Who are The Linda Lindas? The schoolgirl band going viral on the punk rock scene

The 'half-Asian, half-Latinx' quartet, championed by Demi Lovato and Drew Barrymore, gain prominence after a recent performance at a public library in Los Angeles

The Linda Lindas are making waves on the LA punk rock scene, following a performance at Cypress Park public library in LA, which went viral. Instagram
The Linda Lindas are making waves on the LA punk rock scene, following a performance at Cypress Park public library in LA, which went viral. Instagram

While the rock band debate will continue to rage about whether it’s better to play giant stadiums or more intimate venues, LA punk rock band The Linda Lindas threw out the rule book last week, after their performance at a Los Angeles library went viral.

Social media went wild for the all-female band, made up of four girls: Bela, 16; Lucia, 14; Eloise, 13; and Mila, 10. The young quartet describe themselves on social media as “half-Asian, half-Latinx. Sisters, cousins and friends who play music together because it’s fun”.

The band performed a handful of songs they’d written, including one called Racist, Sexist Boys, showing off not only their flair for social commentary amid a recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans in the US, but also their punk rock roots.

“A little while before we went into lockdown, a boy came up to me in my class and said that his dad told him to stay away from Chinese people,” Mila told the audience as she introduced the song.

“After I told him that I was Chinese, he backed away from me. Eloise and I wrote this song based on that experience.”

The performance was followed by a Q&A session at the Cypress Park Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library system.

“It was so much fun to play in a library where we got to be super loud, and in front of people that aren’t our parents!” the band wrote on Instagram. “We played for the first time, all six of our original songs and our covers for Moxie.”

The band first started playing together in 2018, starting off performing punk rock covers, and soon caught the attention of rock bands in the city, which has a long tradition of nurturing the genre, particularly when it comes to all-female bands.

The Linda Lindas soon found themselves opening for artists such as LA duo Best Coast, Beastie Boys collaborator Money Mark, and old-school punk groups including the Dils and Alley Cats. Kathleen Hanna from punk rock band Bikini Kill, who famously pioneered the riot grrrl sound of the 1990s, personally requested the band to open for them in 2019.

The Linda Lindas performance was filmed as part of the library's Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which has been supported by punk rock legends including Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello and Sonic Youth co-founder Thurston Moore.

Already followed on social media by Demi Lovato, Drew Barrymore and Olivia Munn, the quartet recently signed a record deal with Epitaph Records, but you might say punk rock and counter-culture is in their blood.

Mila’s father is Grammy-winning producer-engineer Carlos de la Garza, who has worked with many acts, including Paramore, and Eloise’s dad, Martin Wong, is the co-founder and editor of Giant Robot magazine, which celebrates Asian and Asian American popular culture.

Updated: May 25, 2021 02:55 PM

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