5 Billion and Counting: Music For Stars to Die By
It's a well-known fact that most band names are essentially gobbledygook, but here at Rocks Off we're trying hard to find meaning in the oddest monikers.
At first pass, 5 Billion and Counting is the sort of band I would plant my stompy boots firmly apart on the ground and urinate upon with one fist in the air while shouting, "Noooooooo Brooooooo!" And yeah, their approach does come across like much of the douche-rock that I remember as a blur of wrestling entrance themes from the early '00s.
If you are willing to commit to them, though, you run across some really ingenious lyrics and themes. It's political, granted, which is another strike against the band, but there is also a honesty to the band. Not to mention a tendency to pull off some interesting vocal approaches in tunes like "1%" and "Roll Call." You remember how Saliva was terrible, but "Ladies and Gentlemen" still kicked ass no matter what angle you looked at it? That's 5B&C, but much, much better.
In fact, something like "Police Sate Nation" can be called downright clever. It's like Jello Biafra was fronting Rage Against the Machine or something, and even has vaguely operatic shades in terms of how it tells a story. If you like it loud, you'll like 5B&C. I did.
But that name...
5 Billion and Counting? What the hell does that even mean? It's like a passive aggressive we are the world thing isn't it? Trying to remind us that humans are a giant brotherhood or something, probably, and with a vague finger-shaking about overpopulation to boot. I for one don't like having some rock act play biological doomsday clock on me, so I reached out to drummer Grant Bugg for an answer.
"The name 5 Billion and Counting was established by the founding guitar player Hector Delgado," he says via email. "The name to us is as simple as this... The sun is a star and like all stars, will someday die. Scholars estimate the sun is approximately 5 billion years old and believe the life span is about 10 billion years, putting us at 5 billion and counting. The reason we chose this as the name is the sun is the giver of all life, and that's the way we feel about music."
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