ourselves when God knows how many potential listeners were discounting us as a metal band. But more importantly, the musical and lyrical themes had to line up with how we presented our work, which of course includes the name.
Anxious to move forward with our rebranding, we quickly settled on Climates. We Googled it and found some defunct hardcore band in England, but they didn't have a website or Facebook page and seemed to have no substantial following.
Turns out we were pretty mistaken about that following bit:
In neglecting routine due diligence, we failed to check this little known site called YouTube, where the band Climates is really mad at the a forest and has over half a million views. And so ... we let go of the name Hurry Death to prevent being mistaken as a metal band only to adopt a new name that created the exact same problem.
Like, really mad at the forest with its stupid trees and chirping birds.
Suddenly amidst yet another identity crisis, we frantically suggested names over an email chain that swelled up to over a hundred exchanges over the course of a week. We met at The Holloway in Echo Park and argued over The Autumn Sea (too emo), Grand Ambre (too meh), Sault Marie (too French), and my personal favorite, The Crocodile Dozen.
It was a frustrating, occasionally infuriating process. Most of our ideas were taken, the rest two of us liked but not the third. Others were cool but were names of brands or places and we'd never get the URLs or show up in search rankings.
Lone Kodiak came to us when we weren't looking (of course it did). I was walking around Echo Park Lake, listening to the final vocal mixes, thrilled at how good everything was turning out. I had just read an article on bears (of course I had), in which the author had referenced the only known Kodiak bear in a part of Alaska. The only Kodiak ... I liked that. It was sad, but not without hope ... there was a story there. The Only Kodiak. Hmm ... Only Kodiak. It's a little weird to say out loud. The Last Kodiak. Sounds like a movie (The Last Starfighter, Last of the Mohicans).
I smiled, but kept my hopes in check as I was sure at the point that someone (Andrew) in the band wouldn't like it. Speaking of Andrew, he was on his way over to the house to listen to the finished vocals. I headed home and came up with a quick graphic and texted it to Daniel and him before I let myself get attached to it.
There's imagery. It's at once intimate and grand. It's connected to nature like Climates was. It can mean multiple things. Also kind of sounds like the name of a superhero in the tundra.
Daniel was equally enthusiastic, and so was everyone whose opinion we solicited. When Andrew arrived we made it official. I got my debit card out and bought the domain right then and there (I'm the sugar daddy of the group).
Most of you haven't heard our new music yet. When you do, you'll understand why this was so important to us. We've worked on 5 <4 minute songs for the better part of a year. We've revised them again and again; cut sections out; written new melodies and lyrics; we've even let people go who weren't right for the project, and we've done none of it lightly.
Lone Kodiak. There's a story there, just as there are stories behind and within each song we write. If what we're doing isn't evocative, then as artists we've failed ...
We think our new name reflects what we're trying to do. But then again, it's just a cool band name, and when all is said and done, being cool is the most important thing. Right?