One thing that every band should worry about when starting, out and very few bands actually do, is their name.  This is something that you will have to live with for your whole career so take the time to put some real thought into it.  When you do decide on a moniker make sure you officially claim it and no one else has a right to use it before you do.  Below is the devastating current story of a band that has been moving steadily up the independent band ranks.

In a crippling blow that should be cause for concern among independent musicians everywhere, Greensboro, NC buzz band Future Ghosts have been hit with a cease and desist letter from an obscure band of the same name out of Chicago, IL, resulting in the removal of the band’s social media sites (Facebook, Reverbnation, Bandcamp, etc.)

Unifier – ex-Future Ghosts

The Chicago band trademarked the name “Future Ghosts” back in April 2012, despite not have been active since 2006 and despite the fact that Greensboro’s Future Ghosts had already released an EP (Oh, Great City) back in 2011. Only recently did the Chicago band decide to reform and release a new record this year, and want to reclaim their name.

The timing couldn’t be worse as Greensboro’s Future Ghosts are preparing to release their debut LP Colorado in February 2013.

In a recently released statement Greensboro’s Future Ghosts says, “We are, and have been aware that we shared a name with other bands. Most bands do, at one point or another, and usually everyone is pretty relaxed about it. We were just glad that when we got started we only shared it with two or three others. We always knew the possibility was there that one of them would take off and we’d be the ones who had to change our name, but for it to happen like this feels like betrayal. Not only did the other band make no attempt to work it out with us before asking us to cease and desist, they aggressively pursued the purging of our web presence at the same time. It’s one thing to make a formal request and give someone a chance to either comply or respond, but we were just left scrambling in the few hours we had to make sure people knew what was going on before all the sites went down.”

Autumn + Colour Records, one of the two labels that are jointly releasing the new Colorado LP says in a statement: “It’s a travesty when a band acts like little children, instead of working out an issue like adults. In this particular situation there should have been more dialog and notice before filing suit. This band from Chicago should be ashamed of their actions. Please take this as an example of what not to do when faced with a trademark infringement.”

It may not have been pursued correctly but these are the possibilities when you do not take the necessary steps to secure your name from the start.

In a later statement from the band, that has now changed their name to Unifier, you can hear the defeat in their tone.
“Due to the unfortunate events surrounding the name Future Ghosts in the past week, we have elected to seek out a new name and brand for ourselves. We had originally hoped to come to some sort of understanding in a timely manner that would allow us to retrieve our sites and move forward. However, it became clear to us that there would be no quick or easy resolution.
Our only focus as a band should be to write, play and release music – goals which this situation was seriously obstructing. All of our plans for the release of the new album were being strained, and we did not want to push the date back any longer. Rather than waste any more time, we began work to find a new name, alter artwork, create new websites, and remove the sour taste from our mouths.

That being said, we have chosen to adopt the new name Unifier. Not only is it a powerful word in and of itself, it has taken on a special meaning to us now as well. Looking past the situation’s negative nature at all of the support we received, we see a result which is much more positive than we ever could have hoped for. Unifier pays homage to the new unity of the four of us as a band, as well as what we hope will become a greater unity of our fans and our home state’s music scene.

Bottom line: Be warned of the consequences when choosing your name.  It will be one of the most important things you do early in your career.

Go check out the new Unifer music and web presence at:




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