Since the beginning of rock and roll, coming up with a band name has always been an ordeal.
Queens, New York, roots rockers Hollis Brown took their band name from Bob Dylan's 1964 recording "The Ballad of Hollis Brown." But as lead singer Mike Montali and guitarist Jonathan Bonilla explain to Q104.3 New York's Out of the Box with Jonathan Clarke, there was more to the name than a simple tribute.
The band members grew up near Hollis, Queens, and Montali says Dylan has a special place in the band members' hearts.
"It took like two weeks of just putting names [out there] and nobody liked anything, so we thought, 'The Rolling Stones picked a Muddy Waters song as their band name...Let's pick a Dylan tune,' because we like songwriting and that seems to be the thing that bonds up together: great songs."
After a few more weeks, they arrived at Hollis Brown. The name came with an intriguing justification.
"Somebody said, 'How about Hollis Brown because, you know, it'll give us one identity, instead of being a band, we can all come collectively and have one identity," he continued. "We went with it and now we can't escape it."
And while Dylan hasn't gotten in touch, the band Hollis Brown eventually inched ahead of Dylan's song in search engine results, notes Bonilla.
"This finally happened like two years ago: when you search Hollis Brown, our Wikipedia page comes up first, before the song. It took a while, but I guess people forget about that era of Dylan."
The band's latest LP, Ozone Park, named for the neighborhood where Hollis Brown formed is available now.
Check out the full Out of the Box interview in the player at the top of this page. Watch Montali and Bonilla perform an acoustic version of their song "Do Me Right."
Get all Hollis Brown's tour dates here.
Here's the official music video for Hollis Brown's "Bad Mistakes":