Ballyhoo! - What's in a Name?

Posted on August 7, 2012 - by Victoria Patneaude

Ballyhoo! No, it isn't the latest hip and happening catchphrase, but instead, the name of a reggae rock outfit from Maryland. It's quite eye-catching though, right? Almost as catchy as the tunes the band's been rocking all summer long on the Vans Warped Tour. The group, who were named one of MTV's Top 100 Bands to Watch, released their newest album 'Daydreams' last fall, and it debuted at #1 on the iTunes Reggae Charts. Of course, if that's not a good enough reason to give them a listen, there's still that insane name. What is a "ballyhoo?" Luckily for us, lead singer Howi Spangler took some time from his busy Warped schedule of entertaining large, raucous crowds to give us the answer.

Who came up with the band name?

It was a friend of ours. We call her "Red." We were so young, not even 14, and she said we should call ourselves "Ballyhoo!".

Was there a selection process?

At that moment, no. We had a few in the running, but "Ballyhoo!" blew them all away because it was so different. I like that it's one word too. Sort of iconic.

Is there a particular meaning behind the name?

It means loud noise, crazy event — it's also a bait fish. We usually side with the "loud noise" part. At that point, we were just a really bad noise in my mom's basement.

What's the best name that you considered but rejected?

Mean Candy Smash.

What's the worst name that you considered using?

Mean Candy Smash.

Any regrets about the name you chose?

Not really. Haters (yeah, we have 'em) make dumb jokes like "Bally-who? Haha, I'm so funny and awesome." As if they're the first to come up with that. They think they're witty. It doesn't bother us; we just laugh it off and go make money to play our music for people that dig it while they work at Walmart. Fuck Walmart. Such an evil company. But that's another interview. Goddamn those low, affordable prices though! I once bought condoms and milk there at a reduced price. The cashier was confused. I really like our band name though. No regrets here!

Pick up Ballyhoo!'s latest album, Daydreams.

For the band's upcoming tour dates, check out their Facebook page.