Calling my band The Pete Green Corporate Juggernaut was like every idea anyone has ever had when they’re drunk. At the time it seemed brilliant, but before very long it was getting more and more embarrassing.
Some of you have asked me why we changed to The Sweet Nothings. It was because the old name, besides being a bit daft, had outlived its usefulness. When I formed the Juggernaut with Dan and Rob in 2008, the people who’d be listening to us knew me already from my solo stuff. So I wanted to include the Pete Green part to signify a continuity with what I was doing before – to let existing listeners know that it was still me. A couple of years down the line, I’m only playing solo gigs here and there and it’s the band that’s centre stage, so there’s no need to put that message across any more.
Indeed, while the old name might have been keeping existing listeners onside, it might have put off potential new ones. I put myself in their shoes and imagined seeing a name like that on a line-up at, say, Indietracks. A jokey name that included within it the name of some random bloke I’d never heard of. And I concluded: (1) that I’d presume the music to be laced with awful, ‘zany’, trying-too-hard, sub-Terry Pratchett humour; (2) that I wouldn’t watch the band; and (3) that said bloke would probably be a terrible arse.
And I don’t rely on humour in my songwriting as much as I used to. I don’t think I’m turning into a completely miserable bastard just yet, but while the Juggernaut name sat nicely with ye olde knockabout songs like ‘Share Your Kit’, it really didn’t suit newer, wistful-sounding things like ‘Where The Music Still Plays’.
So after extensive brainstorming sessions, branding workshops, and exhaustive market research conducted with our hand-picked focus group of aspirational C2s, we decided to junk the Juggernaut and embrace The Sweet Nothings. Oh, alright, we were down the pub again. But it was early in the night this time, so we weren’t drunk. Well, less drunk.
In the interests of historical completeness maybe I should post the list of alternative names we looked at and rejected. But that’s for another day. In the meantime, we hope you’ll embrace The Sweet Nothings too. As long as you’ve showered and cleaned your teeth, obviously.