Fixate: Backstage with Preoccupations at FYF

Photographer Rozette Rago hung with the band formerly known as Viet Cong as they prepared to take the stage at Expo Park on Sunday.

First as Viet Cong and now as Preoccupations, Matt Flegel, Mike Wallace, Scott Munro, and Daniel Christiansen play metallic, cloudy post-punk. The ugly textures and sheets of noise that peel off of their forthcoming self-titled LP are countered by the boom of Flegel’s vocals; imagine the NFL Films guy if he’d grown up under the dome of the brutal winter on the Canadian prairies. With the group playing their first major LA date since announcing their name change, we asked photographer Rozette Rago to capture the new-look Preoccupations backstage at FYF this weekend. If they felt weighted down—by the pressures of having to prove themselves yet again, or just by the heaviness of the music itself—they surely didn’t show it.


Following Preoccupations for an hour as they take the stage at FYF Fest—it’s a fitting way to say goodbye to summer. They are four chill dudes backstage, calmly prepping for their show. On stage, they unleash an explosive kind of energy that’s hard to look away from. “Damn, they work hard,” is what I think. They sound great. Wolf Parade‘s Dan Boeckner is featured on the new reocrd, and he later joins them on stage. For the last couple of songs, drummer Mike Wallace gives it his all while his kit falls apart several times. When it ends, they wave to the crowd and step away like they’ve just left everything behind. — Rozette Rago

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