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Death Metal Band 'Omicron' Wants You to Know it Has Nothing to Do with Virus

As of now, the band has no plans of changing its name. (Credits: Facebook/@OmicronMetalBand)

As of now, the band has no plans of changing its name. (Credits: Facebook/@OmicronMetalBand)

The band from Belgium is anxious that the name 'Omicron' might give it a negative connotation.

As concerns mount globally over the Omicron variant of the virus that causes Covid-19, it is rather unfortunate if you had a death metal band years ago and decided to call it ‘Omicron’. While a number of hoaxes claiming there had been a movie called “The Omicron Variant” or even comic strips that had predicted Covid-19 have already lived a full circle on social media, this band’s name is, unfortunately, real. However, even though the World Health Organisation (WHO) named the variant after the Greek alphabet Omicron, that wasn’t the case with the band based in Belgium, as per a report by VICE World News. What inspired their name was guitarist Philippe’s obsession with aliens: he coined the name after the Dyson sphere had been found in the Omicron Cygni constellation. As of now, the band has no plans of changing its name. They told VICE that it was an unpredictable incident and that they hoped people would see that.

“We were a bit anxious that our name might get a negative connotation. 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,” VICE quoted the band as saying. They added that they want to remain conscious of not deriving profit from global suffering and said that they did not want it to come across as them thriving off said suffering. Having this name, thus, feels like an extra responsibility to them. They have also made a Facebook post in this regard.

“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 to skip two letters to get to the letter omicron, we want to express again our support for all the victims, the people working in the medical sector and all the sacrifices everyone continuously makes to battle this virus. Stay safe everybody! Also for the record: our band name is based on the Omicron galaxy system and not on the current Omicron COVID strain,” the band wrote in the post.

However, it is true that having the name ‘Omicron’ might, whether so intended or not, end up being beneficial at this time. An underground prog-metal band based in Hong Kong had similarly named themselves ‘Omicron’, reported Rolling Stones. Although this band remained functional for only two years: from 2014 to 2016 and had long fallen into obscurity, this coincidence is now getting them clicks. “Of all the possible words you could use for designating a virus, you choose Omicron. Whether for the right or wrong reasons, we’ve been getting clicks. It’s been a lot to process,” Rolling Stones quoted one of the members as saying.

When global markets fell on news of the new Omicron coronavirus variant, one cryptocurrency with the same name soared after the Greek letter entered the investor lexicon. The price of the hitherto-obscure digital token, whose Twitter feed had little more than 1,000 followers, rose almost ten-fold at the time, hitting $688, before tumbling as much as 75%, crypto tracker CoinGecko said. Omicron the token is described on its website describes as “a decentralized treasury-backed currency protocol”.

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first published:December 06, 2021, 13:55 IST