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Shai Hulud’s Name: A Case of Mistaken Identity

Anyone acquainted with melodic hardcore knows Shai Hulud and their unique sound. And most already know the name was adopted from the desert worm creature from Frank Hebert’s ‘Dune’ books. But most don’t know the full story that led to their moniker. It all began with the desire to set themselves apart from the rest of the hardcore scene.

“The music we were writing was definitely different than all the popular hardcore bands at the time,” guitarist and founder Matt Fox revealed to Noisecreep. “But, we didn’t have a lyrical direction or a stance or anything, so it was either take something from a cool book or just come up with XgenericnameX.”

Fox turned to a favorite pastime — reading — to search for a distinct name. “I wanted it to have some sort of literary background … So I was thinking that ‘Dune’ had a lot of depth and was pretty rife with ideas, so we chose ‘Dune.’ And we just went back and forth on names from the novel.” The band then searched through the books to glean ideas for names.

Shai Hulud’s bass player at the time wanted to name the band after a character he liked from the book, but he forgot the actual name. “He called me up and says ‘Hey, who’s that one character?’” Fox recounts. “And he tried to describe it to me, and I said, ‘This character?’ And I explain it back to him. He says, ‘Yeah, yeah. I think that’s what I’m talking about.’ I said, ‘Well, if I’m understanding what you’re talking about, then you’re saying Shai Hulud.’ He goes ‘Yeah, yeah. That’s it! Let’s name the band that.’”

So that seems to be the resolution to this story, right? Well, not exactly. “We watched the ['Dune'] movie together, and a creature came on the screen, and he said, ‘Yeah, so that’s us, right? That’s Shai Hulud!’ And I said, ‘No, that’s a third stage navigator.’ And he said, ‘Oh, that’s what I want to name the band after.’ But we had already made flyers … So as he was watching, he was just looking for cool characters to be named after. So that’s how it came down.”

And hardcore was never the same again.

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