The Linda Lindas serve spectacular side-eye to the patriarchy Live From KCRW’s Annenberg Performance Studio.
All photos by Sophie Weil.

The Linda Lindas: KCRW Live from HQ

Intimate performances, fresh sounds, and candid conversations with a view.

LA grrrls The Linda Lindas broke through the malaise of COVID shut-downs in 2021 with a mega-viral video of them performing their song “Racist, Sexist Boy” inside the LA Public Library. It all escalated quickly from there — late night talk show appearances, a record deal with legendary punk label Epitaph — who released their debut LP Growing Up in 2022 — and stents opening for the likes of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Blondie, and, most recently, Paramore. All of this — and more — before most of the band turned 18.

Naturally, a session at KCRW HQ was in order. Sisters Lucia (16) and Mila (12) de la Garza, their cousin Eloise Wong (15), and mutual friend Bela Salazar (18) apply their full-throated, eviscerating punk energy to album cuts “Oh,” “Nino,” and “Talking To Myself.” They also hit us with their latest standalone single “Too Many Things,” and tear the house down with an especially guttural rendition of the track that set it all off, “Racist, Sexist Boy.”

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KCRW’s Annenberg Performance Studio turned up for an extremely all-ages crowd, many of whom were attending their first-ever concert (which also included opening sets from the two members of KCRW’s Young Creators Project Class of ‘23 — The Treedome, and Forsythia). Click in now to feel the infectious energy radiating through your screen, and read and listen on as the Linda Lindas break down claiming space, dancing in the wings while Blondie soundchecks, and writing songs about their cats. 

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The following interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

KCRW: How did the four of you start playing together?

Mila de la Garza: Lucia and I are sisters, Eloise is our cousin, and Bella, we know because our moms work together. And we've all been surrounded by creativity all of our lives. Our parents are just all really creative people, and so we grew up listening to all these cool bands and going to a lot of shows. And so we got influenced by that, but the story of how we each chose our instruments — that's a good one. 

Bella already played guitar. And Lucia had a guitar, but I don't think you ever really learned how to play until the band started. Same with me, I had a drum kit but I didn't really use it much. My hands were also too small at the time to play guitar or bass so I was kind of stuck with drums. Eloise's hands are a lot smaller than mine [now], but  Eloise got stuck with bass. 

Eloise Wong: It’s a good instrument to be stuck with. 

You mentioned growing up hearing a lot of cool bands, and going to cool shows. Can you give us some names?

Eloise: We started playing these benefit shows that were put on for my school's music program. We'd see bands [there] like Adolescents, Alice Bag, Phranc, The Gears…

Bela Salazar: My first concert was The Go-Go’s.

Lucia de la Garza: One of the first bands we saw together was Blondie … and a few months ago we opened for them the Greek Theatre. I'm still speechless about it. Because oh my god, it was such a good show. They're still putting on shows. And she [Debbie Harry], she's still doing it. And the whole band is so great. We were dancing the whole time.

Bela: She was wearing these super sick leather shorts. I hope I can wear leather shorts when I'm that age, and be able to move around like she was. That was awesome.

Eloise: And [Blondie’s current bassist] Glen Matlock and [drummer] Clem Burke — that's just like such a good combination. It was so tight.

Bela:  We got to watch their soundcheck from the side stage and dance around. It was like, the most incredible thing ever. 

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What would your advice be to up and coming artists?

Eloise: Whatever you do, just go for it. Don't wait to be perfect, don't wait to have mastered it, or whatever. Because when we started, we were terrible. [Laughs] We didn't know how to play our instruments, and we're still not great at our instruments… But just just go for it, and have fun with what you do. Do what you love, do it with friends, whatever you want, you know?

Bela:  I know that there's so many artists and people out there, but don't feel discouraged. Because I feel like we live in such a great world right now … it’s more open to express your art, which is awesome. But also, don't be discouraged by how many artists and people there are in this world. There's space for you.

What can you tell us about your songwriting process?

Bela: When we wrote our first [Self-titled] EP, it was during the pandemic. We didn't really know how to write music so we all kind of wrote our own songs separately. When we released the album [2022’s Growing Up], we were able to get back together so we learned to collaborate and write together.

I think the thing that's really cool about our songs [is that they’re] the day to day of what is going on in our lives. I wrote two songs about my cats, which is ridiculous, but they’re a part of my life so I think that's really important. It's just that it's real, day to day stuff — crap that we deal with. I feel like it's not forced, it's very natural, which is cool.

Where do you see yourselves in five years?

Bela: This is not a brag thing, but we've accomplished a lot of the things that we've dreamed about at such a young age which is so wild. And I just hope that we can continue making new dreams, and accomplishing new things. 

Eloise: Hopefully we're still  having fun with what we do because that's why we do it. It’s why we're in the band.

Credits:

KCRW Music Director and Interviewer: Anne Litt
Director / Editor : Angie Scarpa
Director of Photography : Vice Cooler
Camera Operators : Vice Cooler, Angie Scarpa, Matt Smith, Henry Carter
Executive Producer: Ariana Morgenstern
Interview Editor: Myke Dodge Weiskopf 
Event Producer: Liv Surnow
Producer: Anna Chang
Lighting Design: Jason Groman
Art Director: Evan Solano
Digital Producer: Andrea Domanick

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