what’s in a name?

Well now, to the more observant , you may have noticed the name on all my social media has changed from 8:58 to Paul Hartnoll ( orbital ). I thought I’d have a little chat about that then.

I recently lost the use of my brand name Orbital , and had to think up a new one , which was fun as I picked one that had a lot of meaning to me . Nice. But having traded under Orbital for 25 years you, and the people you work with, are always going to want to let people know who you were . So all posters and adds for gigs , even stickers on the album have four bits of info. The logo, 8:58 , Paul Hartnoll and ( orbital ) . But having chosen a name that’s not too search engine friendly :- eight five eight, eight fifty-eight, eight hundred and fifty-eight, 8:58, 858 ,  2 minutes to nine, you get the idea, coupled with the desire to let people know who you are. Well, it’s all got a bit messy really .

Starting again like this with the 8:58 name has been a big learning curve, but lets get one thing straight here , I’m not talking about the music , cover , logo , ideas behind it . That I’m happy with , it’s an artistic choice that I stand behind.  However, on a purely business side , the 8;58 name may not have been the best idea!

Doing music that you like is one thing , but getting it out there to people can be trickier. I read an article by Caitlin Moran recently about dealing with depression, she was saying that she used a technique where she saw herself as a small friendly dog inside here head that needed looking after, needed kindness and exercise as a way of being good to herself, it resonated with me about how I view the business end of what I do . I’ve found that I think of it as a sailing galleon heading out from Southampton towards the new world, I’m steering the thing and I’m heading somewhere, I’m not too sure what’s there, but I know where it is, most of the time. I find that I have to make adjustments along  the way to Keep heading towards this mythical place. What I’ve found most important though, is that as soon as you know somethings not right you need to readjust as quickly as possible before you go too far off course and loose you way altogether. So with that in mind I’m steering this ship back on course ( for the meantime anyway ) And changing the name 8:58 back to Paul Hartnoll (with obligatory ( orbital ) of course ). Nothing against 8:58 it’s still the name of the album and the concept is still close to my heart but I’m just changing the name I go out as back to Paul Hartnoll . I’m keeping the logo, which has 8:58 written all over its face, but I feel I need to switch to simplify everything and help keep on course. As my wife Louise always says to me, ‘Keep it simple’.

One of the last straws in this decision is the amount of orbital fans and even friends that ask me what I’m up to now , when will there be a new record. When I tell them it’s out there they often look at me funny and say ‘oh I didn’t know, I searched on spotify for Paul Hartnoll and didn’t see it’. I then have to go throughout he whole , oh no it’s under the name 8:58 to which they usually look puzzled and say ‘why?’.

Don’t fight it Paul! Is what I’m saying to myself, anything that helps get it out to the right folks is good for me.It feels like the right thing to do at the moment so I’m going with it.

It’s funny as it doesn’t make any difference to the hard copy of the album as it’s always had a sticker in the corner that says:- ‘the new album from Paul Hartnoll of Orbital’ . Quite clear really isn’t it? It’s been staring me in the face from day one!

So that’s the current situation sorted , here’s the past…

So on to the next video,I had just got back from Australia and an illegal warehouse rave on new years eve 91/92 in Sydney ( I do have film of that too ) and we were asked to play at a 2000ad 15 years anniversary  party and charity event for great Ormond st . How could we resist that! I had been a long time fan of 2000ad comic, so off we set in a hired van , a little crew of friends fromSevenoaks, me and Phil, with Mike who ended up doing our driving and tour managing, not that we though of it like that then, Sally our good friend who went on to be a Photographer of choice for the early rave generation via the magazine , Volume.  Heres a little summery of the night with a good live version of fahrenheit 303 and crime.

Until the camera falls over anyway.

oh , and i’m starting the you tube channel again too , as when i started this I’d bumbled into a google auto channel by mistake, when i thought i was doing it on my 8:58 one (the one thats now become  Paul Hartnoll (orbital ) ) so all future uploads will be on this one below. if you subscribed to the other one please just subscribe to this instead. sorry for this minor course adjustment, and any confusion.

One place to put everything, one name to put it under. Keep it simple.

30 thoughts on “what’s in a name?

  1. Ben Dessau

    I’d say it’s incredibly sensible to call yourself Paul Hartnoll (Orbital).
    Both parts of names have brand recognition which is unbelievably important in getting people to gigs or buy music.
    You’re not saying it is Orbital, you’re saying you’re the guy from Orbital. An honourable technique used by many artists who have gone solo.

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  2. Steve C

    I thought most of those things about your choice of name 🙂
    It reminded me of those folks “Instrumental” who did that track on The Blue Album (and a fantastic string arrangement of The Orb’s Oxbow Lakes too)………..now how in the hell do you EVER search for THEIR work on google……………”Instrumental band” “Instrumental mix”………..etc.
    Anyway, whatever you play under you will continue to rock it, see you in The Empire in Oct.

