Anti-hate anthem: Linda Lindas go viral with teen punk song “Racist, Sexist Boy”
“I hope the song will empower the oppressed,” said Eloise, who sings the chorus of the song, which she co-wrote with Mila (and in her dedicated library performance to “all the other boys racist and sexist in the world. “) She added,” It’s good because I scream in it a lot – all the anger that’s building up is good to let it out. It’s really fun to play. “
“The song lets people know they’re not alone,” added Mila, who plays drums while shouting her section: “You say mean things / And you close your mind to things you don’t. don’t like / You turn away from what you I don’t want to see!
The Linda Linda’s raw talent, fully on display for their AAPI Heritage Month show at the library, had already caught the attention of the music industry long before they went mega-viral.
The girls started performing together in 2018, as part of a pickup group for a Girlschool LA festival, where they hooked up with Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast and Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The girls’ families have ties to the industry: Mila and Lucia’s father is Carlos de la Garza, a Grammy-winning mixer and engineer for Paramore and Best Coast. And Eloise’s dad is Martin Wong, who co-founded Asian-American pop culture magazine Giant Robot.
“We have nice parents,” said Lucia, sitting in her backyard in Los Angeles, which also houses their father’s studio.
“I grew up with the DIY culture of punk, going to punk shows, doing mixtapes – with the idea that anyone can do anything,” said Eloise, who is finishing her seventh year. “Punk is whatever we want it to be. I like to do it on my own because that’s how you feel. It doesn’t have to be a certain way.
When they started playing, only Bela could play rock and punk, although the three young musicians studied classical piano. They quickly got over their inexperience and started booking concerts, playing Save Music in Chinatown, and then opening act for LA punk legend Alice Bag. During one of their first shows, Mila had a broken thumb as a result of a scooter accident, but it didn’t stop her; she played the drums with one hand.
Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill fell in love with the group after covering Rebel Girl, and the singer invited the Linda Lindas to open for them during a reunion concert at the Hollywood Palladium in 2019. The Linda Lindas – whose last name was inspired by a 2005 Japanese film, in which high school girls learn Linda Linda, a song by the Blue Hearts – then performed an original song for a Netflix documentary, The Claudia Kishi Club.
“We started three years ago and it was just a fun thing – then we were like, ‘Woah, we just played at the Hollywood Palladium!’ And then we were like, ‘Woah, we were just in a movie!’ And now we’re viral, ”Lucia said. “It’s weird.”
“When I entered school to get my phone book, people were clapping,” said Bela, a high school student. She is the only member of the group to be on social media, so she has relayed their viral growth to others. Bela is also in the middle of the finals: “I still have a project that I haven’t finished, and I’m like, am I doing it? Is not it? I’m really grateful that this is happening, but I kinda wish it had happened next week.
The girls had a number of live shows last year that were canceled due to Covid. They played in one of their backyards on Halloween, although a neighbor called the police about them. Mila said she was initially confused by the incident that inspired their song, but when she discussed it with her family, she began to understand the meaning of the hateful comment.
“I realized how rotten it was. It was good writing the song… It made us feel better, ”said Mila, recounting a first five hour writing session where she was trying to play bass for the first time and became frustrated to the point. ‘to tears.
“I remember I was like, ‘Do you want to stop or take a break?’ And she said to me: ‘No!’ Eloise said.
The chorus of “racist and sexist boy” came easily and they pushed to finalize the rest of the song towards the end of the presidential election. “We wanted to use our voice for people who don’t have one,” Mila said.
Initially the song was called Idiotic Boy and was about “stupid and stupid” boys, but the girls said they learned about ableism and how that language can hurt.
“The song was to fight racist and sexist boys, but we didn’t want to be racist and sexist boys,” Eloise said. “So we changed the words.”
“We did less about intelligence and more about being a bully,” added Lucia. “We wanted to tell a story about something that actually happened to a nine year old girl – so it becomes impossible to ignore it.”
The reaction was overwhelming: “People feel heard. It’s pretty cool to see the thousands of people in our DMs telling us that it really touched them, ”Bela said.
The girls said they didn’t know if the boy who inspired the song heard it; he didn’t apologize. But that didn’t matter to them.
“It’s not about him anymore. It’s about getting better, it’s about educating people on what not to do, it’s about making sure we all get better. We’re not perfect, ”said Lucia.
“Don’t be racist or sexist, even if you’re not a boy. Don’t be homophobic. Don’t be a bad person.
“Don’t be able,” Mila added.
Her drum kit has now become a permanent fixture in the living room: “She can let it out all the time,” Lucia said of her sister.
Girls don’t like it when people call them “cute” and Lucia said she sometimes wonders how long their fame will last. “Do people love us just because we’re young and girls and we’re Asian and Latin? What Happens When We Get Old? “
“I’m still in denial about what’s going on and pessimistic, and I guess I feel like it’s going to end. But we have had a lot of fun the last few days. So I’m like, let’s take advantage of it, ”continued Lucia, who is starting high school in the fall. “And we will write more songs and we will continue.”