Awsha…Ascha…Aush-WHAT? Thank God They're Now Called Pacific Hurt

See that old chestnut of an Aushua publicity photo up there? Take a good long look, because this might be the last time we use it.

The Santa Ana band, whose knack for U2-when-U2-was-good-esque hooks won them widespread acclaim and “Best Song” at the 2009 OC Music Awards for their undeniably catchy “No Harm Done” have put their hard-to-spell, kind of hard-to-say name to rest, and emerged with a new moniker: Pacific Hurt.

Lead singer Nathan Gammill said they started thinking about a new name last December, when fifth member Sean Cimino was added to the lineup.

“We were looking to be able to do a little bit more live than we were able to before,” Gammill says.

Their biggest motivator? Finding a name that was easy for everyone. “We lost a lot of confidence in the name (Aushua), just by having to spell it out,” Gammill says. Even their Twitter name — which should ideally be as simple as possible — was bulky: “aushuanogamy.”

The band batted around possible name options, but when “Pacific Hurt” popped up, it clicked almost immediately.  A good deal of thought was put into it, but Gammill stresses “it's just a band name.”

“It was just something to try and encapsulate as much as possible with the band name,” he says. “It seems a little heart-on-its-sleeve, but it's not really meant like that. We just landed on it. People turned me on to different authors and poets and stuff, I thought about the name, I saw in this one poem, words being used–'Pacific' as an adjective, 'hurt' as a noun, it kind of solidified it. They weren't used together, obviously.”

The newly christened Pacific Hurt have put up three new songs here, and have their first show under the new name Saturday, May 8 at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa, opening up for South County's The Union Line. Don't expect “No Harm Done” or any of those other old faves, though, as they're taking the new name seriously, and not planning on playing any old Aushua songs live.

“I just feel it would take a little steam out of the locomotive right now, if we went and played one of our older songs,” Gammill says, adding that it would also be “kind of lame.” “We want to be writing more, and making new songs.”

Not that the new material is drastically different from old Aushua. Still, Gammill stresses that the new name is a sign of moving forward.

“It's not like a night and day thing, but we're doing some things that we wouldn't have done as Aushua,” he says. “I think as Aushua we got into some weird priorities as to what the songs did. We're trying harder and taking ourselves less seriously at the same time, which is always hard to do.”

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