Arctic Monkeys – The Death Ramps
Indie chart-stormers the Arctic Monkeys use the alias the Death Ramps to record and play B-sides with other like-minded musicians. It comes from the childhood days of Alex Turner and co., who would ride their BMX bikes through the hilly woods near their homes and try to conquer steep and uneven land with trepidation. Each member of the group has a Death Ramps ring, which were created especially for them by alternative jewelry company the Great Frog.
Biffy Clyro – Jaggy Snake
Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro once presented themselves as Jaggy Snake for some festival warmups. The name is taken from one of the tracks off of their Infinity Land record, “There’s No Such Thing As A Jaggy Snake.”
Fall Out Boy – Saved Latin
Emo popsters Fall Out Boy have performed several secret shows under the name Saved Latin. It comes from a line in the Wes Anderson movie Rushmore, where Jason Schwartzman’s character says, “I saved Latin, what did you ever do?”
Foo Fighters – The Holy Shits
Rock bands don’t get much bigger than the Foo Fighters. In promotion of their eighth studio offering, Sonic Highways, the guys moonlighted under the name the Holy Shits for three intimate UK gigs. Fans quickly became aware of this and went into a complete meltdown attempting to get tickets.
Green Day – Foxboro Hot Tubs
Politically-outspoken punks Green Day have appeared as Foxboro Hot Tubs. Foxboro is a housing development in California that the trio used to sneak into when they were younger. Billie Joe Armstrong also morphs into his alter ego, Reverend Strychnine Twist, when they occasionally get together.
Metallica – The Lemmys
Two decades ago, metal giants Metallica posed as the Lemmys at Lemmy Kilmister’s 50th birthday party and covered an entire set of Motörhead songs at the Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles. The whole band even dressed as the Motörhead frontman, sporting long black wigs, fake moustaches and drawn-on tattoos.
Motörhead – Iron Fist And The Hordes From Hell
Back in the late ’70s, Motörhead decided to play under the name Iron Fist And The Hordes From Hell, due to contractual issues. The title of their next studio LP, Iron Fist, was derived from this name several years later.
Radiohead – Special Guests
Avant-garde shoegazers Radiohead were simply called Special Guests when they were booked for a surprise set at Glastonbury Festival a few years ago. Although it might have been the worst kept secret of the weekend, punters were delighted for a chance to see a collection of artists who seldom perform.
Them Crooked Vultures – Very Special Guests
Arguably the most exciting super-group in recent times, Them Crooked Vultures were cryptically billed as Very Special Guests to open an Arctic Monkeys concert in London. Josh Homme, Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones were on the cusp of releasing a debut album, but no live dates had been confirmed. They then went on to do a secret set at both the Reading and Leeds festivals a few days later, without being announced at all; the promoters just cunningly left a large time gap between two artists on the line-up.