The death metal band Omicron was named well before the coronavirus variant
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
OK, when you're in a band, your name can make or break you. So what happens when world events make a great band name sound really bad? We asked someone who knows.
(SOUNDBITE OF OMICRON SONG, "REVELATIONS OF MAN")
IGNACE CASIER: I am Ignace Casier. I'm one of the guitarists of the band Omicron, which is a death metal band from Belgium.
NOEL KING, HOST:
That's right. The band is called Omicron. They formed two years ago, which of course, is long before the WHO used the name for a new COVID variant.
CASIER: COVID is a dangerous virus. We all know people that died of it. For example, somebody in my family died of it also. So it's immediately a weird connotation that we knew people would make with the band.
INSKEEP: Casier says that's not the vibe they were going for.
CASIER: The concept of the band is more based on the Omicron Cygni Galaxy system, and there is a theory that in the Omicron Cygni System, they once found evidence of, like, extraterrestrial life, like aliens and stuff.
KING: But when the omicron variant started making headlines, the band started hearing from reporters. A Vice article about their predicament got picked up, went all over the world. This is pretty heady stuff for a group that only has one song out.
CASIER: Before this, we don't have any experience with this type of coverage, or even, like, we didn't even have the chance to play live yet.
INSKEEP: Now the group is putting out its first record soon, so this could be to their advantage. They have a concept album about aliens. Casier hopes that people will be interested in that, too.
CASIER: The concepts started from that, and we want to continue with that, despite us having the name of the COVID strain for the moment. But let's hope that that wave's over quickly and people won't make the connotation with us anymore.
KING: That's Ignace Casier with the Belgian metal band Omicron.
(SOUNDBITE OF OMICRON SONG, "REVELATIONS OF MAN") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.