While grappling with the events of the last two years, many of us have felt a sense of longing for the experiences we lost when locked up inside. It’s felt especially poignant for the younger generation who have lost more than a year of what’s supposed to be the best time of their lives. Yet for The Linda Lindas, even if there wasn’t much they could do with their band by way of performing, the pandemic still afforded them the chance to make something more of themselves by practicing and improving their songwriting, mitigating the sense of loss for their school years. “Being in lockdown was super-stressful at times because it was kind of scary. We never got to see our families. We couldn’t see each other,” recalls Lucia. “But we’re coming out of the pandemic as better musicians, and that’s invaluable.”
But even before COVID-19 reached American shores, the girls were growing up in rather controversial circumstances thanks to the Trump administration, and the man in the White House who branded Mexicans people as criminals, drug dealers and rapists, and referred to COVID-19 as ‘the Chinese virus’. “There was certainly something every day, that’s for sure,” nods Bela.
It proved pivotal to forming the perspectives that these young women had on the world, which they have shared through their music. It was partly why they wrote Racist, Sexist Boy, which they finished during the throes of the 2020 presidential election that finally saw Trump removed from office. It became an antidote to the sense of powerlessness that they felt, knowing that they were profoundly affected by who their country had chosen for as a leader, but unable to do anything about it because they were (and still are) too young to vote. Adults presumed that they were too young to really be affected by political rhetoric and decision making, but they knew that it couldn’t be further from the truth. “Some people think that because we don’t understand what’s going on, but we see it every day. We understand it,” says Mila. “But if we don’t understand something, we want it explained to us, because we want to understand.”
They might not have had the ability to vote, but at least they have music. And those burning feelings inspired the four punks to write early single Vote!, a rousing yet fun call to the ballot box that made their voices heard in a different sense, as well as encouraging others who are able to vote to do so. This is, in essence, everything The Linda Lindas are about. It forms the backbone of their mission statement, that everybody’s voice is important, no matter their race, gender or age, and that no-one is too small to make a difference. “Whatever you have to say, you should say and be proud of it,” asserts Lucia. “There’s something inside all of us that is really special. I hope that people find inspiration from us.”