This article originally appeared on Boston Band Crush ).
Once again, I’m on a quest to find out what’s behind a band’s name. I asked Matt Parish about the origins of the unusual band-name “Ho-Ag” and I got a history of the Space Program, which makes me love the name Ho-Ag all the much more.
Matt of Ho-Ag:
“The real reason we went with Ho-Ag is a bit of a tangled yarn and the beginning came unraveled a long time ago. The good thing about keeping it around still is that no one in the band really has a good answer for this question, mostly because there are a handful of sources for the thing. It literally makes everyone uncomfortable. Some legitimate ones include that we’re all sci-fi astronomy nerds and became followers awhile ago of a guy named Richard C. Hoagland, a totally un-credentialed space guy who pops up at NASA now and then demanding more funds diverted into things like immediate exploration of the Cydonia region of Mars, where the famous “face on Mars” exists
Richard C. Hoagland displaying the ‘face on mars’
(he’s the one who discovered it. There’s another astronomer named Arthur Hoagland (non-related? I don’t know) who discovered this strange galaxy shaped like a donut that he later called “Hoag’s Object,” which featured heavily in a lot of early Ho-Ag stuff.
I have a soft spot for the phrase “shaped like a donut” because it’s a line in this song by P
on an album I listened to a lot that I don’t know anyone else who even owns it, so anything involving that concept will receive at least a little extra consideration from me. Tami Hoag was the weird name I always spotted on pharmacy bookshelves.
Suddenly, as it came time to give the band its name, there were all these occurences of the word “Hoag” in some form or another, and then I found myself working at a law firm called Foley Hoag. It seemed fated. We added the hyphen to encourage the more akward, two-syllable pronounciation. There have been many bonus interpretations later on, including a group of people from Milwaukee who assumed we named ourselves after the “hodag,” a mythical creature in the Wisconsin folklore that eats woodsmen.
The amazing HODAG!!!
It doesn’t mean much to me or anyone else in the band at this point. It has a nice caveman rang to it, but otherwise people don’t really know how to take it and it’s basically impossible to make it look cool in graphic design, so it fits with our artistically masochistic ethos in that respect. Most bands I’ve ever been in have had a made up word for a name — Fpoon, Walter Meadornack, Sacrifix — so I’m at peace with that.”
Ho-Ag is next playing Tuesday, September 29th at O’Brien’s Pub
Jordan (from France)
9pm, 21+, $8.00