Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat
The band that was formerly known as Viet Cong has just announced that they will be changing their name to Preoccupations and would like to apologize to anyone that their old name offended.
When a band is first coming into fruition one of the most important aspects, and first major thought in that creative process, is naming the band. Some bands take their name very seriously and some bands could care less what their name is as long as they get to play their music, such as Pearl Jam when they first named themselves Mookie Baylock after an NBA player. Sometimes this careless and spontaneous choice of a band name, however, can get the band in some sort of trouble. For Pearl Jam it was a legal issue from using someone else’s name without permission and for Viet Cong is was the unintentional offense of a group of people. The mistake has been easily fixed and the new name that the band has chosen is Preoccupations. The band released a statement today about the name change and also to announce some other important information.
“After finishing our latest record and taking some time off, we are excited to announce that we will be performing and recording as “Preoccupations” going forward. We will be previewing new material from a forthcoming record in a series of festivals and shows in North America and Europe in the coming months. We apologize to those who were adversely affected by our former band name. This was never anticipated nor our intent. We are artists and not politicians, we understand that the name reflected pain to some individuals and we are happy to change it and move on and focus on our music. Thanks to all our friends and fans. See you all soon.”
Vocalist and bassist for Preoccupations, Matt Flegel, sat down with Pitchfork to talk about what happened in the time that lead up to the band changing their name.
“We were pretty naive, and pretty ignorant on the subject. We know a lot more now. If we knew what we know now then we would definitely not call the band that,” he said. “I don’t really keep track of what people are saying online or social media. Anything I learned was face to face from people at shows, and directly from protesters, and hearing stories about Vietnamese refugees. We’ve never really read about that side of things; we didn’t know anything about that side of the war. But it was an eye-opener, and it was great talking to people about it, hearing things directly from people who have had the experience of the terrible things coming out of the war. It was always civil, and we met some great people because of it. We talked to fans of our band who are of a Vietnamese background. It’s really helpful to have a face-to-face conversation with another human being that has family, or has been directly affected by something, rather than just hearsay on the internet. It’s a different thing, going out and getting a group of people protesting a show. It was something I was fully in support of the entire time. I tried to talk to people as much as I could and learn as much as I could. I was impressed that people were getting together in real life to do something about it.”
The Preoccupations are set to play a series of festivals, including FYF and Sasquatch, in support of a new album they are recording that is expected for a fall release. While they won’t be playing much of this new material they will debut some of it at these shows. A list of tour dates and ticketing information can be found below.
Preoccupations World Tour Dates:
05.28.16 – Sasquatch Festival – George, WA
06.13.16 – Baby’s All Right – Brooklyn, NY
06.17.16 – Best Kept Secret Festival – Hilvarenbeek, NL
06.18.16 – Out Loud, Beursschouwburg – Brussels, BE
06.22.16 – Shacklewell Arms – London, UK
06.23.16 – Old Blue Last – London, UK
06.28.16 – Olympic Cafe – Paris, FR
06.30.16 – Urban Spree – Berlin, GER
07.02.16 – Castle Palooza – Tullamore, IE
07.09.16 – Ottawa Blues Festival – Ottawa, ONT
08.27.16 – FYF Fest – Los Angeles, CA
10.08.16 – Danforth Music Hall – Toronto, ON