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  3. Marty Rose

    I thought 8:58 was a great name, concept and a bloody brilliant album!
    If only there was some other way to find out what artists were up to other than Spotify… like some sort of search engine or regularly updated online encyclopedia…

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  4. Charlie Boxall

    Paul,

    I would love to get my head round how you ‘recently lost the use of my brand name Orbital’. I know that in a relatively recent interview you mentioned something about not wanting to do you laundry in public, but I am sure I am not the only fan who would dearly love to know why Orbital ceased again, but of course fully respect your choice not to talk about certain aspects of the history of the band. However I am sure you can appreciate that some of us would love to know! Your somewhat cryptic phrase above brought this want to know to mind again and made me wonder if this loss is more of a personal thing, related to the laundry comment, or if somehow some large corporation had gained the rights to it, and had the legal muscle to say that you could no longer use it, maybe because you had not adequately protected your right to it.
    Regardless of which of those it is, and regardless of what names you choose to publish your music under, ultimately I suppose it doesn’t really matter to me, as I know your music will always be good! As ever, keep up the good work!

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  5. Hetoreyn

    I learned so much from you guys (Paul & Phil) for my own music writing. Some pieces in my latest album ‘End of Line’ have some pretty obvious tips of the hat .. for those that know their Orbital. Wish I could give you a copy .. as way of thanking you for years of all the awesome Orbital stuff. “Insides” is still my fave .. ah that was a great summer .. learning to surf, 17 years old .. and ‘Insides’ to listen to.

    I hope you find success with your new identity. I’m curious as hell to know what the f*** happened to you and Phil that caused a break up of this most awesome band .. but I guess there things happen and moving on is good. So you can count on me buying your new albums. Just keep being weird, unusual and above all … YOU! That’s what was great about Orbital .. you guys lead .. and others followed.

    Hey .. pop me an email if you wanna have a listen to some of my Orbital (and other film music) inspired music.

    Best wishes
    Hetoreyn

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  6. Paul Hartnoll Post author

    Charlie, one day i’ll talk about it, for sure, but not today! I will say though there was no corporate intervention just me and my brother. I didn’t want to go into it publicly while I was putting out a new record as I didn’t want it to be about why orbital stopped ( again ) although on reflection it might have got me more press!

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    1. Charlie Boxall

      Paul,

      They do say “There is no such thing as bad publicity”, and I agree, you are probably right! Does the current situation between you and Phil prevent you from releasing the Summer 2015 mix of Halcyon? If so its a massive shame! I keep streaming that mix off the internet from my mobile via Bluetooth in the car on the way to and from work, but as you can imagine, it kills my data allowance well before the end of the month! I am glad the clock is staying, as I said before it is iconic, and an actual working one would be fab to have! On that note, thanks again by the way 😊

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  7. Charlie Boxall

    Sorry, not doing very well on the whole proof reading thing Paul! I should have written “…wanting to do your laundry…” [“…Doh! “oh the irony”]

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  8. Nigel Latterington

    Another fascinating post and video Paul. Thanks so much for sharing. Your music has been the soundtrack to my life… Long may it continue (you also 100% inspire my music making!). If you ever want some help with branding and marketing let me know. I’d get the company I own to do it for nothing x

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  9. Simon Penny

    Paul
    I think the name change makes total sense, although 8:58 is still a cracking name, you do need wider recognition. Your superb album needs to be heard by more people. It was good to see you at the rather intimate Merz gig in Lewes, ‘Malcolm’ is such a lovely track and it would be great to see you and Conrad working together again. Any plans on a gig in Brighton soon??
    Simon

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  10. irlmobri

    The search engine optimization crap should be the last thing you have to think about as an artist. But it’s the way the world goes these days! The slight re-brand should fix that somewhat. And it is appropriate.
    And yea, you could have got a media storm about how or why Orbital split up. A spin doctor might do a Prince on it. “The artist formally known as” 🙂
    But I guess that’s the difference between a genuine person and gent v’s an X Factor media sensation. I appreciate your honesty and as a musician myself am learning through this dialog. So keep it up!

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  11. Luke O'S

    An interesting read Paul.
    I guess you had to go through the anonymity thing when you started out, and it seems a bit harsh that you should do it all over again. You could take a leaf from Noel Gallagher’s book and call yourself “Paul Hartnoll’s 8:58”

    I hope it all goes well for you. No idea if there are problems with your brother professionally or personally (and there’s no reason why you should tell strangers on the internet). If there are problems I hope you resolve them. Even if Orbital can’t continue you should always be close to your bruv. The two of you always seem such lovely blokes.

    Thanks for the article and the videos. Keep them coming.

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    1. Steve

      I just feel so sad still about the second split coming off the high of Wonky and the accompanying tour which from a fan’s perspective in the audience was so electrifying. I went to the Leeds Academy and Albert Hall shows and everyone I spoke to agreed you’d reached a real pinnacle with your live show. We were all desperately waiting to see what came next and could never have imagined that would be an end. To now hear it could be the two of you falling out makes me even sadder. The buzz you must get from the reaction to those shows – you both really seemed to be loving it but maybe things werent as they seemed. As for 8:58, well its still incredible. I cant stop playing The Clock, Nearly there and The Past Now. Maybe when I see them live I’ll cheer up a bit! As for these videos, Christ theyre making me feel old but what memories.

