Hello My Name Is: Jumbling Towers, Rio de la Muerte, and New Roman Times

Welcome back to our recurring, weekly feature in which we hear the stories behind the names of the bands we fancy. Let us learn!

Jumbling Towers

“We all were friends when we were very young, long before music started, and Jumbling Towers was a game we liked to play, back in the era of carefree, high school life,” says Joe DeBoer, frontman for the St. Louis, Missouri-based band (and current BTR Artist of the Week). “It worked, and no one really second-guessed it. It’s certainly not great, but we’re not claiming greatness.”

Rio de la Muerte

“Well, it’s a reference to the ebb and flow of life and music,” says the Gainesville, Florida-based singer/songwriter Rio de la Muerte. “Certain patterns emerge out of the human experience when looked at from both the mortal perspective and the context of Earthly history. These patterns flow like a river, but they can never stay the same. Instead they keep going and going, just like water. Death can’t stop life, it only helps to change the face. This is a metaphor for art, of which the music I play is only a portion of the infinite possibilities.”

New Roman Times

“It’s a quote from John Lennon, when he was living in New York,” says Daniel Owens, frontman for the Austin, Texas-based band. “And I’m a big history buff, as it was part of my undergrad. Anyway, in an interview, they were asking Lennon why he had moved to New York – this was before he got shot obviously – and Lennon said he wanted to be at the epicenter of culture. In ancient Roman times, Rome was the epicenter for culture, and everybody wanted to be there. Lennon then said these are the new Roman times, and New York was that for him. It’s a really cool historical allusion there, and, no, it has nothing to do with the font. It alludes to a time, an era, a presence – a feeling that we all live in. Our society has evolved, and we are pretty much at – or have been, for the 5-10 years or so – on the precipice of either decline, or pushing the envelope further of what our culture’s become in our society. The name has always resonated really strongly with me, and when we put the band together, I was like ‘hey, let’s use this name.’ And that’s it. In hindsight though, people are always like, ‘hey, that’s a great font, I really like it,’ but then once I spend 15 minutes explaining what it means, people say ‘ah, that’s really cool to hear how it makes sense.”

Link to this article:

– Matt Lehtola


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