Category Archives: About the Artist

Why I changed my music artist name…

This blog is about why I changed my artist name, and why a name change might be needed.

          I first started my solo music project back in 2005 and named it Mechanized Warfare. This name was highly influenced by the Marilyn Manson album “Mechanical Animals”, but I twisted the first part around to “Mechanized” and ended up sticking “Warfare” onto it because it sounded cool. The name made me think of robots fighting, and this was before the first Transformers movie came out in 2007. I was in other bands at the time and none of them ended up working out. Mechanized Warfare ended up being what I had worked on up until 2016 when I completely quit the music business. I eventually came back to the music world in late 2019 under the name The Evil Dark. There are a few reasons why I did not continue to use the previous name, and I will explain those reasons in this blog post.

          Mechanized Warfare was an Industrial music based project. In the beginning it was more experimental than anything, since it did not fall under any particular genre at the time. After awhile it morphed into an Industrial Metal mixed with Aggrotech music project, and this is where it was in 2016. Coming back under a different genre would be one of the reasons I changed my name to The Evil Dark. However, I do admit that you can make an argument that there is a close relation between Aggrotech and Darksynth/Cyberpunk (more notable bloggers have talked about a correlation between these genres), and there have been some former Aggrotech music producers that moved over to making Darksynth & Cyberpunk music.

          The reason I changed my name is because I expected my sound to be completely different than what I was producing under the name Mechanized Warfare, but whether or not it actually sounds different is really up to the listener. In my opinion, a name change would be fitting if you were to switch to a completely different genre. For example, if you make Black Metal and want to switch to Country music, you would definitely need to consider a name change. Switching genres does not always warrant a name change, but in some cases it does. You do have to think about your fans and if they would be willing to listen to your new stuff even if it is different, or risk losing all of your fans if the change is too dramatic. It’s a calculated risk, and the artist themselves should make the final decision on this one.

          Since there was an issue with the name I was using, I wanted to get rid of it and use a new name. I had a longstanding issue with using the abbreviation “MW” for Mechanized Warfare because of a certain popular shooter game that first came out in 2007 called Modern Warfare. So because I had used that abbreviation on some of the URLs I was using, I ended up getting some smart-ass comments from people that didn’t realize my music had pre-dated that game’s existence. After all, 2005 happened before 2007, if the obvious is needed to be stated here. Another issue was that I had unknowingly used the same name as a Jag Panzer album, which is not how I came up with the name. I had always felt uncomfortable using the name ever since learning about that album. And if that wasn’t enough, there were “gamer clans” on YouTube that started to call themselves “Mechanized Warfare” in the mid-2010’s, and there is also an Airsoft account on Twitter that uses that name. While the name itself is not unique, there were just too many people using it in the mid-2010’s.

          When I came back to the music world, I did not want to be one of those people trying to tell everyone that I was not one of these dozens of people using my name. Renaming my music solo project to The Evil Dark still has a few issues, but not as many as my previous name. If you Google my name you still get a lot of useless stuff that has nothing to do with music, but it’s not quite as bad as it was before. If you use certain search terms, even with SEO optimization, my stuff will finally pop up and appear in search results, which is better than nothing.

          Now that I explained why I changed my name, I will attempt to give out some of my advice. Should other music artists consider changing their project names?

          It depends on what you are doing with your music, and if the name is being used elsewhere. If you are switching to another genre that has nothing to do with your current genre (like my example of Black Metal to Country), then it would be worth considering rather than losing all your fans. Some genre changes don’t need a name change though and it’s something the artist will have to consider themselves. And if your name is being used by a lot of other artists, or if the name is being used elsewhere, you can consider changing your name to avoid confusion.

          With that said, it is not uncommon for multiple bands to use the same name if they are from different countries and/or genres and were not aware of the other band(s) with the same name. For example look at Assassin, there are 3 music artists/bands with that name, one is a Thrash Metal band from Germany, another is a Hip-Hop group from France, and the last one is a Dancehall musician from Jamaica. If you can co-exist with the same name without a probable chance to cross paths, then you probably don’t need to change it. However, in some instances keeping a name can cause confusion, and maybe even start arguments in this age of social media. The artist themselves have to decide if changing their name is something they need to do.

          My final thought is this, if your artist name is based off of your real name or sounds like a real name, then you can probably avoid all of this. Music artists with these types of names can make music in any genre, as long as there are no other artists with the same name. However, since a lot of us work under a name that sounds more like a brand than a real name, we have to remember our own limitations and be considerate of how others perceive us and our music. In a perfect world, we would be able to make whatever music we wanted to, under any name, without the judgment of others. But unfortunately, that is not how it is.

Why I don’t play live anymore…

The purpose of this blog post is to hopefully explain and give insight on why I don’t play live any more.

Playing bass with Black Gun Barrels in late 2006 for a battle of the bands event.

