‘I’m so glad you guys exist!’ Carrie Brownstein meets the Linda Lindas | Punk

In Might, the US punk band the Linda Lindas went viral with a efficiency of their no-holds-barred monitor Racist, Sexist Boy. Written in response to a real-life incident by which drummer Mila de la Garza was racially harassed by a classmate, the track alternates between sludgy punk and brisk, hardcore thrash, topped with cathartic, defiant lyrics: “You might have racist, sexist joys / We rebuild what you destroy.” What made the efficiency much more hanging was its setting among the many often hushed bookshelves of the Los Angeles Public Library.

On the again of that viral hit (presently at 4.3m views on Twitter), the teenage Los Angeles quartet – Mila and her sister Lucia (guitar), their cousin Eloise Wong (bass), and longtime pal Bela Salazar (guitar) – have signed to Epitaph Data, recorded their debut album, due in 2022, and launched a quick, and snappily titled, punk-pop single Oh!.

The latter isn’t a canopy of the 2002 track of the identical identify by Sleater-Kinney, the revered riot grrrl and indie rock band fronted by powerhouse guitarist-vocalists Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein. Nevertheless, just like the Linda Lindas, Sleater-Kinney have all the time discovered solace in self-empowerment, and favoured stirring lyrics about actual life considerations, from psychological well being points to feeling marginalised resulting from their gender. As such, Brownstein – whom you might also know as one of many creators of riotous hipster satire Portlandia – seems like the right particular person to pair with the Linda Lindas for a cross-generational dialog.

The youthful band’s pleasure over their burgeoning profession (their eldest member, Bela, is 17, whereas youngest member Mila continues to be solely 11) is infectious: at one level, Eloise and Lucia exhibit the coordinated kick they used to carry out on stage whereas masking X-Ray Spex’s Germ Free Adolescents. They usually’re clearly thrilled to be in dialog with a punk rock pioneer. The sensation is mutual: close to the tip of the chat, the band collectively and spontaneously launch into a strong rendition of Blissful Birthday for Brownstein, who has simply turned 47. “You’re going to make me cry,” she responds, clearly touched.

Fast Information

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Carrie Brownstein What have the previous few months been like for you, post-LA Public Library social media explosion? Describe the way you’ve been feeling and a few of the highlights.

Mila de la Garza It’s been enjoyable, thrilling and overwhelming on the identical time.

Bela Salazar The day that all the things was occurring, it was very surreal to see. It’s all occurring on a digital … you recognize, like on our telephones.

Mila It doesn’t actually really feel actual.

Bela Yeah, it’s very surreal, as a result of we haven’t precisely skilled all the things that comes with this but.

Lucia de la Garza It feels prefer it’s been occurring so quick. However, on the identical time, the library occasion appears so way back. After we bought the provide to play the general public library, we had been sort of confused. We had been like: “Oh, let’s do that. It’s gonna be enjoyable.”

The Linda Lindas on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
The Linda Lindas on Jimmy Kimmel Dwell! {Photograph}: Randy Holmes/ABC/Getty

Eloise Wong And we love the library. We use it lots.

Mila I’m going to the library day by day after college.

Eloise It’s cool as a result of it wasn’t deliberate out. I really feel like in your profession a variety of issues have occurred, the place it wasn’t deliberate out. And also you’ve achieved a lot! Are you able to speak about simply letting issues occur and going with stuff?

Carrie Brownstein.
Carrie Brownstein. {Photograph}: Gus Stewart/Redferns

Carrie Within the 90s, clearly there wasn’t social media. However there have been these rock-critic gatekeepers who actually knowledgeable what folks listened to. A few essential critics, Robert Christgau and Greil Marcus, began writing about us. Robert Christgau got here to our present at a tiny liberal arts school on the east coast. We performed to, like, 10 folks and he wrote this large piece on us within the Village Voice. Rapidly, Time journal named us greatest rock band in America. And nobody knew who we had been. I keep in mind [on] a kind of morning exhibits [NBC’s The Today show], the host, Bryant Gumbel, was like: “Who’s Sleater-Kinney?” We simply couldn’t imagine it.

I feel it’s thrilling when it’s not deliberate, as a result of on the finish of the day, it’s nonetheless your band and your pals. While you’re writing, you don’t know that persons are listening. After which swiftly [for you guys], it’s like all these eyes are on you. Does that change what you’re writing about? Or do you continue to really feel that freedom to put in writing and do no matter you need?

