Amanda Blide

With its in-your-face attitude, primal rock’n’roll chords and sophisticated sonics, VIKINGO! is very much a band of the moment.  The Los Angeles-based quartet’s debut EP - Set It On Fire - boasts the raw immediacy of a brand new collective getting ready to take the world by storm.

In reality, the genesis of VIKINGO! harks back to the ’90s, when singer/guitarist Daniel Jiménez Afanador and lead guitarist Sejo Navajas were Colombian teen rebels growing up in their native Bogotá.

“We were 14 when we first met – both of us heavily into rock,” enthuses Afanador. “We dressed in black and favored a brand of boots worn by Colombian workingmen.  They were called GRULLA and had metal wedges on the tips so that if a brick happened to fall on your foot, you’d emerge unscathed.  There was something macho about those shoes, and they mirrored the music of our first bands: a trash metal combo called Anima, and a progressive rock collective named Azul Profundo.”

Even though both musicians ended up moving to LA, their careers followed separate paths.  Afanador became a singer/songwriter with Latin rock sensation Roxing Kafé, touring the U.S. and releasing a critically acclaimed major label album before launching a solo career.  Navajas became a partner and chief engineer/producer at the Santa Monica-based boutique studio 4th Street Recordings, working with artists such as Muse, Weezer and members of the Black Crowes.

From time to time, both musicians would express the desire to form a back-to-the-roots, no-frills rock’n’roll combo.  Last year, they invited Norwegian bassist Andreas Kvinge Sandnes and 4thStreet’s first-call session drummer Christopher Roberts for a couple of recording sessions that made it clear how prolific and self-assured the VIKINGO! way of doing things could be. Sandnes’ propulsive bass chops and Robert’s hard-hitting drumming were just what the band needed.

“My main influences are Queens of the Stone Age, the ever-changing genius of Bowie, the energy of the Rolling Stones and the punk aesthetic of The Clash,” says Navajas.  “We wanted to cherish the irreverent spirit of rock, its dogged determination to rebel against the status quo.”

“Sejo and I know each other so well, it almost feels as if I’m writing songs with my alter ego,” adds Afanador.  “After years of living in the U.S., there is a development and synchronicity in our political visions.  Our taste for rock’n’roll is the thread line that remains unchanged.”

VIKINGO! will release a full-length album early next year, and then prepare to perform at both small clubs and festivals across the country.

“For a couple of years, we kept talking about forming VIKINGO! and celebrating the very essence of rock’n’roll,” concludes Navajas. “It would have been stupid not to do it.

Press Releases

08.17.18//VIKINGO! Reinvigorates the Rock Scene With Set It On Fire

VIKINGO! Reinvigorates the Rock Scene With Set It On Fire

Los Angeles Based Rockers Kick Out the Jams in Rousing Debut EP

Los Angeles, CA – In a world of neutered rock n’ roll and vanilla songs, VIKINGO! fights back, promising to stir some shit up by setting it all on fire. Good ol’ fashioned rock n’ roll finds its new home with a modern twist in the LA rockers’ debut EP, Set It On Fire. One look at the over-the-top, in-your-face cover art and it’s not hard to believe VIKINGO!’s first EP hits home in its expression of the absurd discourse on current social and political climate. Set It On Fire is now available on digital music platform worldwide.

Two Colombians, a Norwegian, and an American band together to package their collective annoyance of issues like environmental policies, immigration, equality and more in their new hard-hitting EP. Referencing personal struggles and past experiences, Set It On Fire aims to incite rebellion against the shallow and ludicrous. “The Set It On Fire EP means a lot to us because it’s our friendship in rock n’ roll form,” said VIKINGO!. “We’ve all been in the music business for a while and rock n’ roll has always been the link that’s connected us. We produced, recorded and mixed it ourselves with the intention of making something that would be truly rock n’ roll. That is, we wanted to make something truly rebellious and not canned.”

Set It On Fire was recorded at the famed 4th Street Recording (Muse, The Beach Boys, Bad Suns) and was mastered by Dale Becker (Macklemore, Neil Diamond). Considering all four members of VIKINGO! are producers, it comes as no surprise that they produced their EP as a combined group effort. Jeff Henderson, accomplished storyboard artist with credits such as Inception and After Earth, designed the notable Set It On Fire cover art.

Compromised of Daniel Jimenez Afanador on lead vocals and guitar, Sejo Navajas on guitar, Andreas Kvinge Sandnes on bass, and Chris Roberts on drums, VIKINGO! came into existence in 2017. At age fourteen, childhood best friends Jimenez Afanador and Navajas performed in a band together in Colombia. After moving to the United States, the two friends began to grow their music careers separately. With their successes as producers within the music industry, Navajas and Jimenez  Afanador decided it was time to start a band again. Navajas suggested his friend, Sandnes who he met at 4th Street Recording, the studio that Navajas is not only a partner at, but also the chief engineer. He then invited past bandmate and 4th Street studio drummer, Roberts, to join and VIKINGO! was officially formed.

The EP, Set It On Fire is available on digital music platforms. To keep up with VIKINGO!, follow their adventures through Facebook and Instagram.