On the eve of their new album’s release, This Town Needs Guns have announced a name change — they’re cutting out all those pesky words and calling themselves simply TTNG. The album title, 126.96.36.199.0, is a reference to the rebirth signaled at the end of the Mayan calendar (we’re still here, aren’t we?!), and it’s their first album with a new three-man lineup. So in a way, it’s fitting that 2013 also sees the band rebranding themselves.
In a statement announcing the name change, the band said the following:
Over the years, many of you have asked where the band name comes from. As a band originating in Oxford, UK, ‘This Town Needs Guns’ was simply a name chosen by a group of friends wanting to make music together. At the time, this name was not considerd particularly offensive and indeed was an ironic statement given the setting of such a historic and cultural city as Oxford.
Context plays a big part in the way a band name such as ‘This Town Needs Guns’ may be perceived. In the UK, guns are not present. Ordinarily, our police force do not even carry guns. Within this context, an idea such as a town needing guns seems too absurd to be taken seriously.
However, eight years on, things have changed. With our music now finding new cultures, the irony of the name is no longer implicit. Also, in light of the controversy over gun ownership in the US as well as tragic shootings there and elsewhere in the world, we want to distance ourselves from a band name which we are now uncomfortable with.
We hope this change of name doesn’t disappoint anyone. It is the music that is important, not the name. As Shakespeare’s Juliet said “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.'”
Honestly, anyone walking by a television screen or newsstand in the last month probably saw this coming. However, as the band’s label stresses, the name change won’t be altered for the album artwork, or listings on iTunes, Amazon, etc. “The band is altering its name to the shorter TTNG for all of their purposes moving forward, but that won’t affect their web site URL, Facebook page, retail items, etc.”