Preoccupations – Wikipedia

Musical group in Canada

Preoccupations is a Canadian post-punk band from Calgary, Alberta, formed in 2012 under the name Viet Cong. The band consists of Matt Flegel (vocals, bass), Scott Munro (guitar, synth), Daniel Christiansen (guitar) and Mike Wallace (drums). The group’s musical style has been described as “labyrinthine post-punk”.[1]


Formation and Viet Cong (2012–2015)[edit]

In 2010, the band Women entered an indefinite hiatus after an onstage fight.[2] That band’s guitarist, Christopher Reimer, died in 2012.[3][4] Following Reimer’s death and the disbanding of Women, ex-Women bassist Flegel decided to form a new band with guitarist Munro (formerly of Lab Coast); the two had recently toured together as live musicians 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).[5]

The band’s debut EP, a self-released cassette, was issued in 2013.[5]

The band performed at SXSW festival in 2014,[6] and then signed to Canadian record label Flemish Eye.[7] The band’s cassette release was reissued by Mexican Summer on vinyl on July 8, 2014.[8]

The band released their debut album, Viet Cong, on January 20, 2015, on Jagjaguwar and Flemish Eye.[9] The band announced plans for a North American and European tour to promote the album.[10]

Name change and Preoccupations (2016–2017)[edit]

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.[11] In March 2015, the band was set to perform at Oberlin College, but the show was cancelled due to their “offensive name”.[12]

In September 2015, the band announced that they were going to change their name, posting to their Facebook page, “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”.[11][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.[14]

On April 21, 2016, Flegel announced in a Pitchfork interview that the band would henceforth be performing and recording under the name “Preoccupations”.[15] Their second studio album, Preoccupations, was released as a self-titled album under the name Preoccupations on September 16, 2016.[16]

New Material (2018–2020)[edit]

On January 16, 2018, the band previewed a new single, “Espionage”. Their third studio album, New Material, was released on March 23, 2018.[17]

Fourth studio album (2021–present)[edit]

On October 5, 2020, the band announced on Twitter that they are in progress on a fourth studio album. The stated that the instrumentals had been recorded and that the vocals still needed recording.[18]

Musical style[edit]

The group’s musical style has mainly been described as “post-punk”.[1][19] The band’s debut cassette was described as a combination of “crooning post-punk vocals, distant-sounding harmonies à la Nuggets-era psychedelia, noise-addled punk, and Blade Runner-style instrumentals”.[1]

Band members[edit]

  • Matt Flegel – bass, vocals
  • Mike Wallace – drums
  • Scott “Monty” Munro – guitar, synth
  • Daniel Christiansen – guitar


Studio albums[edit]



  • “Throw It Away” (2013, self-released)
  • “Continental Shelf” (2014, Jagjaguwar)
  • “Bunker Buster” (2014, Jagjaguwar)
  • “Silhouettes” (2014, Jagjaguwar)
  • “Anxiety” (2016, Jagjaguwar)
  • “Stimulation” (2016, Jagjaguwar)
  • “Degraded” (2016, Jagjaguwar)
  • “Memory” (2016, Jagjaguwar)
  • “Key / Off Duty Trip” (2016, Jagjaguwar)
  • “Espionage” (2018, Jagjaguwar)
  • “Antidote” (2018, Jagjaguwar)
  • “Disarray” (2018, Jagjaguwar)
  • “Decompose” (2018, Jagjaguwar)
  • “Pontiac 87” (2018, Jagjaguwar)


  1. ^ a b c Zoladz, Linsay (March 20, 2014). “Viet Cong – “Bunker Buster” [Rough Mix]”. Pitchfork. Retrieved May 6, 2014.
  2. ^ Dombal, Ryan (November 1, 2010). “Women Cancel Tour After Clashing Onstage”. Pitchfork. Retrieved May 6, 2014.
  3. ^ “R.I.P. Christopher Reimer (of Women)”. Consequence of Sound. February 22, 2012. Retrieved May 6, 2014.
  4. ^ Pelly, Jenn (February 22, 2012). “R.I.P. Women Guitarist Christopher Reimer”. Pitchfork. Retrieved May 6, 2014.
  5. ^ a b “Rising: Viet Cong”. Pitchfork. March 13, 2014. Retrieved May 6, 2014.
  6. ^ Garrett, Jonathan (March 15, 2014). “SXSW Friday Round-Up: Bully, Happy Diving, Viet Cong, Gang Of Youths”. NME. Retrieved May 6, 2014.
  7. ^ Adams, Gregory (March 10, 2014). “Women Offshoot Viet Cong Sign to Flemish Eye”. Exclaim!. Retrieved May 6, 2014.
  8. ^ Minsker, Evan (May 6, 2014). “Viet Cong Announce “Cassette” EP Reissue, Share “Oxygen Feed”. Pitchfork. Retrieved May 6, 2014.
  9. ^ Minsker, Evan (October 15, 2014). “Viet Cong Announce Debut LP, Share “Continental Shelf”, Announce Tour”. Pitchfork. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  10. ^ Terry, Josh (October 15, 2014). “Viet Cong share new song “Continental Shelf” — listen”. Consequence of Sound. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  11. ^ a b “Viet Cong to change its band name”. CBC Music, September 21, 2015.
  12. ^ “Viet Cong Show Canceled Due to “Offensive” Band Name”. Pitchfork. 3 March 2015.
  13. ^ “Viet Cong Are Changing Their Name | Pitchfork”. 19 September 2015. Retrieved 2016-08-23.
  14. ^ “Viet Cong Are Still Booking Shows as Viet Cong”. Exclaim!, March 29, 2016.
  15. ^ Gordon, Jeremy (2016-04-21). “The Band Formerly Known as Viet Cong Announce New Name”. Pitchfork. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  16. ^ Coughlan, Jamie. “Preoccupations Share 11 Minute Epic ‘Memory’ Feat. Dan Boeckner Of Wolf Parade”. Overblown. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  17. ^ “Preoccupations Announce New Album, Share New Song: Listen”. Pitchfork. 16 January 2018. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  18. ^ @pre_occupations (October 5, 2020). “Also, we’ll have a new album on the way ASAP! The songs are written and the instrumentals are recorded, me (Monty) and Matt just need to sing on it! Wear your masks and stay safe!!” (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  19. ^ Friesen, Devib (October 17, 2013). “Post-punk in the corner pocket”. Fast Forward Weekly. Archived from the original on March 23, 2014. Retrieved May 6, 2014.

External links[edit]