Exploring 25 Heavy Metal Stage Name Origins
- Posted by Frank Injection on November 13, 2012
I've always found the practice of naming such a strange and fascinating concept. Today more than ever we put such a huge importance on finding the right name for things be it a nick name, stage name, band name, or even a profile user name. I'm sure at some point in your life you've even thought about changing your own birth name to something cooler.
I started wondering about all the names in metal history we've come to know and love, who they started out as, and more importantly how their new names came to be. After several nights of research I was legitimately shocked to learn how many names in metal aren't birth names at all, this list barely even scratches the surface. But for the sake of keeping things interesting, I included only the names that had a back story I can write about.
In this piece, we will reveal the real identies of, and navigate the origins of Alice Cooper, King Diamond, Avengened Sevenfold, Korn, Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne, KISS, Nergal of Behemoth, Cronos of Venom and many more.
Real Name: Vincent Damon Furnier
There are many theories as to how this stage name came to fruition, here are a few explanations used by the band over the years.
"One night the guys in the group were playing with a Ouija board and it spelled A-L-I-C-E C-O-O-P-E-R."
"Because it had a Baby-Jane/Lizzie-Borden-sweet-and-innocent-with-a-hatchet-behind-the-back kind of rhythm to it."
"The name started simply as a spit in the face of society. With a name like Alice Cooper, we could really make 'em suffer."
Real Name: Kim Bendix Petersen
King's first show ever was with a band called Brainstorm in 1976, they wore make up during the show inspired by Alice Cooper and chose stage names that fit each character's persona. The band broke up and King went on through 2 more bands before starting Mercyful Fate, but his Alice Cooper inspired stage persona never left.
Real Name: Michael Henry McBrain
Ten years before meeting the lads in Iron Maiden he was known as "Nicky", a nickname given to him by his parents after his teddy bear, Nicholas. One day while playing at CBS Studios, his band mate Billy Day was intoxicated and introduced him to the head of CBS records, Dick Asher, as "Neeko". McBrain liked the name, changing it to Nicko "so that it sounded more English," and decided to keep it even after leaving the group.
Real Name: Frank Carlton Serafino Feranna, Jr.
Nikki Sixx got his name from an ex-girlfriend's boyfriend's name "Nikki Syxx". Nikki liked the name so much he adopted a version of the name for himself.