Caution, it’s contagious: Meet the band “Omicron”

by time news






Five years ago, the anonymous prog-metal band disbanded from Hong Kong and its four members each went their separate ways. The band





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Omicron Band. It did not occur to them that they would share there with a variant of a virus | Photo: From liheng.chan’s Instagram page

Last week, the World Health Organization announced the name of Omicron as the new corona variant that has erupted in African countries. There were those who thought it was actually a great name for a “progressive-metal band that never made headlines,” tweeted American drummer John Worster. It soon became known that a band under the same name and sounds of the same musical style had indeed operated in the past.

Ever since Hong Kong’s anonymous metal band ‘Omikron’ broke up, band guitarist Li Heng Chan has apparently not imagined being talked about five years later in the world media. Last week he started getting messages from friends and family who told him, “Your band is in the news.”

In 2016-2014, four members of the anonymous band performed in Hong Kong. They only played a handful of shows and did not even release an album. But with the advent of the new variant, “Omicron” suddenly gets some of the attention it has missed over its years of operation. Surfers commented on one of the songs uploaded to the network: “Glad I discovered you” and “Your music is great”. Chan said in an interview with Rolling Stone: “Whether for the right or wrong reasons, we got clicks.”

The four members of the band (Photo: from liheng.chan's Instagram page)
The four members of the band | Photo: From liheng.chan’s Instagram page

The band began to form its way almost a decade ago. When it was time to pick a name, Chan suggested that the rest of the band choose “something that sounds cosmic”. The name “Andromeda” suggested by another guitarist in the band was already grasped by another prog-metal band, so they chose the name of the letter Omicron, which is used to mark the 15th star in a constellation. “Our music is mostly based on science fiction and space theories, and the Greek word omicron means either small,” Chan explained. “The idea was that our individual parts – the omicron – contribute to the bigger picture.”

Today the four band members are spread around the world, but last year they started collecting the materials and recordings they left behind in order to work on a joint album. According to Chan, they are at least considering changing the band’s name to “Omicron 2014” – the year the quartet officially began performing. “We do not want them to think that we are basing our activities on the corona. That is not what we are doing.”

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