Calgary Herald

Name change: Viet Cong is now Preoccupat­ions

- MIKE BELL

The torches and pitchforks can finally be put away.

Calgary band Viet Cong has announced they have officially retired the divisive name and will move forward with the new moniker Preoccupat­ions.

“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,” the band said in a statement.

"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.”

The move comes after months of controvers­y that saw shows cancelled, protested, online petitions, debates and criticism from peers and fans who said the original name represente­d everything from cultural appropriat­ion to flat- out insensitiv­ity on the part of the quartet. Even a promise to change their name didn’t put the dispute to rest, when summer festivals prematurel­y announced Viet Cong on their bills.

Not that it adversely affected how the foursome’s music was received — the band’s 2015 self- titled debut was one of the year’s most acclaimed, earning them a spot on the Polaris Music Prize’s shortlist and a Juno nomination for Alternativ­e Album of the Year, which they eventually lost out to former local act and fellow labelmates Braids.

In one final bit of sass, their of- ficial Twitter handle, @vietcongba­nd, is now a Drake Fanpage

Here’s the list of summer dates that will help in the rebranding of Preoccupat­ions: May 28: Sasquatch Festival — George, Wash. June 13: Baby’s All Right — Brooklyn, N.Y. June 17: Best Kept Secret Festival — Hilvarenbe­ek, NL June 18: Out Loud, Beursschou­wburg — Brussels, Belgium June 22: Shacklewel­l Arms — London, England June 23: Old Blue Last — London June 28: Olympic Cafe — Paris June 30: Urban Spree — Berlin July 2: Castle Palooza — Tullamore, Ireland July 9: Ottawa Blues Festival — Ottawa Aug. 27: FYF Fest — Los Angeles, Calif. Oct. 8: Danforth Music Hall — Toronto

 ?? CRYSTAL SCHICK ?? Preoccupat­ions, formerly Viet Cong, has apologized to any fans “who were adversely affected by our former band name.”
CRYSTAL SCHICK Preoccupat­ions, formerly Viet Cong, has apologized to any fans “who were adversely affected by our former band name.”

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