Viet Cong Are Still Booking Shows as Viet Cong
Published Mar 29, 2016After making a promise to change band names and saying they would hold to it following a recent tour cycle, Calgary post-punks Viet Cong are still booking shows under their controversial moniker.
Los Angeles's FYF Fest, set to take place in August, lists the band as Viet Cong on event lineup graphics that were unveiled today (March 29).
After making an initial promise in September to pick a new band name, the Polaris Music Prize-shortlisted group also called a run of dates in Australia and New Zealand "the final dates for the band formerly known as VC."
"We rushed into our last band name decision, we don't plan to rush into this one, but know that will be rolling out a new name as soon as we agree upon one," the band wrote in a statement last year, though it's clear they haven't settled on a new one just yet.
In a feature article published by Exclaim! last year, Hooded Fang's April Aliermo explained how the name Viet Cong is "loaded with a history of violence and trauma," and how its use by a white rock group "who does not, and cannot identify with it" is offensive.
"The Vietnam War only ended 40 years ago. The Vietnamese diaspora is still dealing with the aftermath of this war and the Viet Cong," she wrote. "It doesn't matter if the band's music is good or if they are nice guys; people who organize our concerts and who attend our shows are deeply hurt and affected by these young men naming themselves Viet Cong."
In 2015, the band admitted that they didn't know the full significance of their name upon choosing it three years prior. They have also faced peaceful protests at performances, with some having been cancelled outright over their name choice.
UPDATE (3/30, 12:30 p.m.): The band's U.S. publicist has reached out to Exclaim! to explain that "a new name will be announced before the band play anymore shows and is happening soon." The spokesperson also explains that FYF Fest added the name "Viet Cong" to its lineup because the festival was looking to advertise the fact that the band are playing the event eventually under a different yet-to-be-decided name.
FYF Fest is set to take place on August 27 and 28 in Los Angeles, with Kendrick Lamar, LCD Soundsystem, Tame Impala and Grace Jones topping the bill. Other artists set to perform include Air, Beach House, Anohni, Grimes, Hot Chip, Father John Misty, Explosions in the Sky, Rae Sremmurd, Blood Orange, Moby, Young Thug, Saves the Day, Vince Staples, Wolf Parade, Shellac, Todd Terje & the Olsens, Charles Bradley and more.