SAN FRANCISCO (CBS LOCAL) – Once a band has their name, that should be it. But in the age of Google, when a band picks a very common word, like fun, to be the name of their band they face an uphill climb to rebrand from its original meaning.
New York band fun. seems to have accomplished it — their website is the first thing returned when you Google the word fun, with their Wikipedia and MySpace pages close behind. But days before their performance at San Francisco’s Outside Lands, the guys talked to CBS Local, they told the story of another hurdle to overcome: another band already named Fun.
When we asked how they came to add the period to the end of fun., a tale of threats and disagreement unfurled.
“It came because after we’d decided on the name we were approached by what at the time we were calling a Swedish death metal band,” said singer Nate Ruess. “They emailed us and asked us, told us that that was their name, and asked us to change it up subtly. And then a few weeks ago we were actually in Finland and someone brought it up and said that it was the Finnish noise rock band Fun that had asked us to do that. They’re not happy with us and they want to start a band fight the next time we’re in Finland.”
That sounds frightening, because a noise rock band is likely made up of intimidating figures. But when we asked fun. if they’d Googled the other Fun to see what they look like, they admitted they had dropped the ball.
“We really should have done that,” Reuss laughed.
“It’s hard to find them now because when you Google ‘fun’ we come up instead,” said guitarist Jack Antonoff.
“Now you’re just trying to antagonize them,” replied multi-instrumentalist Andrew Doost.
As far as antagonism goes, it seems turn about is fair play for fun. One of their worries when choosing fun. as a name were the puns it would inevitably lead to. It turns out they were much worse than the guys anticipated.
“Yes, oh yes. Oh they’re the worst,” Reuss immediately agreed.
“Are we having fu…,” Antonoff tailed off, not saying the rest of a headline used about the band: Are We Having fun. Yet?
“I don’t know…I was worried, when we first decided that this was going to be the band name, about all the negative puns that would happen like, ‘This is no fun. at all,’” Ruess said.
“It’s really people coming up to us and saying, because, we don’t own the word. Contrary to popular belief we don’t own the word fun,” Ruess continued. “So people will be like, ‘That was really fun. Whoops, I did it! hehehehehe.’”
“It’s annoying when people catch themselves,” Antonoff said, outing a band pet peeve. “That’s what’s annoying because you’re going to say it.”
“You have to breeze past it,” advised Doost.
“If you say it and you acknowledge that you said it, don’t bring it up to us. That’s actually, that’s for future reference for everybody.”
Consider yourselves on notice: that joke isn’t fun.ny anymore.
See fun. live at Outside Lands, at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco on August 5th.
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