18 Bands With Animal Names

In the vast jungle of the music industry, where artists constantly vie for attention, some bands have turned to the animal kingdom for inspiration. From the fierce roar of lions to the graceful flight of birds, animals have always captured human imagination.

It’s no surprise then, that numerous bands have adopted animal monikers, channeling the spirit, mystery, and allure of the wild into their music and identity.

In this Killer Rig article, we explore bands with animal names, those that have taken a walk on the wild side. They have chosen names that echo the rhythms of nature and the heartbeat of the animal world.

Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys is a British rock band born in 2002. They are known for their live performances that ooze energy and their raw sound.

Their style is a blend of indie rock and post-punk revival, infectious and thought-provoking. What sets them apart? They evolve with each album while staying true to themselves.

From early garage rock vibes to polished later albums, they keep pushing boundaries and experimenting with different genres.

Def Leppard

Def Leppard

Def Leppard is a fam’d British rock band from 1977. They mixed hard rock and pop to become popular in the ’80s. Joe Elliott, Rick Allen, Rick Savage, Phil Collen, and Vivian Campbell make up the band.

They sold over 100 million records around the world. Catchy hooks, melodic vocals, and lively shows helped them succeed. Critics praised them, and they won many awards.

Rick Allen’s story is special. In 1984, he lost his left arm in a car accident. But, he kept playing drums with an electronic kit for his feet and right arm. This moved fans and other musicians.

Def Leppard faced triumphs and troubles. From poor beginnings to superstardom, they stayed true to their sound. Their tunes still move people everywhere.

The Monkees

In 1965, The Monkees were formed. They blended together pop, rock, and folk sounds to create their style.

Their famous songs included “Last Train to Clarksville” and “I’m a Believer”. Although they were initially assembled as actors, they soon showed off their musical talent. With their catchy melodies and youthful energy, they became popular worldwide.

For those who want to hear more of The Monkees, here are some songs to check out:

  • Daydream Believer – A feel-good track with memorable lyrics.
  • Pleasant Valley Sunday – A song with a hidden message.
  • (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone – A song showcasing their rock side.
  • I’m a Believer – Their biggest hit with their signature sound.

These songs offer different aspects of The Monkees’ musical style, so there’s something for everyone.

Eagles

The Eagles, a legendary rock group, formed in 1971 and had mammoth success with their one-of-a-kind sound and never-ending hits.

Besides their skyrocketing songs and mesmerizing performances, the Eagles have an interesting story behind their name. It was inspired by Native American symbolism, representing strength, freedom, and fearlessness.

This added more depth to their personality and connected to fans around the globe.

Hootie & The Blowfish

Hootie & The Blowfish is an iconic American rock band that became popular in the 1990s. They combined pop and rock music in a special way. Their name is very original, but it has great meaning for the members.

The lead vocalist, Darius Rucker, was nicknamed “Hootie.” He felt it captured his vocals and his love of music. “The Blowfish” symbolizes the strong connection between Rucker and the other members.

The Turtles

With a name inspired by the slow-moving, shell-clad reptile, The Turtles were anything but sluggish in their musical pursuits.

Formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1965, the band originally started as a surf-rock group named The Crossfires. However, as they transitioned to folk-rock, they rebranded themselves as The Turtles.

In 1967, The Turtles made waves with their standout song “Happy Together.” The captivating chorus and melodious tunes of this track propelled it to the pinnacle of the Billboard Hot 100, firmly establishing The Turtles’ legendary status in the annals of music.

Counting Crows

Counting Crows

Counting Crows is an American rock band. Thy got their name from the tradition of counting crows during their migration. Their folk rock sound and poetic lyrics have made them a big hit, with several successful albums and a devoted fan base.

August and Everything After, their debut album, sold over 7 million copies worldwide. This blend of alternative and folk rock connected with listeners, launching them to fame.

Before becoming Counting Crows, they were called ‘Mod-L Society’. But, another band already had that name, so they switched to Counting Crows, a move that shaped their identity and contributed to their success.

Cage The Elephant

Cage The Elephant is an American rock band from Kentucky. Their sound has gained them a prominent place in the music industry.

Brothers Matt and Brad Schultz, along with three other members, created the band in 2006. Known for their electrifying live performances, they have captivated audiences worldwide.

Their debut self-titled album, released in 2008, was critically acclaimed. Songs like “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” and “Back Against the Wall” became instant hits. They blend alternative rock with catchy melodies.

Cage The Elephant touches on social issues, personal struggles, and existential thoughts. They manage to strike a balance between introspection and relatability.

The Animals

Hailing from the vibrant streets of Newcastle, England, during the transformative 1960s, The Animals swiftly carved a niche for themselves in the music world.

With Eric Burdon’s powerful vocals, they delivered a sound that was both raw and steeped in blues, captivating the hearts of British Invasion enthusiasts.

Their rendition of “House of the Rising Sun” is nothing short of legendary. Taking a folk classic and giving it a twist that’s unmistakably The Animals, the song not only dominated global charts but also secured its spot as an evergreen favorite in rock circles.