Lucia We initially began the band as a result of it was enjoyable. We weren’t like: “Oh, that is gonna be a profession for us.” We weren’t anticipating that. We weren’t anticipating to be right here speaking to you. [Laughs]

Carrie I didn’t count on this, both. I’m joyful to be speaking to you. And Amy Poehler [who used the Linda Lindas’ music in her high-school comedy Moxie] and Jimmy Kimmel [who invited the band to appear on his late-night talkshow]. I imply, it’s like checking off an inventory.

Lucia And [riot grrrl pioneer] Kathleen Hanna: Oh my God!

Mila They’re all so good.

Bela All people’s been tremendous cool.

Carrie What had been every of you listening to rising up?

Bela Their [Mila, Lucia and Eloise’s] households had been listening to much more punk, and I grew up listening to a variety of Latin music or Speaking Heads. It was two various things that don’t join in any respect.

Lucia That helps steadiness our band lots. We grew up going to exhibits since we had been little …

Eloise My mother and father placed on these punk exhibits for my college’s music programme. So we had been all the time going to these. And there was all the time a document on in my home and we had been always making mixtapes. I used to be, like, surrounded by punk.

Carrie On a track like Racist, Sexist Boy, what’s your relationship to anger and people sort of feelings? Was punk a manner so that you can entry a few of these darker feelings which can be much less accredited of in school, as an illustration?

Carrie Brownstein (left) and Corin Tucker in Sleater-Kinney.
Carrie Brownstein (left) and Corin Tucker in Sleater-Kinney. {Photograph}: Steve Jennings/WireImage

Bela I really feel prefer it’s a wholesome outlet to launch these feelings. Typically I’ve just a little little bit of a brief mood. [She looks at bandmates] I don’t know if I ever do with you guys. However I get mad lots. In order that helps not less than me lots to not get actually indignant. It helps to calm me down.

Carrie What about you, Mila? While you had been writing that track, did you are feeling indignant? Or was it written with a way of humour? What was the strategy while you wrote it versus while you sing it now? Does it really feel completely different to sing it now?

Mila It does really feel completely different singing it now than after we wrote it. Now, it’s enjoyable to sing, since you get to scream and yell.

Bela We will additionally see that we’re not alone in our feelings. There’s a variety of different folks that really feel the identical manner or have been handled the identical manner.

Eloise Earlier than it was an indignant factor, the place we had been indignant, so we had been writing the track. And now it’s extra of a being proud factor, as a result of so many individuals have heard it and relate to it. It’s grown into one thing extra constructive.

Carrie Clearly, you’ve got a variety of followers now on social media. I positively know older persons are followers, however are your schoolmates your followers, too?

Bela I didn’t know the demographic of who had been our followers. However then after we performed our present, it was actually cool to see that there have been a variety of younger youngsters on the present.

Lucia It’s a variety of, like, youthful youngsters and older folks. Sorry, un-younger. [Laughs]

Carrie I’m effective with the phrase “older”.

Lucia Adults. That’s the phrase. Adults and little ones … What’s your favorite factor about touring, and what’s your least favorite factor about touring?

Carrie My favorite factor is the exhibits, and being in entrance of individuals and attending to see the followers and work together with them. There’s nothing prefer it. Least favorite factor isn’t having my canine there, lacking folks and never sleeping in my very own mattress.

Lucia Lodge beds are simply not the identical. They all the time appear so fluffy however they’re not the identical.

Carrie You simply by no means sleep as nicely. However, truthfully, I don’t remorse touring. I began touring once I was just a little bit older than you, however I used to be nonetheless solely 19. And I beloved it. It’s such a method to realise that there’s so many great folks on the market which can be preventing for a similar issues and are simply right here for the resistance and right here to like music. I feel you guys might be so amazed at what number of followers you’ve got out on the planet, and what number of likeminded persons are on the market who’re compassionate and type and superior. I simply couldn’t be extra excited for you.

And likewise there’s this reduction that I’ve. You all the time wish to really feel like: Oh, thank goodness, the subsequent technology … You guys aren’t even the subsequent technology; you’re like three generations beneath me. However I’m so glad that you just exist.

The Linda Lindas’ single Oh! is out now

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