"Is there a story behind your name?"
Fans love this question-through it, they learn that Pearl Jam was named after someone's grandma's LSD jelly. Bands hate this question. It ranks right alongside "What are your influences?" as the two single most remedial and annoying things you can ask a musician.
But, as we said, enquiring minds (including ours) want to know. So we asked the bands anyway. Here's what's behind the names of some of San Diego's more visible bands:
Accident Experiment: (Above) According to vocalist Pete Stewart, the group's name is about that uneasy feeling of trying something new with your sound: "We liked the idea of something that portrays that initial feeling you get in an accident immediately after the moment of impact. You're helpless and taken over, and there's nothing you can do about it but surrender to its force."
Buckfast Superbee: The indie-rock group takes their name from a discovery by Benedictine monk, Brother Adam, whose passion was beekeeping. He crossbred a honeybee that was capable of producing 10 times the amount of honey that normal bees are able to do. The new bee was dubbed the "Buckfast Superbee."
Campaign For Quiet: Ah, irony. The band's frontman Frank Thaheld has a personal obsession with silence in his down time, and noise pollution in general.
Emery Byrd: Emery Byrd was jazz legend Charlie Parker's heroin dealer. Byrd famously accepted the rights to one of Parker's songs in exchange for a fix. Singer Brandon Leck has said the name is also an homage to The Byrds and The Yardbirds.
Holiday and the Adventure Pop Collective: Inspired by titles like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the band put together a batch of words that gave the feeling of escape. The first word was chosen for its relation to both Billie Holiday and vacationing.
Irradio: The group's Dan Dasher wanted a name that suggested the band was a bit of a positive beacon for folks. He found the perfect match in this Portuguese word, which means to shed light on something or to illuminate.
Jade Shader: Fascinated by tales of the unknown, vocalist Terrin Durfey named his new band after a ship that wrecked off the Vancouver Islands in the 1800s.
Manuok: The name can be pronounced two ways-"Man You OK" or "Mah-nook"-but "it wasn't supposed to mean anything," says principal member Scott Mercado. "Even though it's referred to as "man you OK' by most people, I like that it sounds a bit like "Nanook,' the dog's name in the movie, [The] Lost Boys."
Reeve Oliver: "It was "Revolver' for a week," said frontman Sean O'Donnell. "But there were already a few bands called that. So I was just writing it down on paper, the way a 13-year-old girl writes her name with her boyfriend's last name in a notebook, over and over again, and came up with Reeve Oliver. Originally, "Revolver' was a nod to the first Beatles CD I bought at the coolest record store in the world: Price Club."
Silver Sunshine: Although known for their '60s-inspired psychedelia, guitarist Richard Vaughn lifted the name from a band in a cheesy teen novel from 1970 that he found in a thrift store. Completely coincidental, Vaughn acknowledges that Silver Sunshine "also happened to be the name of my very first hit of acid. Perfect."
South Psycho Cide: The hip-hop group took a variety of things into account for their name. "We wanted to represent South Cali from a Diego point of view," explained one of the group's MCs, Mr. Coox. "So we decided to go with the South and Psycho, because people knew us on the streets as being psycho and we were from the south. The last part, the Cide, came from us seeing ourselves as a whole dynasty and not just one group."
Switchfoot: The Encinitas hit-makers are named for a surfing term, which means to put your weaker foot forward or mix up your stance when taking a wave. "We thought this was an appropriate name for music that was an attempt to do something different," joked Jonathan Foreman. "Until we found out what it means in Japan. Yikes!"
UV Tigers: Singer Gary Hankins and guitarist Aaron Swanton were touring Japan with their former band, Scarlet Symphony, when they learned they both dreamt about tigers. When a friend imparted a local folk tale about invisible tigers being guardians of the soul, the pair took the coincidence as their next group's name.