The Ting Tings are drummer Jules De Martino and singer-guitarist Katie White. The duo were originally in a band called Dear Eskimo together with a DJ called Simon Templeman. The trio signed to Mercury in 2004 only to find the people who liked them leave the label and they were subsequently dropped. This experience inspired the defiance of this song as White explained to Q magazine February 2008: "You feel like your career's over at 22 and you haven't even got a record out. It was like, you really are that forgettable unless you put your stamp on something."
This was originally released in 2007 as the Ting Tings first single as a limited edition 7-inch record. At that time the Ting Tings were with local label Switchflicker but soon came to the attention of bloggers and scenesters and the record labels were queuing up to sign them. After signing to Columbia, "Great DJ" was released as their major label debut single and this song about the battery-farm like mentality of major labels was re-released as it's follow-up.
asked Katie White if she realized straight away that this was a hit record. She replied: "I loved it straight away but I felt like my judgment had been screwed because we went through our old band [Dear Eskimo] and it all went wrong, so I thought 'what the hell do I know - I obviously don't have good ears'. But when we started playing it live it became quite electric and the hairs on my arms were standing up, and it felt like it had a lot of power behind it."
De Martino told Rhapsody about this song: "We were really frustrated because we had been in a band before and been dumped by our label. Back at the time, we weren't specifically trying to write the song about anything. We were just trying to have fun with it. But when we look back at the lyrics we realize they're all about frustration. In a way, she's saying she wants to be heard. She wants people to know her name."
Tings Katie White recalled to the Guardian June 28, 2008 that the duo were sorting their laundry when they first heard they had reached #1. She said: "We were playing Manchester that night, but we had to do a load of washing first, and the (BBC Radio 1) chart show were ringing us - you have to do this fake thing where they ring you during the day and you have to pretend it's the evening, and I'm a really bad actress. I was like, 'Yeah, it's good!' We played the Academy that night and the whole audience was really hyped up. I didn't want to mention being number one till we got to playing 'That's Not My Name,' so I could thank them, but the audience kept shouting, 'You've knocked Madonna off number one!'"
In the same Guardian interview White discussed the way this song explores the way she was treated as a young woman in the music industry, with its long list of women's names and the refrain, "Are you calling me darling?" She explained: "The first marketing meeting we had with our last label, I'd gone to all the effort of making a look book of all my favorite art and photographs, just to show them what I'm about. And I took it in and they said, 'Oh, yeah, great...' They didn't even look at it, just pushed it to one side and asked if I was prepared to take my kit off for men's magazines. And I was like, Aaargh! There's plenty of girls who can do that, and they've got bigger boobs and better faces, and I've got no idea why they thought I might do that. I would feel terrible doing that - I could never do it in a million years."
The music video that the duo did for the American market was directed by Alex and Liane, who also helmed the Ting Ting's "Shut Up and Let Me Go
" clip. The promo, which was filmed in the desert 40 minutes north of Los Angeles features visual effects done by means of a reflective material called Scotchlite. White explained to MTV News: "That's actually an obsession of Alex and Liane - they like to use a lot of Scotch tape in everything. But you can only see it when the light's pointing at it, so it just catches the camera really well."
Another video, featuring the band performing in front of alternating blue, white, and pink backgrounds, was directed by Sophie Muller and Stacey Hartly.