‘We are artists and not politicians’: Viet Cong change band name to Preoccupations


Canadian post-punk band Viet Cong have a new name — Preoccupations.

The quartet came under fire last year for their moniker, which many found offensive as it related to South Vietnam’s National Liberation Front during the Vietnam War. This morning, after announcing several months ago that they would adopt a new band name, Preoccupations was revealed with a full statement from the group.

It reads:


“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.”

In an interview with Pitchfork, Preoccupations’ Matt Flegel admits the band “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 also says the entire thing was eye-opening: “We’ve learned a lot for sure. It was never our intention to hurt anyone, and it puts you in your place a little bit. It’s embarrassing, but it’s nice that we can continue on and change things and change mistakes. In a way, it’s a nice way for us to come into making a new record-having a clean slate with a new band name. I think it’s a little bit less pressure to make something that sounded like the last couple of records. You’re less attached to certain sounds and certain ideas you might have gone with.”

A new album from Preoccupations is due this fall via Jagjaguwar and Flemish Eye, and the band has dates lined up at Sasquatch Festival next month and the Netherlands’ Best Kept Secret Festival in June. Check all their dates below.


Preoccupations World Tour Dates
5.28.16 – Sasquatch Festival – George, WA
6.13.16 – Baby’s All Right – Brooklyn, NY
6.17.16 – Best Kept Secret Festival – Hilvarenbeek, NL
6.18.16 – Out Loud, Beursschouwburg – Brussels, BE
6.22.16 – Shacklewell Arms – London, UK
6.23.16 – Old Blue Last – London, UK
6.28.16 – Olympic Cafe – Paris, FR
6.30.16 – Urban Spree – Berlin, GER
7.2.16 – Castle Palooza – Tullamore, IE
7.9.16 – Ottawa Blues Festival – Ottawa, ONT
8.27.16 – FYF Fest – Los Angeles, CA
10.8.16 – Danforth Music Hall – Toronto, ON