Belgian death metal band Omicron are standing firm, saying they will not change their name over the newly discovered COVID-19 variant of the same name.
The new variant has been dubbed ‘of concern’ by the World Health Organisation, partly due to the lack of known information around its transmissibility and likelihood of it causing severe illness.
As the variant continues to spread around the world, Omicron – the band – spoke to VICE about whether they had any intentions to change their name in wake of the new discovery.
“Nobody could predict that this would happen and we hope that people will see that,” the band said.
“[Are] we planning to change our name? Hell no. We will not let a virus determine the way our concept should be perceived.”
In an earlier Facebook post, the band specified that they pulled their name from the Omicron galaxy system, and not the new variant.
We noticed the name Omicron is being mentioned a lot in the news lately and while we can't help it that the WHO decided…
They addressed concerns that they might be “profiting” from the variant to VICE, saying, “Having the same name as the new coronavirus variant feels like an extra responsibility we have to carry.
“We are still going to tread carefully here because we do not want the world to think that we are thriving on other people’s suffering.”
However, they’re also taking the overlap in their stride, considering they’re are a new act. Their debut single, ‘Revelations Of Man’, came out in June this year.
“We were a bit anxious that our name might get a negative connotation,” the band said.
“But we also felt it might give us the exposure much needed for bands [starting out] in a world overcrowded with musicians trying to leave their mark upon the industry.”