The Byrds

The Byrds were an iconic 1960s rock band from Los Angeles. They’re famous for pioneering folk rock and popularizing jangly guitar sounds. Their sound combined harmonies and melodic tunes to capture the hearts of many.

They composed many hits, including “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “Turn! Turn! Turn!,” and “Eight Miles High”. Their blend of folk, rock, country, and psychedelic genres gives them a personal sound.

Steppenwolf

Steppenwolf, a band with an animal-inspired name, burst onto the rock scene in 1967. They gained instant popularity with their iconic hit “Born to Be Wild”, becoming an anthem for the counterculture movement.

In 1968, Steppenwolf released their debut album, which featured not only “Born to Be Wild” but also other famous tracks such as “Magic Carpet Ride”. Their blend of hard rock and blues elements made them stand out from other groups.

The rebellious lyrics and sound of Steppenwolf have left a lasting mark on rock music.

Black Crowes

The band is known for their bluesy rock sound, coupled with soulful tunes and meaningful lyrics. This style earned them heaps of praise, plus a loyal following.

Their debut album “Shake Your Money Maker” was a huge success when it came out in 1990. It featured hits like “Hard to Handle” and “She Talks to Angels,” launching Black Crowes into the rock music world.

The band released several successful albums, toured extensively, and received multiple awards. However, they experienced turmoil within the group, resulting in lineup changes and hiatuses.

Beastie Boys

The Beastie Boys are a well known American hip hop group that left an unforgettable reputation. Founded in 1981, Mike D, MCA and Ad-Rock began as a punk rock band.

But they eventually shifted to hip hop. Their debut album, “Licensed to Ill,” released in 1986, topped the Billboard 200 chart, which was a first for a rap album.

Their energetic shows and eclectic musical style mixed punk, rap, funk and rock, creating their own sound. Plus, their rebellious and funny lyrics made them famous.

The Beastie Boys were also socially active. They advocated for Tibetan independence and the Dalai Lama. They organized benefit concerts and supported social change.

Seal

Seal has roared to fame with their soulful pop music. The lead singer is known for his smooth vocals and emotional lyrics. He has released many chart-topping hits over the years. His original voice and charismatic stage presence draw a diverse fan base.

Seal stands out from other bands. His ability to blend soulful melodies with pop beats has won him acclaim. His discography, spanning decades, still captivates audiences worldwide.

Temple of the Dog

Formed in Seattle during the 1990s, Temple of the Dog included members from Soundgarden and Pearl Jam: Chris Cornell, Eddie Vedder, Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, Mike McCready, and Matt Cameron.

The band’s sound combined elements of rock and alternative music. But, its origin story is what really makes them special.

Temple of the Dog was formed in tribute to Andrew Wood, lead singer of Seattle-based Mother Love Bone. Wood passed away in 1990 due to a heroin overdose.

So, Chris Cornell and members of Soundgarden joined forces with Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament from Mother Love Bone.

The result was a self-titled album that featured heartfelt lyrics and powerful melodies as a tribute to Andrew Wood’s legacy.

Space Hog

Space Hog became famous in the late 90s with their album “Resident Alien”. It had the hit singles “In the Meantime” and “Space Hog”.

The band’s name, Spacehog, perfectly encapsulates their style: a blend of expansive, otherworldly soundscapes with a raw, gritty edge.

Just as animals have their habitats and behaviors, Spacehog made a name for themselves, standing out in a time when grunge and pop dominated the airwaves.

RATT

RATT

In the vibrant era of the 1980s, when hair was big and rock was even bigger, RATT slithered its way to the forefront of the glam metal scene. With a name that evokes images of a gritty, relentless creature, RATT perfectly embodied the raw energy and tenacity of their music.

Their debut album, “Out of the Cellar,” struck a chord with fans, propelling them to stardom with tracks like “Round and Round” that showcased their signature blend of powerful riffs and melodic hooks.

The choice of the name RATT wasn’t just a nod to the animal kingdom but also a reflection of their edgy, persistent style.

Toad the Wet Sprocket

Originating from the sunny landscapes of Santa Barbara, California, in the late 1980s, Toad the Wet Sprocket brought a refreshing blend of alternative rock and folk to the music scene.

With a name inspired by a Monty Python comedy sketch, the band’s approach to music was both earnest and introspective, yet never devoid of a playful edge.

Their albums, including “Fear” and “Dulcinea,” demonstrated their talent for writing catchy compositions with meaningful lyrics. Fans connected with songs like “All I Want” and “Walk on the Ocean” because they combined appealing hooks with powerful emotional overtones.

Throughout their tenure, Toad the Wet Sprocket was celebrated for their ability to strike a balance between commercial success and artistic integrity. Their sound, while rooted in the alternative rock of their time, carried a timeless quality that appealed to a broad audience.

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Author: Don East

My name is Don East, I'm the editor for Killer Rig. I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and have designed and manufactured products like guitar amps, effects pedals, and more. Over the years I have played in many bands and have a deep love for quality gear. I am an electrical engineer and have a passion for music gear, and now want to share what I know with the community!