From the Mailbag #1: Multiple Stage Names

Last weekend, I had a blast answering questions on David Hooper's free conference call. We couldn't get to every single one, but I'm gonna try to answer some more here...

I have released music using three different band names in the past. This was because some of the labels I delt with insisted on owning the name I used. This being the case, I would make a new one up. I had decent success with each release and would like to figure out how to tie the followings of each name together to one name (the name I use the most that I still own). The style of music for each name I used is the same (Breakbeat). How can I tie together all the names I've used in the past?

First off, excuse me while I curse a blue streak at a label that would "own" your name. Bad label, bad. But it happens.

This is actually a pretty common dilemma for artists, and it comes down to how you want to brand yourself. If you had many different genres or styles of music, it would be to your best interest to record under a few different names. The perfect audience for your folk act might not care to see your punk rock show.

In your case, all you have to do is get focused on whatever brand you're using now, and simply communicate to your audience that you've worked under the previous names. (Fans of Norman Cook revived a lot of his back catalog when "Fatboy Slim" started making hits.) A simple discography page on your website, or a timeline of your work should do the trick. The point is to reel in fans who know you from those other names and get them on your current mailing list.