On Nov. 26, the World Health Organization announced the name of the latest Covid-19 variant. Although it was chosen for being the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet, the designation struck a chord with at least one musician, drummer Jon Wurster of Superchunk, Bob Mould, and Mountain Goats renown: “Omicron sounds like a progressive metal band that’s never headlined,” he tweeted two days later.
It turns out Wurster wasn’t far off. Between 2014 and 2016, Omicron was indeed the name of an underground prog-metal band based in Hong Kong. The quartet — Chan, keyboardist Tyler Yeung, drummer Alex Bedwell, and synth-guitarist Adam Robertshaw — only played a handful of gigs and weren’t around long enough to release an album (more on that later). But thanks to a macabre coincidence, Omicron are suddenly getting some of the attention they missed out on during their existence. “Of all the possible words you could use for designating a virus, you choose Omicron,” says Chan with a laugh. “Whether for the right or wrong reasons, we’ve been getting clicks. It’s been a lot to process.”
via Rolling Stone
Clicks are clicks. The band hasn’t released any new music in a long time and are now defunct, but what an odd way for them to be reunited, by the name of a virus that really pushes society to do the opposite. But the irony doesn’t end there, the four band members have been talking since last summer and were already planning to dig through their old tapes and put together an official debut album, something they never got the chance to do.
The band told Rolling Stone that the plan was for the delayed self titled album to be released this upcoming summer, however with the increased traffic to their website they are considering moving the release date up. Strike while the iron is hot right? They are considering renaming themselves to Omicron 2014, to try and separate themselves from the latest Covid variant, but no one knew them before, and it seems like they are more popular now than ever before, so why change? It’s funnier this way isn’t it?
Have a listen to the progressive metal band Omicron below.
Maybe it’s not for you…but their new album is on the way and will be available worldwide soon, just to keep the ironic story of this band alive.