Calgary postpunkers Viet Cong made one of the best debut albums in recent memory, but in recent weeks, conversations about the band haven’t revolved around their music. Earlier this month, a promoter at Oberlin Concert canceled a Viet Cong show that he’d booked, citing the band’s name as the reason. In his statement explaining the cancelation, the promoter apologized to Vietnamese and Vietnamese-American communities and chastised the band for “indifference” to its potential to offend. Gang Of Four’s Andy Gill, another musician with experience in the field of controversial band names, issued a statement defending Viet Cong, and the band made joking reference to the debate in a live show. But now they’ve put out a humble, serious statement about their name, stopping just short of apologizing for the moniker. Here’s the statement:
Our band, Viet Cong, has existed for a little over three years now. When we named ourselves, we were naive about the history of a war in a country we knew very little about. We now better understand the weight behind the words Viet Cong. While we don’t take any concerns about the name lightly, we feel it is important to let you know that we never meant to trivialize the atrocities or violence that occurred on both sides of the Vietnam War. We never intended for our name to be provocative or hurtful.
We truly appreciate the seriousness of the feedback we’ve received, and we will continue to be open to listening to issues and concerns from all perspectives.
With love from the band Viet Cong.
As of now, there don’t appear to be any plans to change the name.