Today we’re looking at some of the best, current artists with “the” at the start of their band names. Beyond the obvious plethora of legendary acts like The Beatles, The Talking Heads, and of course The David Bowie — we’re looking at bands that both rock AND linguistically assert the specificity of their nounship. Now without further ado, I present to you: Great bands with “The” at the beginning of their name.
Among their many accolades as musicians, The National lay claim to the title of “best band to share a name with nightly Canadian news and current affairs program.” I’m not sure if they’re aware of this fact, but I like to imagine that all the dudes are big Peter Mansbridge fans.
The Tallest Man on Earth
In reality, Kristian Matsson isn’t the tallest man on earth – that distinction belongs to a part-time farmer from Turkey named Sultan Kösen. Standing 8’3 (or 253 cm for you metric weirdos), Mr. Kösen is almost 3 feet taller than the gravelly voiced Swede. We’ll forgive him though on account of his excellent, Dylanesque jams (and his probable height envy).
The Black Keys
According to the always reliable Black Keys Fan Lounge, the band’s name was inspired by a schizophrenic artist friend of guitarist-singer Dan Auerbach’s father in Akron, who used the term “D Flats and Black Keys” to describe people who he didn’t like. If that isn’t a great etymology story, I don’t know what is.
The Strokes chose their band name for the same reason that the Strokes make all their decisions. Because it sounds really, really cool. Of course Julian Casablancas justified their name choice (in an interview with Rolling Stone) as some kind of artistic statement “because it means a lot of things that are artistic and strong. We all do interesting things in different ways and the words means interesting things in different ways. It just made so much sense that you can’t deny it.” But what you really can’t deny is how cool it sounds.
Caustic, overtly political, and notoriously wary of media, Karin Dreijer Andersson and co. are about as appropriately named as a band can get. Like the tool from which they’re named, the band is prickly and concealed. Like a wolf in Swedish neon jumpers, they are not to be trifled with.
Taken from canonical English-lit text Pride and Prejudice (yes, they’re named after that Mr. Darcy), this experimentally inclined Toronto four-piece has been dominating the local art-rock scene since joining Arts & Crafts in 2011. And while they may not have amassed the great fortune of P&P’s aloof romantic hero, Fitzwilliam Darcy (dude was pulling in £10,000+/year back in 1895), I’d say they’ve done fairly well for themselves.