Punk-rock band the Linda Lindas could also be enjoying exhibits everywhere in the nation (and in Mexico and Canada), however after they’re not performing, they’re additionally not partying or dwelling the glamorous musician life-style. As a substitute, they’re doing homework.
“Backstage, we’ll simply be, like, doing math homework, or writing our essays on the airplane,” band member Lucia de la Garza advised NBC Information.
The 4 members of the Linda Lindas are all nonetheless youngsters or youthful: The youngest is 12 years previous, and the oldest is eighteen.
“We’re not grown-ups,” de La Garza, 15, mentioned.
To which her fellow band member Bela Salazar, who simply turned 18, responded, “I technically am.”
Mila de la Garza, 12, chimed in, “You’re a grown-up legally, however you’re not grown up.”
Eloise Wong, 15, made an X along with her arms in help.
That notion of being in course of, and nonetheless studying concerning the world and themselves, permeates the band’s debut album, “Rising Up.”
The group, whose members are from Los Angeles and are Asian American and Latinx, is taking the album on tour. On Saturday, they’re set to play the Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, New York, with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Japanese Breakfast. There are additionally stops scheduled for the West Coast — in cities comparable to Los Angeles and Las Vegas — and one in Mexico.
An album, a tour and gigs with Karen O are a good distance from their ad-hoc origins as an after-school cowl band.
“We by no means sat down and had been like, ‘ what? We must be a band,’” Lucia de la Garza mentioned. “It type of simply occurred.”
Mila and Lucia de la Garza are siblings. Wong is their cousin, and Salazar is a household good friend.
In truth, the members of the Linda Lindas didn’t assume they’d be musicians after they grew up (although Mila and Lucia de la Garza’s father is Grammy-winning producer Carlos de la Garza). Salazar wished to develop into a physician, Wong wished to be a paleontologist, and Mila de la Garza (the youngest and most playful of the group) wished to be “Olaf from ‘Frozen.’ Nothing however good instances.”
“Being captivated with an artwork kind isn’t essentially the most protected profession possibility,” Lucia de la Garza added.
The Linda Lindas’ first gig was with the Dum Dum Ladies in 2018, when Kristin Kontrol invited native ladies to play along with her at a live performance known as Girlschool L.A. From there, the band started enjoying at native gigs in Chinatown, and earlier than lengthy, their profile elevated. They opened for Bikini Kill, Alice Bag, Cash Mark, the Dils and Alley Cats. Amy Poehler reached out to them to carry out a mashup of Bikini Kill’s “Insurgent Lady” and The Muffs’ “Huge Mouth” in her movie “Moxie.”
But it surely wasn’t till 2021 that the Linda Lindas went mainstream. Their efficiency of their tune “Racist, Sexist Boy” filmed on the Los Angeles Public Library for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month went viral. Mila de la Garza and Wong wrote the tune, and it was impressed by an incident the place a boy in Mila’s class advised her to steer clear of Chinese language folks due to Covid-19. After she advised him that she was half Chinese language, he backed away from her.
It was cool that what began out as a really indignant tune was such a strong, like, let’s all be indignant collectively.
Lucia de la Garza
“Racist, Sexist Boy” comprises a mixture of anger (“Riffraff! Jerkface!”) and defiance (“We rebuild what you destroy”). After the video went viral, the Linda Lindas carried out on “Jimmy Kimmel Dwell.” They usually bought a cope with Epitaph Data, which makes a speciality of punk-rock bands.
“We didn’t anticipate it to be that widespread,” Lucia de la Garza mentioned. “But it surely was cool that what began out as a really indignant tune was such a strong, like, let’s all be indignant collectively.”
For Wong, who wrote the tune with Mila de la Garza in a day, the widespread embrace of that tune and of the Linda Lindas made her really feel much less alone, particularly in the course of the pandemic, when the band members had been remoted and he or she was going to high school through Zoom.
“Though we’re simply 4 folks, we will truly make a distinction,” Wong mentioned. “Folks truly care about what we wish to say. Folks may truly be listening. And it’s type of cool to know that. That we kind of matter.”
On “Rising Up,” the band wrote their very own songs, performed their very own devices and took turns singing. The songs are impressed by occasions within the band members’ lives, comparable to a bullying incident that impressed the opening monitor, “Oh!”; their private emotions, comparable to feeling invisible within the tune “Magic”; or extra whimsical sources, like Salazar’s cat within the tune “Nino.”
Most youngsters can be mortified at their innermost ideas spilling out in public. However for the Linda Lindas, having one another for help has given every of them braveness not solely to report these songs, but in addition to carry out them in public.
“We’ve to share the songs with one another first,” Wong mentioned. “As soon as we share the songs with one another, I believe that it’s simpler to share with everybody else, since you’ve already type of damaged that movie.”
It is OK if I mess up. Like, that’s punk rock.
Lucia de la Garza
To Mila de la Garza, having the ability to see her songs resonate with different folks has helped alleviate a few of her personal self-consciousness.
“It was positively scary at first,” she mentioned. “But it surely’s additionally type of cool as a result of that there are going to be different those who relate to it, too.”
Most of the songs on “Rising Up” had been written by particular person members, however the band labored collectively to create an association. The group has an open, collaborative atmosphere the place each member can convey of their personalities and creativity. “If you happen to give you one thing, you are able to do it,” Salazar mentioned.
It’s that playful atmosphere that has additionally allowed the band members to discover ways to play their devices, and make errors alongside the way in which. Salazar and Lucia de la Garza play guitar, Mila de la Garza performs drums, and Wong performs bass. Except for Salazar, who had been taking guitar classes earlier than she grew to become a member of the Linda Lindas, the opposite members had by no means performed their devices earlier than they joined the band. Mila was positioned on drums as a result of her palms weren’t large enough to deal with a guitar. And Wong performed bass as a result of it was the one instrument left over when she confirmed as much as apply.
Not solely are the Linda Lindas rising as folks, they’re rising as musicians as effectively. However they’re additionally sensible and self-aware: The title monitor on “Rising Up” is a reminder to them, and to listeners, that they’re nonetheless younger, and to benefit from the second and never take every part so significantly.
“I get on stage and I simply have enjoyable,” Lucia de la Garza mentioned. “And it’s OK if I mess up. Like, that’s punk rock.”