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Viet Cong are changing their name

on September 19, 2015, 6:15pm

Photo by Autumn Andel

CoSigned Canadian post-punk band Viet Cong are no more — at least in terms of their name.

In a statement posted to Facebook today, the band announced they would be abandoning their name in the wake of increased criticism. “Art and music are about creative expression. However, our band name is not our cause, and we are not going to fight for it. This is not what our band is about.”

The band, which is composed of four white males, has been accused of cultural appropriation and racism for adopting the name of the North Vietnamese army unit. It has led to the cancelation of at least one concert, as well as criticism from fellow bands including Hooded Fang and Ought.

“The truth is, we’ve been planning to change the band name for the next record for months; it has not been an easy decision by any means,” the band explained in their statement. “We are a band of four people with four individual voices; this debate has been long and difficult for us and it took time for everyone to settle on a plan of action.”

The band formerly known as Viet Cong has yet to decide on their new name, adding, “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.”

They’ll have to decide song enough, as they have a number of upcoming gigs scheduled, including appearances at Treasure Island and Fun Fun Fun Fest.

Read the band’s full statement below.

Art and music are about creative expression. However, our band name is not our cause, and we are not going to fight for it. This is not what our band is about.

There are many individuals more eloquent than us who have recently had a lot to say about the topic of the name and our appropriation of the name Viet Cong. For more insights into the arguments we encourage you to read some of these. We are a band who want 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.

The truth is, we’ve been planning to change the band name for the next record for months; it has not been an easy decision by any means. We are a band of four people with four individual voices; this debate has been long and difficult for us and it took time for everyone to settle on a plan of action.

We don’t know what the new name of our band will be, and we owe it to our fans to honour the concerts we have booked. 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.

We realize this won’t satisfy everyone, but that’s certainly not the goal of this band. We never expected this kind of attention in the first place and just want to return to playing music, which is the only thing we (kinda) know how to do.

We’ve had an incredible amount of support from fans, and we have to thank everyone who has said supportive words to us as we struggle with this. As always, we welcome people talking to us in person.

– Matt, Mike, Monty & Danny.

Watch their recent video for “Bunker Buster” below.

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