Published Mar 17, 2015Following much public debate over the complicated origin of Viet Cong's band name, the Calgary post-punk unit have issued a statement over the controversy, noting they "never intended for our name to be provocative or hurtful."
The open letter addresses concerns over Viet Cong naming their group after the military force that fought the South Vietnamese government and the U.S. during the Vietnam War, noting that the act "never meant to trivialize the atrocities or violence that occurred on both sides of the Vietnam War."
You'll find the full statement down below:
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 previously reported, Viet Cong had their March 14 appearance at Oberlin College's Dionysus Disco cancelled due to their name, with promoter Ivan Krasnov critiquing alleged "orientalism and appropriation" on the band's part. Krasnov also made a public apology "for inviting a band with a name that deeply offends and hurts Vietnamese and Vietnamese-American communities."
Gang of Four's Andy Gill later reflected on the situation, saying it was "ridiculous" to ban bands over their choice of name.
He said, "We can all think of dozens of bands with really quite offensive names and as soon as you get into being the guardian of public morality, taking it upon yourself to decide what's ok and what is not, you are acting in an illiberal, undemocratic and anti-progressive way."
Viet Cong are currently on tour, and have shows in Vancouver and Victoria coming up at the end of the month.