Preoccupations are a Canadian post-punk band, that formed in Calgary, Alberta in 2012 under the name Viet Cong. The group consists of two ex-members of the rock band Women, vocalist/bassist Matt Flegel and drummer Mike Wallace, as well as guitarists Scott Munro and Daniel Christiansen. The group's musical style has been described as "labyrinthine post-punk".[2]




In 2010, the band Women entered an indefinite hiatus after an onstage fight.[3] That band's guitarist, Christopher Reimer, died in 2012.[4][5] 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).[6]

The band's debut EP, a self-released cassette, was issued in 2013.[6]

The band performed at SXSW festival in 2014,[7] and then signed to Canadian record label Flemish Eye.[8] The band's cassette release was reissued by Mexican Summer on vinyl on July 8, 2014.[9]

The band released their debut album, Viet Cong, on January 20, 2015 on Jagjaguwar/Flemish Eye.[10] The band announced plans for a North American and European tour to promote the album.[11]

Musical style

The group's musical style was mainly described as "post-punk".[2][12] 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".[2]


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.[13] In March 2015, the band was set to perform at Oberlin College, but the show was cancelled due to their "offensive name".[14]

In September 2015, the band announced that they were going to change their name: "We are a band who wants to make music and play our music for our fans. We are not here to cause pain or remind people of atrocities of the past".[13] 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 since Viet Cong promised to change their name" counter on the magazine's website.[15]

On April 21, 2016, Flegel announced in a Pitchfork interview that the band would henceforth be performing and recording under the name "Preoccupations".[16]

Band members

  • Matt Flegel - bass, vocals
  • Mike Wallace - drums
  • Scott "Monty" Munro - guitar, synth
  • Daniel Christiansen - guitar


Studio albums


  • Cassette cassette EP (2013, self-released)
  • Cassette 12" EP (2014, Mexican Summer)


  • "Throw It Away" (2013, self-released)
  • "Continental Shelf" (2014, Jagjaguwar)