The Omicron B.1.1.529 Covid strain was reported to the World Health Organization by scientists in South Africa towards the end of November but has since been found elsewhere, leading to concern about its transmissibility.
And Omicron – the band, not the variant – have said that they will be keeping their name, inspired by the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet, despite any negative connotations it may bring.
“Nobody could predict that this would happen and we hope that people will see that,” the group told Vice.
“[Are] we planning to change our name? Hell no. We will not let a virus determine the way our concept should be perceived.”
“We were a bit anxious that our name might get a negative connotation,” they 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.”
The band added that they don’t want to appear as though they are profiting off the pandemic.
“Having the same name as the new coronavirus variant feels like an extra responsibility we have to carry,” the said.
“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.”
Omicron’s predicament echoes that of Irish band The Coronas, who also refused to change their name after the world went into lockdown in March 2020.
At the time, frontman Danny O’Reilly told NME: “It’s unfortunate for us that we have such an unfortunate band name. That throws another weirdness into the mix.
“We haven’t even thought about [changing our name. We’ve been around for five albums and this is a new disease.
“It’s having a big affect on everything and it’s a hard one to judge. If we were a brand new band I’d say, ‘Absolutely, of course’. We haven’t considered re-branding. Who knows what affect this will have?
“Someone mentioned that maybe we should do a co-headline tour with The Vaccines,” the Dubliner joked.