How bands got their name: The White Stripes
The White Stripes

As hard as it is to admit, rock ‘n roll is not the cultural force it once was. In recent years, younger genres like EDM and hip-hop have overtaken the once dominant form in terms of relevance and innovation. Still, rock music has gone through dormant intervals before, only to come to roaring back to life stronger than ever. For instance, rock’s latest boom period, the 2000’s garage rock revival, came after the last embers of grunge were snuffed out and the rap-rock movement slide into self-parody.

The best group to come out of the garage rock revival was The White Stripes, an idiosyncratic blues-punk duo hailing from Detroit. Over the course of their incredible 14-year run, the band's guitar-centric sound proved that stripped down rock music could be as vital and electrifying in the 21st century as it was in the 20th.  And although the band broke up in 2011, the vibrancy and enduring popularity of their music suggest that they will likely inspire rock’s next great revival.   

In particular, tomorrow's rockers should take inspiration from the White Stripes’ provocative and instantly memorable aesthetic presentation. The group always appeared in public in black and white and red clothing, and the covers to all of their records only used those three colors. While the group’s incredible success is due to their talent and dedication, it’s also true that having an instantly iconic look also played a part helping the band establish themselves.

The band also made their journey to rock superstardom easier by using a concise and catchy band name. As revealed on, the group initially considered going with the less impressive sobriquets The Peppermints or Bazooka and Soda Powder. Instead,  they went with a moniker inspired by Meg’s surname. In addition to being as snappy and vaguely childlike as the band’s music, it also fits in perfectly with their established aesthetic. As with their music, the White Stripes proved rock is at its most essential when at its most uncomplicated.