That's Not My Name

Album: We Started Nothing (2008)
Charted: 1 39
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • 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.
  • Pop Justice 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.
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Comments: 10

  • Demetrios "meter" Pappas from Atlanta , GaIt's Hell, not Bell...clearly the video shows that...
  • Megan from Stevenson, AlIt's so catchy and it's really fun to sing with buddies! :)
  • Mike from Matawan, NjYa know what? I'd STILL take this anyday over "Inna Gadda Da Vida". It's catchy. Like typhus.
  • Teddy from Atlanta, GaPerhaps the worst song to chart since Crank That by Soulja Boy. Weeping for the state of popular music.
  • Pal from Los Angeles, CaHere is what Jules sings. I love this part of the song. In the last round, instead of "Oh baby", he says something I cannot make out, but it sounds like a name.

    This lick was in my head, now it's in my mind, call it, reach it, get some words and get some timing.
    And though I realize, I cannot emphasize, I'll stick around but just don't promise, nothing binding.
    Oh baby can't you see, that you're so desperately, a standing joker, like a vocal one liner.
    Instead of sing-along, this song is monotone, I gotta get some soul, I gotta get some feeling.

  • Summer from Murfreesboro, TnWhat's the guy in the background singing during the chorus the second or third time around?
  • Camille from Toronto, OhSaw & heard this pair today, New Year's 2009 on NBC. They were at New York's Time Square singing this song later after the ball dropped. Their performance was electric. Katie White looked red-hot & her sound captured the intense, hectic enjoyment of ringing in the new year. Let their star rise this year, they got the talent & polish to shine.
  • Luke from Manchester, EnglandI'll take a lot of Manc bands over Cast and the Las's thanks very much... Having said that, these are crap... "you really are that forgettable unless you put your stamp on something" Really? Try telling that to the hundreds of rock bands out there playing good talented music day in, day out with no major label and loads of success...
  • Dave from Liverpool, United KingdomMore bollocks from manchester and we're supposed to be excited by it?

    Nah.........
  • Louise from Newcastle, United KingdomLove this song. The instrumental track was used on a Radio One ad.
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