In the summer of 2012, our then unnamed band had been getting together for a few months jamming and learning some cover songs while getting a feel for how our four different musical styles were coming together. We were at a point where we had developed a cohesive musical bond and everyone had a feeling that what we were doing should be continued and in an official and representative way. We were feeling like a real band, and not just a bunch of musicians getting together for random jam sessions. It was time to come up with a band name if we were to consider taking the next step forward together.
My experience of when musicians decide it’s time to come up with their band name is that it often comes in the form of three different flavors of direction, from obvious band name suggestions, to thoughtful ones, and then to the quirky and provocative band name ideas. At the end of our discovery process involving all these directions we ended up lucky in that the band name we agreed upon is just perfect for us.
Here’s how it unfolded for us.
During one of our early rehearsals we took a break from working on some cover songs and went to go hang out in the drummer’s garage. It’s always good to give your ears, hands, and voice a break during rehearsal sessions. It’s also a good time to talk about how things are going for everyone musically. I don’t recall who, but one of us said, “So have y’all thought about coming up with a band name yet?” We were all in agreement that it was time to tackle this challenge. We felt like there was something unique and authentic about our sound and we liked how our personalities fit together.
Immediately, silly band name ideas started flowing out of our mouths. This is actually a fun time to be playful and test the patience of your fellow musicians. But this is also a serious task, so we tried to stay on course with making worthwhile suggestions during our excited band name barrage upon each other.
If you haven’t guessed already, Jean is our singer and one of our guitar players. Tim is our drummer; James is the other guitarist and confessed guitar nerd, and myself, the bass player. So, after some time of having fun coming up with bad and ill-fitting band names, the garage went silent. We pondered. We looked out onto Tim’s driveway. We looked blankly into the air for answers. We were literally looking for the name to appear to us. Then, Tim softly said, “how ‘bout, What Jean Wants?” We all looked at each other with a seriousness and joy in our eyes. You could see each of our minds chewing on this name idea with ultimate scrutiny and consideration. There was nothing wrong with it! Actually, it was perfect in every way. In hindsight, I realize that we didn’t truly appreciate the perfection of the name until we had time to digest it and reflect upon its full meaning. We all agreed on the name. We are now What Jean Wants. This is our band name and we are going to make it something that people will remember and affectionately identify with.
I will go into more detail behind what our band name represents in our bio update and future posts. Until then, thanks for listening and thanks for experiencing this wonderful thing with us!