          The last time that I technically played live was in late 2006 or in 2007 with the band I played bass with at the time, called “Black Gun Barrels”. That band ended up splitting up sometime in 2007. Before then, I had played live with a few other bands. But in late 2005 I had started my solo music project, which was called “Mechanized Warfare” at the time, as I did not rename myself to “The Evil Dark” until late 2019. I started  Mechanized Warfare as a solo side-project since I was in a few bands at the time, but it later became my focus after those bands broke up. Also, looking for bands that needed a bass player around DC was getting me nowhere, I learned the hard way that bass players are not needed in the DC area therefore I was not needed. Mechanized Warfare lasted until 2016, and the one & only time my music project had played a live show was in spring of 2006 at a new age shop which hosted live music shows at night. At the time, Mechanized Warfare was me playing a distorted octave-down effect bass along with a drum machine, so it was possible for me to play live.

          The thing was there was a falling out between myself and one of the promoters of their events, and I was no longer welcome to play with them again. The way it worked at these DIY venues (which were technically not venues through a legal loophole), is that they would reserve a time slot with whoever the promoter was, and the promoter would do the rest of the work to get the show together. Of course I only knew the one promoter who basically black-balled me from playing there, and I never found out who else was booking shows at that location, otherwise I would have tried to arrange something through them instead. At these places, bands can also reserve time as well if they don’t mind doing the work of the promoters themselves, at least if you know who to contact at the venue.

          There was a reason I had a falling out with that particular promoter. I did not hold anything against them on a personal level, but I had an issue with their professionalism (or lack thereof). My main issue was that the headlining band had never played live before and they had only previously practiced together a handful of times at most. I was bumped to the slot of opening the show simply because I was “one person” and supposedly easier to set up and clean up after. This is what I was being told even though as a musician, this far from being my first time playing live and opening slots are usually given to those with less experience than the other performers. The band after me also did not understand why the headlining band was who it was either, both me and the band after me had years of experience playing live and we did not know why a band who was barely a month old was headlining a live show. The new band should have been opening, not headlining. There was obviously some favoritism with that arrangement because some of the members of this new band were friends and relatives of the people who owned the place as well as the promoter.

          I have never before heard of a band headlining their very first live show until that night. And before people start saying, “it just sounds like a hurt ego”, its not that at all. If you go to a live show, the headlining band is always the biggest name with the most experience. Headliners are what typically attracts people to come to watch the live show. It doesn’t matter what genre the show is, it doesn’t even matter what location it is at, the headliner is always the biggest name with the most experience. Now some people might say I have an attitude about what happened because I was not headlining. This is also not true, for Mechanized Warfare this was the first show, so I was expecting to play after the new band opened and then the more experienced band who played after me would have headlined. This is how it should have happened, but it did not.

Old flyer for the one and only show Mechanized Warfare did live in 2006. Much like my music at the time, this was done the old way, by hand, as I did not own a computer until 2008. Rites Of Ash and The Marbles were the two bands that cancelled and did not play.

          There was also a big issue with booking through the promoter. The live show was moved back from it’s original date, which means all those people that were set to watch the performance on the original date would now be no-shows due to their own schedule conflicts, as many were not able to arrive on the new date. It was supposed to be a 5 band show, but it ended up being 3 because one band backed out beforehand and the other band cancelled at the last minute because the promoter did not want them playing. I’m not even sure how the promoter fumbled with that band that had to cancel at the last moment, but my theory is that because the new band was so favorited and the promoter already set their mind for the new band to headline the show, that the band got angry with the promoter for not considering having a bigger band take the spotlight for a headliner and therefore cancelled. After this gig was over I ended up telling off the promoter in an email, therefore burning bridges with them and getting black-balled from their “gig promotion” services. But not surprisingly they only continued booking for that location for a few months after this before themselves quitting from it. After this, I didn’t have luck finding gigs under the current format Mechanized Warfare was using.

          After Mechanized Warfare changed it’s sound over the years, it was still impossible to find gigs. A lot of this was due to electronic music promoters at the time considering anything related to industrial music as “not part of electronic music” and I did not have any metal promoter contacts either. It also did not help that within the industrial community that there were many people who actually said “if it has guitar, it’s not industrial”, these are the people I call “industrial puritans” and others would also call them “gatekeepers”. They are the ones that would argue with fans of industrial metal and industrial rock, telling them that bands in these genres should not even use the word “industrial” in their genre name. This was a bigger problem in the early 2010’s than it is in 2020, but it still made it impossible to find a gig due to the fact that nobody understood the genre I was playing. The only time Mechanized Warfare’s music got a review was done by an online metal magazine in 2014. Since they specialized in metal genres they did not fully understand the music, but I still thanked them for the review since they took the time to do so.

          Since renaming my music project to The Evil Dark and changing my sound to a different genre, I have gotten a few offers for playing a live show. The only reason I’m currently turning them down is an issue with equipment, I would need a keyboard of some sort in order to play live and I don’t own one. I’m a computer-based music producer, and I don’t use any external inputs (such as midi for example). If that wasn’t an issue, I could still only play locally since I rely on using the public transportation system based around DC. While asking for a ride may not seem like a big deal to most, it is a big deal when you no longer know anyone in the area so you have nobody to ask. Also, if touring was in my future, I would need to co-tour with someone that could give me rides to the gig locations.