Preoccupations is a Canadian post-punk band from Calgary, Alberta, formed in 2012 under the name Viet Cong. The band consists of Matt Flegel (vocals, bass), Scott Munro (guitar, synth), Daniel Christiansen (guitar) and Mike Wallace (drums). The group's musical style has been described as "labyrinthine post-punk".
Formation and Viet Cong (2012–2015)
In 2010, the band Women entered an indefinite hiatus after an onstage fight. That band's guitarist, Christopher Reimer, died in 2012. Following Reimer's death and the disbanding of Women, ex-Women bassist Flegel decided to form a new band with Munro, the live guitarist for Chad VanGaalen. They recruited ex-Women drummer Wallace and guitarist Christiansen (the latter previously performed in a Black Sabbath cover band alongside Flegel and Wallace).
The band's debut EP, a self-released cassette, was issued in 2013.
Name change and Preoccupations (2016–present)
The band frequently faced controversy over their original name, involving accusations of both racism and cultural appropriation because of the name's association with the original Vietnamese Viet Cong. In March 2015, the band was set to perform at Oberlin College, but the show was cancelled due to their "offensive name".
In September 2015, the band announced that they were going to change their name, posting to their Facebook page, "We are a band who wants to make music and play our music for our fans. We aren't here to cause pain or remind people of atrocities of the past". On March 29, 2016, the Canadian music magazine Exclaim! reported that the band were still booking shows under the name Viet Cong, and began running a real-time "Days after Viet Cong promised to change their name" counter on the magazine's website.
On April 21, 2016, Flegel announced in a Pitchfork interview that the band would henceforth be performing and recording under the name "Preoccupations".
Their second studio album, Preoccupations, was released as a self-titled album under the name Preoccupations on September 16, 2016 to critical acclaim.
The group's musical style has mainly been described as "post-punk". The band's debut cassette was described as a combination of "crooning post-punk vocals, distant-sounding harmonies a la Nuggets-era psychedelia, noise-addled punk, and Blade Runner-style instrumentals".
- Matt Flegel – bass, vocals
- Mike Wallace – drums
- Scott "Monty" Munro – guitar, synth
- Daniel Christiansen – guitar
- Cassette cassette EP (2013, self-released)
- Cassette 12" EP (2014, Mexican Summer)
- "Throw It Away" (2013, self-released)
- "Continental Shelf" (2014, Jagjaguwar)
- "Anxiety" (2016, Jagjaguwar)
- "Degraded" (2016, Jagjaguwar)
- "Memory" (2016, Jagjaguwar)