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Linda Lindas To Share Living Room Performance At Korean Punk Festival

The LA Punk quartet who went viral after library performance, to perform virtually at Korean Music Festival this weekend!

When the Korean Pentaport Rock Festival started in 2006, three of the four members of one of its most-anticipated bands for this year weren’t even born yet.

The Linda Lindas sadly won’t be travelling to Korea for this year’s Pentaport, which is being held with a mix of live, in-person events and online streaming. The four-member punk band, whose members range in age from 11 to 17, taped a live performance in a living room for broadcast this Sunday.

“Hopefully we’ll play there in person one day!” bassist-vocalist Eloise Wong, 13, told The Korean Times.

The Linda Lindas pose with their face masks off. / Courtesy of Albert Licano
The Linda Lindas pose with their face masks off. / Courtesy of Albert Licano

Despite pandemic restrictions, the all-girl band became an international sensation this year, especially after a video went viral of their performance at Los Angeles Public Library in May for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.

The Linda Lindas’ music is aggressive, energetic, with influences from garage punk, power pop and riot grrrl, and they are breathing new life into a genre that people have been declaring dead since the 1970s.

“(Punk) has a long history, and it started as young people trying to change music,” Lucia  (guitar, vocals) said. “And that appeals to us and it appeals to people of all ages.”

“Punk is for everyone,” Bela (guitars, vocals),  added.

Maybe not literally everyone, looking at their fateful broadcast, which featured the aggressive anthem against discrimination, Racist, Sexist Boy.”

Eagle Rock: Center For the Arts -- February 21, 2020 Photo by Matt Cowan
Eagle Rock: Center For the Arts — February 21, 2020 Photo by Matt Cowan

While introducing the song, Mila (drums, vocals) shared a story about a classmate whose dad told him to stay away from Chinese people, shortly before the pandemic hit. “After I told him that I was Chinese, he backed away from me,” she said in the video. “Eloise and I wrote this song based on that experience.”

“So this is about him and all the other racist, sexist boys in this world!” Eloise (bass, guitars, lead vocals) shouted, and the band launched into the iconic performance.

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As well as “Racist, Sexist Boy” exposing the prejudices they’ve encountered, she pointed out “Missing You” on their debut four-song mini-album, released last December. The song’s lyrics talk about how they’ve been missing their friends during the pandemic: “Here I sit in my house feeling so blue I’m missing you.”

But the song also contains a happy message, as they sing, “Yet now I have time to learn to crochet, reading books all day long, and making noodles to stuff my face, even writing new songs.”

“I feel like the pandemic gave us time to think and write songs,” Bela said. “And our lives haven’t changed as much because of it. We’ve been able to build up to it and get used to it.”

“We haven’t played that many shows and are really looking forward to performing the songs we’ve written during the pandemic,” Lucia said.

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Korea’s own punk scene is a far cry from what the Linda Lindas are used to, with the average age closer to 31 than 13 as young people are more and more attracted to K-pop idol groups.

“I don’t know much about K-pop, but the Slant record is great!” Eloise said.

We’d love to play with Korean punk bands!” Lucia said.

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