The band met at Leeds University where they were all students. Joe Newman had written some songs and he wanted to find some people to play with in a band, so he approached his friends Gus Unger-Hamilton, Gwil Sainsbury and Thom Green. They've had the same lineup ever since.
The four pals spent the next two years developing their music, first as Daljit Dhaliwal and then as FILMS until a case of mistaken identity with US band The Films forced them to rechristen themselves Alt-J.
Unger-Hamilton explained the band's name to FMQB: "Gwil discovered the Alt-J shortcut on his computer, which creates the 'delta' symbol, and he thought we should call our band just the delta symbol, which is a triangle in the Greek alphabet. That was kind of our band name but we chose to pronounce it Alt-J, because we knew being played on the radio, you need to really give your band a name that is spoken and not just written. So it was going to be said 'Alt-J' and written like a triangle or a delta. But now the delta symbol remains as sort of a masthead for the band."
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