This Post Punk band from Canada learned the hard way how powerful words can be. What a band names itself can have a tremendous effect on its path. Any band that is pondering a name would be wise to understand as many possible implications as possible behind the words pondered. I think to one of this bands influences, Joy Division, and how they took the name of a German military division used by the Nazis during WII. I don’t know how well known this division was known by the general public in England during the mid to late 70’s. I don’t know how tolerant they were of possible offensive names of bands then. At least of names that may have carried a political reference or something referring to historic ugliness. I don’t see this band as having named themselves Viet Cong out of appreciation for what is reported by the history of the Viet Cong during the heat of the Cold War between the Western Imperialism and Communist Imperialism. I suspect that it was chosen due to the shadows represented by the reported tragedies, and how each of us is capable of committing tragedy out of desperation and fear. Their music is dark and thought provoking enough to be considered of the shadow. Things being as they are, the band had to choose a new name. The new name is not even vanilla to me, but it’s easy understood why such a word was chosen. And that is where lies a problem to being so easily strongly offended. The world becomes much less colorful. Art is not of pure reason. It is emotions, feelings, beauty, ugliness, intuition, and all that can’t be computed by calculations. I don’t embrace what the Viet Cong did, nor do I embrace what my nation did, but to run from it seems cowardly. It is simply what we as humans do, no matter how stupid it is, it is what we do. Be careful with your names out there. The public seems very fickle these days. Take note of the fickleness and proceed intelligently with respect to your aim.
Here’s a link to an interview article on what the band went through over the name. link
I have been listening to Preoccupations for around six months. Their creations have staying power with me. There is plenty of energy and flow. My favorite tune is Bunker Buster. It’s a masterpiece to me. I enjoy all their songs, but this one stands out to me. It gets full volume every time it comes up. The other two videos are from their forthcoming album that is to be released through Jagjaguwar on September 16th.
Links to the band
“Maybe each human being lives in a unique world, a private world different from those inhabited and experienced by all other humans. . . If reality differs from person to person, can we speak of reality singular, or shouldn’t we really be talking about plural realities? And if there are plural realities, are some more true (more real) than others? What about the world of a schizophrenic? Maybe it’s as real as our world. Maybe we cannot say that we are in touch with reality and he is not, but should instead say, His reality is so different from ours that he can’t explain his to us, and we can’t explain ours to him. The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication … and there is the real illness.”
― Philip K. Dick