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Teen punk band The Linda Lindas on the food that fuels their music

It's not band practice without boba.
The Linda Lindas, from left: Lucia, Mila, Eloise and Bela. 
The Linda Lindas, from left: Lucia, Mila, Eloise and Bela. Zen Sekizawa

Sisters Lucia and Mila de la Garza, 15 and 11, respectively, their cousin Eloise Wong, 14, and friend Bela Salazar, 17, make up The Linda Lindas, a Los Angeles-based punk rock band that has made waves with the release of their viral anti-hate anthem "Racist, Sexist Boy." Since debuting the song in May 2021 live at the LA Public Library, they’ve taken the world by storm, continuing their education while creating and performing new music, including the theme to "Take Out with Lisa Ling" on HBO Max. In April, they released their first full-length album, "Growing Up," with Epitaph Records.

The Linda Lindas' "Growing Up" album cover.
The Linda Lindas' "Growing Up" album cover.The Linda Lindas

In a recent feature in The New York Times, they were asked if they had any pre-show rituals. Their reply? "Snacks."

From family-favorite meals from their Chinese American, Salvadorian American and Mexican American heritages to the treats that fuel them for rehearsals, we spoke with them about all things food along their journey to stardom. Whether they’re performing, touring or getting homework done, food remains more than a constant — it's a passion — for all four band members. Especially boba.

TODAY Food: Do you have a favorite weeknight meal?

Lucia: Chard soup, potato leek soup and Bethany’s (Cosentino, of the rock duo Best Coast) weird soup — similar to minestrone. You throw whatever you have around in it.

Mila: Spaghetti with red sauce at home.

Eloise: Anything with rice.

Bela: Plantains with refried beans, cactus and tortillas!

TF: What does a typical day of eating look like for you? 

Lucia: I usually don’t eat breakfast before going to school. And then I have fruit or granola for nutrition, and leftovers for lunch. I’ll have a snack when I come home from school, with boba if there’s band practice, and dinner can be almost anything.

Mila: Mine is pretty close to Lucia’s.

Eloise: I wake up too late to eat breakfast before going to school. Sometimes during nutrition I’ll eat school breakfast and then I’ll eat lunch that’s packed in the container I took from (Mila). Dinner is at home or with the band.

Bela: Eating crappy school lunch then yummy dinner.

TF: Is there anything you need to fuel you for a long day or rehearsal?

All: Boba.

Lucia: We eat a lot of snacks at band practice. Mila and Bela are usually responsible for choosing them.

Mila: Cheez-Its, pretzels, Japanese rice crackers, Japanese corn puff sticks, animal crackers, watermelon.

Eloise: I drink a lot of hot water. It makes me happy.

Bela: I feel like I eat more when I’m stressed.

TF: There was a lyric in your song, "Missing You," about missing having dinner at your grandmother’s house during the pandemic lockdown. What are your favorite dishes made by your families, or ones you miss eating?

Eloise: I especially like my popo’s steamed eggs, radish cakes, sesame balls, herbal drinks.

Lucia: Taco night with my grandfather and the macaroni and cheese my grandmother used to make.

Mila: And her stir-fried rice cakes.

Bela: I miss having Salvadoran French dip sandwiches!

TF: What’s your favorite thing to cook or bake?

Lucia: I like to bake coconut cookies, matcha cake, olive oil cake and other desserts, as well as waffles, pancakes and crepes.

Mila: I eat what (Lucia) cooks or bakes.

Eloise: I can kind of make tomato and egg, fried rice and tang yuan. That’s glutinous rice ball soup. I’ve baked Earl Grey cookies before, too.

Bela: I like to bake chocolate chip pumpkin loaves.

TF: Are there any books, movies or shows that make you hungry?

Eloise: "God of Cookery." Also, the "Miraculous Ladybug" episode with an apple galette.

Lucia: All shows and books that mention food. 

Mila: The movie "Ratatouille" and TV show "Take Out with Lisa Ling," which has a great theme song, by the way.

TF: Is there a food you always find yourself craving, or one you've been meaning to try?

Lucia: I often crave churros, cornbread and pho, but at separate times. 

Mila: I always crave tiramisu.

Eloise: I want to try an apple galette.

Bela: A jam bar from Destroyer in Culver City.

TF: Any go-to after-school snacks?

Mila: Apple.

Lucia: Frozen yogurt or smoothies.

Eloise: Whatever school gives me.

Bela: Limón Hot Cheetos.

TF: Does anyone in the group get hangry?

Eloise: We don’t get hangry because we’re constantly eating snacks or drinking boba.

Mila: But sometimes we get tired.

Bela: Not true, I get hangry! Haha!

TF: If you had to pick one, what would be your ultimate favorite comfort meal?

Eloise: Jook — Korean rice porridge.

Lucia: Pesto bowtie pasta, but not creamy.

Mila: Buttery, cheesy pasta.

Bela: I know this is horrible, but Kraft mac and cheese.

TF: Will food find its way into any of your new musical projects?

Bela: Hopefully!

Lucia: Maybe we’ll do a bake sale at one of our shows.

Eloise: Or put up a lemonade stand between recording and tours.

Mila: There’s a food fight in our next music video!

This interview has been edited and condensed.