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 Sco...
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".
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.
The band performed at SXSW festival in 2014, and then signed to Canadian record label Flemish Eye. The band's cassette release was reissued by Mexican Summer on vinyl on July 8, 2014.
The band released their debut album, Viet Cong, on January 20, 2015 on Jagjaguwar/Flemish Eye. The band announced plans for a North American and European tour to promote the album.
The group's musical style was mainly 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".
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 canceled due to their "offensive name".
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". 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.
On April 21, 2016, Flegel announced in a Pitchfork interview that the band would henceforth be performing and recording under the name "Preoccupations".