It was 1997 and the lawn around the cosmic house of rock was shaggy and rife with worn-out musical monikers. But bassist and songwriter Chris DeAngelis (formerly of The No, Raw B. Jae and The Liquid Funk, and The Whistling Tin Heads) was determined to find a fresh one for a new ensemble. He had his work cut out for him. Sharp and focused as a machete blade, he mowed through hundreds of band names, maybe more. Our rockological botanist then painstakingly classified the specimens into lexicological piles. There were bands named after colors, numbers, ordinary objects, historical events, and famous people. Others derived from puns or double-entendres. Some contained the words band or brothers or even deliberate misspellings. And there were many more. With the yard thus denuded into a tabula rasalike state, he began to dig and soon struck pay dirt. "We wanted a name that was bombastic yet self-deprecating, with slight comic-book-hero overtones," DeAngelis explains. "It needed to be a name that reflected the humorous, offbeat attitude of the songs we play." He also wanted the first word to begin with A, "because when folks go to a record store, they usually start browsing at the beginning of the alphabet." He notes one downside to the band's nona-syllabic handle: "Drunk people sometimes have trouble remembering it."
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