Rock

Viral Teen Punks The Linda Lindas Sign to Epitaph Records: 'Now It Feels We Can Actually Make a Difference'

The Linda Lindas
Jess Cowan*

The Linda Lindas

Viral Los Angeles teen sensation The Linda Lindas have officially signed to iconic punk label Epitaph Records, and have also booked their first late-night TV gig. The independent label -- home to 1-2-3-4 stalwarts such as Bad Religion, Rancid, The Offspring, Pennywise and dozens of others -- announced the news on Thursday (May 27), a week after a video of  the band's raging original about confronting high school xenophobia and sexism, "Racist, Sexist Boy," exploded on YouTube.

According to a release, Epitaph approached guitarist-singer Lucia, 14, an eighth grader ("Linda No. 3"); bassist-singer Eloise, 13, a seventh grader ("Linda Linda No. 2); fifth grade drummer-singer Mila, 10 ("Linda Linda No. 4); and guitarist-singer Bela, 16, a junior ("Linda Linda No. 1") several months before their daytime set at the Los Angeles Public Library blew up. The socially conscious group's music quickly earned the attention and thumbs-ups from a number of major supporters, including Paramore's Hayley Williams, the Roots' Questlove, Silversun Pickups, Bikini Kill's Kathleen Hanna, the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea and Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello.

"With their explosive and authentic collision of garage-punk, power-pop, and new wave, The Linda Lindas are an exciting new addition to the Epitaph roster," the label said. Singer Lucia added, "Epitaph offered us full creative control and they’re really supportive of what we want to do as a band. We’re really happy about signing with them, and we can’t wait to put out more music."

The band formed in 2018 and first performed together when former Dum Dum Girls singer Kristin Kontrol invited them to play some covers for a Girlschool LA showcase, after which they formed the band and began booking DIY gigs around their hometown, opening for punk legend Alice Bag and reunited riot grrrl band Bikini Kill in 2019 at the Hollywood Palladium.

The quartet self-released their self-titled debut EP in December 2020 and had a cameo in Amy Poehler's early 2021 coming-of-age comedy Moxie! Their May 4 40-minute set and interview at the Cypress Branch of the L.A. Public Library included "Racist, Sexist Boy," as well original songs "Claudia Kishi" (for the 2020 Netflix short doc about the Japanese-American character from The Baby-Sitters Club), a track about missing their friends during the pandemic ("Missing"), the poppy rave-up "Never Say Never," a song about the guitarist Bela's cat ("Monica"), the bouncy "No Clue" and covers of Bikini Kill's iconic anthem "Rebel Girl" and The Muffs' "Big Mouth."

The two singles and an EP for sale on their Bandcamp page were produced and mixed by Grammy-winning producer Carlos de la Garza (Paramore, Bad Religion), who also happens to be Mila's dad.

"We knew the song would get a good reaction, but we never imagined this,” Eloise said about the explosive reaction to "Racist, Sexist Boy" that helped blast them into the public consciousness, and rack up more than 622,000 views to date on the video. “Even though we started the band for fun, now it feels we can actually make a difference with what we’re doing.”

Lucia added, “People have reached out to us from all over the world — we get a lot of messages from little girls, but we also get messages from grandmothers. We always hope that the music we put out will inspire other young girls, but we also want it to make anyone feel like they can do anything, no matter what age they are.”

The band are working on new music and will make their national TV debut on June 3 on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Watch "Racist, Sexist Boy" below.