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  12. Craig Coulson

    funny you made this decision, i worked for a large charity that chose 8:59 as its strapline, changed logos, websites etc etc to suit – threw out a 20yr old logo that everyone recognised for something that needed explanation every time someone looked at it. It was all replaced and changed again within 2~3 years as i suspect they lost some audience and thus revenue. a great waste of 120k of public money. Hopefully this wont happen to you and i look forward to your future works – the last 25 years have been great to be part of (Glastonbury, Wolverhampton, Oscillate, Brixton etc etc )

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  13. Jez Jackson

    As a self employed web guy I always try to steer people to think of a name that not only is memorable but has actually no competition whatsoever – this way you know directly from day one what your marketing efforts are achieving…. “deadmau5” was a good example (the 5 obviously being the difference factor) – anyway you’re still doing great stuff Pal and Ill see you at BEATHERDER in a few days (Ill be the one with the SH-101 t-shirt on 🙂

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  14. Anthony Pye

    I can understand your decision Paul & your record definitely needs to reach its optimum audience because it is so good. However I think it’s a shame that that there isn’t still enough of a thirst out there for people to seek your new guise out & discover – to be honest I don’t think it took me much effort. But we live in a time where alot of people discover new music through an internet search engine. All the best with the new name 🙂

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  15. Pim 010

    I’ve always liked how Autechre made a totally unique name for themselves, way before Google dominated our artistic and business choices…. Your story makes perfect sense, it’s a logical choice and I for one just saw 8:58 as the name for this project, not as a career changing move.

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  16. Matt

    Is 8:58 available in the USA on Spotify. I have been a long time fan from close to the start (Orbital II) and immediately searched on Spotify for orbital, hartnoll and 8:58 and drew a blank. 😦

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  17. Pingback: Are You Google-able? | 60 Second Music Marketing

  18. Andrew Robinson

    Here’s to no longer being muddled up with 808 state by the techno-illiterate, and going back to being muddled up with the Orb by the techno-illiterate! I hope the name change works out as well for you as it did for Halfnelson (I’m really showing my age there).

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  19. B Coleman

    This is one hefty coincidence, but I too had changed the name back to Paul Hartnoll. Let me explain…

    A bit older now then when Orbital hit their stride for me, I am a child of the 90s and I am reminded of the age of the disc whenever an old artist I love comes out with new music, I get the hard copy. I do get some digital releases of some stuff but I always purchase the disc if its an artist I really love. This holds true to Orbital, Long Range, and Paul Hartnoll. I have all the studio stuff on disc and its for a few reasons…
    1 I love ripping the disc, finding the artwork, attaching it to the tracks. Its actually been a kind of an unofficial hobby/habit as I believe if you love something, and its worth it to get the best version of it. My girlfriend calls me an Audiophile lol
    2 With regard to ripping, so many digital music services out there don’t present an audio quality that which really resonates the sounds and makes the melodies stand the hair on your arms up (see PH “Haven’t we met before?”). While I do appreciate the fact that you can save space, both physical and data by downloading, very few offer music in a great quality like 320kbps or FLAC which, if you’ve ever heard, you know theres a whole different depth to those albums you’ve loved for so long that you didn’t even hear the first million times…
    3 Downloads are great, but I cant help but feel as if Ive spent my money on nothing with a tangible substance that I can hold, read the liner notes, enjoy the artwork, marvel at the Artists themselves.

    So getting back to it, when I received the new 8:58 project (i got the signed 2CD/Vinyl combo) I was over joyed to have a piece signed by the man himself, and went running to rip it in FLAC. Now…?How to label it and where to put it?

    I ended up looking in my PH folder which isnt huge, The Ideal Condition and some singles. I found that their was no reason to not put it in there for both ease of access and respect to one of my favorite artists, and HIS life’s work, not the ticking clocks. Now, 8:58 is fantastic both conceptually and sonically, and its message speaks volumes. When Wonky arrived in 2012 every review had slated the track Beelzedub as being the artist attempt to recapture some magic by merging one hit from their past with the fast rising Dubstep style popular of the time, now not so much. But to me, who knew better, It was just Orbital being Orbital, not a nod to an emerging trend popularized by the creepy and too chaotic Skrillex. So as I listened 8:58, I couldn’t help but think the same. This is the same wizard of melody Ive loved for soooo many years and it really doesn’t need a new label, just to be him. So I threw it in there with his other such masterpieces, and knew that thats where it belonged. I love the new 8:58 stuff. I am more partial to the instrumental disc as, for me, I dont need lyrics on every track. Sometimes the melodies and crunchy beat breaks speak words for me I would never find on my own and illicit a emotional response seldom seen from bands who rely heavily on the chorus to get you to buy.

    Theres a time to reinvent yourself, and a time to reconnect with yourself.

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  20. ian

    As long as you keep making music man we are gonna keep listen. Just do what you always have done. Your own thing. Don’t stop now. Lash her out. See u in Belfast 9/10 can’t wait.

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