There are very few things as fun as talking about possible band names, and almost nothing more excruciating for an artist than actually settling upon a band name. In my limited experience it’s kind of like looking for a Christmas tree or picking out new furniture. There is a lot of “how about this one?” and “What about…?” until the fog lifts and a for one reason or many…something sticks.
When I first mentioned the name Flat Earth Band Jen and I and the kids were on vacation driving north from our home in Southern Illinois to Wisconsin to visit friends. At this point we had been practicing a handful of our original songs with some friends and talking about going public with them. Jennifer and I had on and off discussions about coming up with a band name for this music endeavor, and after several hours of driving longwise through the Land of Lincoln I offered up the name Flat Earth Band. I liked it. It began to “stick’ right away. It rolled off the tongue pretty well, and had a rootsy vibe to it that matched up well with the banjo I had recently purchased. I felt like the name worked if for no other reason as a homage to our rural, and very “Flat” Midwestern stomping grounds.
As I continued to think upon the name, there were other more complex reasons why the named appealed to me. Most of the songs I had written had close Bible and theology references, but were also intended to be very much intertwined with human experience, so I saw the name as a loose metaphor for a ground level theology, that is, where the tires hit the road and the earth is (appears) flat. As you can probably see, that reason for keeping the name was a little tougher to explain, but it still worked in my mind. A third reason for liking the name at the beginning was that I felt like it struck a bit of a cultural nerve. It was 2010 and, as far as I knew at the time, almost no one actually believed that the earth was flat. This was before a famous NBA player and a famous musician or two began to profess their beliefs that the earth was flat. At the time I literally could not have named a single person who really thought earth was flat. I did, however, see and hear many references to Bible believing Christians to as “Flat Earthers” in social media, blogs, and in political banter…and it made me like the name even more. This too was not easy to explain, but I didn’t have to explain it. I never intended to explain it. I liked it. I never believed the earth was flat, but I had enough reasons for keeping the name, and eventually the music and lyrics would define the name anyway, right?
So, why am I going through the trouble of explaining it now? Well, oddly enough the Flat Earth movement appears to be growing in popularity. And, as a result, our band name was becoming more trouble than it was worth. So, goodbye Flat Earth Band. It was fun for a while, but now it’s time for a change.
On a related note, if you liked the Flat Earth Band, then I’m sure you’ll love Hey Augustine! They sound about the same.