The Linda Lindas
over the weekend after their anti-hate anthem, "Racist
Sexist Boy," went viral on the internet. The all-girl garage punk
band spoke with Stardia about the song's origins and what it's been like to reach people
all over the world with it.
Mila, 10, her sister Lucia, 14, their cousin Eloise, 13, and their close friend Bela, 16, were heard by millions after the Los Angeles
Public Library shared a clip of their rousing performance at the Cypress Park branch to kick off Asian American Pacific Islander
Mila, the drummer, explained the song's inspiration: "A little while before we went into lockdown, a boy in my class came up to me and said that his father had told him to stay away from Chinese people. After I told him that I was Chinese, he backed away from me. Eloise and I wrote this song based on that experience."
According to Stardia, she and Eloise wrote the verse in the car shortly after their interaction last year.
“At first, I was perplexed and didn’t know how to respond,” Mila explained, “but after talking about it with my family and bandmates, I realized how messed up it was. Writing the song made me feel better, and I’m glad it makes other people feel better, too.”
Eloise, a seventh-grader who plays the bass, said she witnesses a lot of sexism
among her peers, such as when boys call each other "woman" as an insult or tell each other they throw like girls or "got beaten by a girl."
“It really stinks that people can be racist and sexist when we are young, and we want to prevent them from growing up to be racist and sexist adults.”
the full concert: https://t.co/Usv7HJ1lLR
pic.twitter.com/pKZ5TKDdiA — L.A. Public Library (@LAPublicLibrary) May 20, 2021
The girls are ecstatic about the attention their music
has received, but they acknowledge that it highlights a disappointing reality. Many commenters said the anthem hit home during the coronavirus pandemic
, as there has been an increase in anti-Asian
“The number of people who have seen it in just a few days is really shocking, and sometimes I still don’t believe it!” said Lucia, a guitarist. “The positive reaction makes us so happy, but it’s sad how many people can relate.”
The Linda Lindas signed with Epitaph Records not long after the song went viral, despite being in talks with the label for months.
Not only that, but riot grrrl legend Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill and Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello have both praised the band.
Hanna posted a cover of "Rebel Girl" by the Linda Lindas in 2019 with the caption: "When the cover surpasses the original." The Linda Lindas had opened for Bikini Kill at a reunion
show at the Hollywood
Bela, who primarily plays guitar but also sings with all of the band members, said it was wonderful to see people she admired posting her music, as well as “thousands of people who really feel this song.”
“However, it is also unfortunate that people have been mistreated,” she added.
The group has a self-titled EP that was released last year, as well as a 2020 single titled "Vote!" The EP includes an original song for the Netflix
documentary "The Claudia Kishi Club," which explores the importance of Asian representation
as demonstrated by the iconic Baby-Sitters Club character.
The kids are currently writing new songs and practicing for "whatever comes next," and their hundreds of thousands of fans, both new and old, are waiting with bated breath.