Some websites that allow musicians to search and see if band names are taken include AllMusic, Discogs and Last.fm. Each site provides a comprehensive listing of existing bands and their album releases.
AllMusic is a well-known encyclopedia that catalogs music releases throughout history. Using the site’s search function, users can find listings for bands from all genres and time periods. AllMusic offers a fairly robust database of bands, but the site does not always cover releases from lesser-known, underground artists. However, the site is a good resource to use initially when determining if a band name is taken.
Discogs is a user-operated site that seeks to catalog physical releases of music, from vinyl records and CDs to cassettes and digital downloads. The user-curated nature of the site means that it hosts a more extensive database of bands than AllMusic. From improvisational jazz combos to obscure gospel groups, Discogs offers an extremely comprehensive database of band names. The site allows users to view a band’s complete discography, which can help musicians decide whether a band name is obscure or minor enough to be used again.
Last.fm is a useful resource to find out about newer bands that may not have entries on Discogs or AllMusic. The site allows users to create entries for different bands, meaning that bands with few physical releases but word-of-mouth popularity are often featured.