In my room I have a few notebooks, most of which are half-full. Every time I buy one, I tell myself that this’ll be the one reserved for the big, brilliant, earth-shattering project idea. This hasn’t quite gone to plan so far, but it’s not all bad. Some of the ideas – and I hold onto them all – are so bad they’re good, and if nothing else they raise a smile. One of the notebooks is a regular, blue, inconspicuous WHSmith number. Its more cringeworthy highlights include a soppy diary entry about not asking a past crush to prom, and I also used it as a schoolbook on occasion, probably whenever I couldn’t be bothered to get a proper one out of my bag.
On one page, there’s a short list of names I thought would be great for a band. The most notable of these, to me at least, is “Pacifist Party” (if anyone does want to use it, I want royalties). I remember thinking it could be used for making electronic music, just like Owl City – before you judge, that was the first act to pop into my head! When I look at it now, however, I see something more significant. A motto or an ethos I can try to live my life by. Let’s look at what the two words mean. A pacifist is peaceful, considerate and truthful, and these are all qualities we admire. By contrast, a party is loud, energetic, humorous, jovial and memorable. If you put them together, you can have something to aim for, and I’m glad I did that. If accusations come that are against who I am, I can defend myself whilst being safe in the knowledge that they mean nothing. I can have fun, I feel confident and relaxed at a party, but when it is required of me I can be deadly serious and highly mature.
I’d like to think that’s my default setting, and that I stick to it pretty well, but what about the qualities I want to achieve, the ones that we can put more work into? On my laptop, I have another potential band name saved. It’s just three words long, in size 11 font, and it reads “Wit and Truth”. We’ve already been over the latter, but the former is also something I’d cherish. I’ve said before that if the only thing I ever gain from life is a good wit, I’ll die a happy man, and I absolutely stand by that. It’s a lasting wish, and so that band name is as important an expression as any I’ve read before.
You can look at those two examples as band names, motivational quotes, or simply as an aid for creativity. Putting two or more words together (with a connective, obviously) can be a revelation in whatever way you want it to be. Unfortunately, though, it still hasn’t helped me get into a band yet!