The Mexican regional is living a golden age. The songs within the genre sneak in week after week in the first places; wherever one goes, the tubas and accordions are heard; wherever you turn, you see videos of men wearing hats and shiny suits singing to heartbreak, to the party, or to some anti-hero of drug trafficking, there is no halfway point.
This genre boom has saturated the industry, so as art always demands, it’s important to renew yourself and try to create new sounds to stand out from the crowd, exactly what artists have tried to do. Northern Vikings since its inception.
This group originally from Chihuahua stood out back in 2015 by presenting new versions of acts that have little or nothing to do with the regional one. “Scar Tissue”, by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, was reconstructed by the northern group, giving it the flavor of the genre and raising several eyebrows in its wake, some interested, others confused. This was just a test of what Condemnation Radiotheir first full-length album, the same one that put the Vikings of the North on the map, but above all, it made them stand out among all the bands that did not dare to change the rules of the game.
Eight years later, the Vikings are back with the album Nice beachwhich will see the light next april 7. This project is far from what was heard in Condemnation Radiobecause after almost a decade of work, the band has consolidated a sound with original songs that shout from the four winds “these are Los Vikingos del Norte”.
Proof of it is Graduate, the third single from this record production. In general terms, the song talks about an office worker who, tired of the pressure of work, throws his cell phone into the sea and decides to travel to Culiacán to live a week full of excesses and pleasures. From the first seconds Graduate It presents a very different sound, closer to rock and country than to the same regional, which gives an idea of the band’s effort to present something fresh and original, but the curiosities within this piece do not end there.
“I better not even talk about Leticia, she did behave badly”is a phrase that is constantly repeated in the song, but the truth is that it is something that has been heard before within the genre, specifically in Pedro and Pablo of The Northern Tigers. In this piece, the Tigers narrate the story of two brothers, who after the death of their parents, one went to the United States to work (Pedro) and the other stayed to study to become a lawyer (Pablo). When they finally meet again after years, Pablo invites his older brother to dinner, to surprise her that he is now married to none other than Leticia, Pedro’s ex-girlfriend.
“It’s not that Pablo was bad/Or that he didn’t know how to appreciate/The sacrifice of his brother/That Pedro knew how to offer/I didn’t even speak of Leticia better/She did behave badly”, the Northern Tigers sing at the end of this song. This way, “El Licenciado” is a kind of continuation of the success of Los Tigres del Norte.
“It was going to be the song of any graduate”confesses Mike Monster of Los Vikingos del Norte in an interview with Infobae. “We always do this thing of adding certain words from other songs and putting them into our universe of stories. Later we saw that he was a graduate and we talked about Leticia and everything coincided ”. So far, it is not known if the song has reached the ears of the Tigers, but they will most likely welcome this fun tribute.
Another section that stands out in the piece is the inclusion of Juan Cirerolmusician who became famous for hits like Sold Faces and you are so cruel. By the time production began on the song, Cirerol was a bit missing from the music scene, but the Vikings didn’t have to fight long for him to agree to participate in the song. Graduate. This is how Mike Monster tells the story of how Cirerol joined the band for this song:
“We met Juan in Guadalajara, in some toquines that we had over there. We never had a chance to chat well or do anything together. A lot of time passed, but when we made this song, we felt that it suited Juan very well; we decided to invite him. Juan was not active in music but he ended up agreeing, recorded his part and sent it”.
Mike confessed that when Juan joined the band, the song was already finished; His particular tone of voice was only needed to give the piece more flavor, so Juan did not participate in its composition. Nevertheless, “I was inspired by his sound”.
Juan Cirerol is just one of the collaborations that fans of Los Vikingos del Norte will be able to find on their next album, and although these are still a mystery, the group is already looking to the future, confirming a new project in conjunction with samuel herrera, an artist who is beginning his path to success with a very particular sound that balances between folk and regional Mexican. In addition, in this desire to generate a unique sound that crosses the barrier of any genre, the band assured that one of the acts they would most like to work with would be the singer-songwriter from San Cugat del Vallés, Spain, Rosalía.
Almost a decade has had to pass for the band to return to the studio with an album. There have been various situations that the Vikings have had to experience to get to this point, but at the end of the day, all these circumstances have served to remain in force.
“We had a process where we had a manager and the opportunity came for them to finance the record,” Mike mentions about the different circumstances between the two record productions. “We ran out of a manager and we released singles trying to do what we could, but we never got to work on our own composition, we made very isolated songs and there wasn’t much activity to present these songs. Now, with a new administration, we got to work again and now with all the desire and attitude”.
Julián Vega, another of the band members, also adds that they focused on singles because the industry opted for this format for a long time, however, it seems that full-length albums are back on the rise.
And eight years apart Condemnation Radio and Nice beach What differences can fans find? What will be the new thing that The Vikings bring for this new era? This is Mike’s response:
“(The fans) are going to find the most artistic part of the Vikings of the North. It’s new music and it has a lot of variety, mixes of various genres and an expansion of our sounds; For example, the first single from the album was a bolero, it’s very varied, because, as the name indicates, the composition is focused on summer, the beach and parties. You can expect several surprises”.
To close this talk with a flourish, Los Vikingos del Norte shared their position on the close relationship between drug trafficking and the Mexican region. “It is the responsibility of the parents to explain to them that it is fiction. It is not a reality. As well as the movies. At the end of the day it is also culture”, says Julián, a little thoughtful about the subject. For his part, Mike believes that there is a responsibility on the part of the authors. “We must be very careful and take responsibility for what we say. It’s not like you automatically become a narco, but it’s something that you’re going to have in the subconscious”, says Mike about this topic that has created many debates for decades.