Linda Strawberry On Touring, Mormonism and Rebirth

LA-Singer Sweeter Than A Strawberry

Los Angeles-based musician Linda Strawberry spent nearly seven years on the road. She ran away from home at eighteen. She has toured with the Smashing Pumpkins as a sound engineer and appeared on Billy Corgan’s solo album. Her Mormon family fears for her soul and her brother’s a missionary in Indonesia. Think this 26-year old doesn’t have anything to say about home? Well, you’re wrong, because she’s got plenty to share.

Our editor and Strawberry spent two weeks trying to get in touch, but technical difficulties and swollen throats prevented a conversation until this weekend. Read what transpired, after the jump. Oh, and we’ve also included Strawberry’s track, “Fuck You, I’m Beautiful”.

Linda Strawberry: Hello?

Andrew Belonsky: Hello, is this Linda?

LS: Yes.

AB: Hi. It’s Andrew from Queerty.

LS: Hi! I’m so glad we could finally connect!

AB: How are you feeling today?

LS: A lot better. I may have a few coughing attacks while I’m talking to you, but I’m feeling much better.

AB: Let me ask you a question: where were you raised?

LS: U-tah! It was in Orem, Utah.

AB: That’s right. You were a Mormon, if I remember correctly.

LS: Yes.

AB: Tell me about that. How many sibling did you have?

LS: I have a small family in my extended family. My mom had six kids: three girls, three boys. I have about a hundred first cousins. My mom has eight brothers and sisters and my dad has seven – so, I think…I’m not really sure. There are so many aunts and uncles, I lose track.

AB: What was it like growing up with so many cousins and siblings? Did you feel like you got lost in the shuffle?

LS: Well, there are so many kids in Utah that you have to work really hard to stand out, especially because all the kids are overachievers, for the most part, because of the culture. Everyone plays instruments, everyone’s trying really hard. There are not that many outside influences. I also have two sisters with disabilities, so with all their medical problems, I was really just the invisible one that took care of the kids. It wasn’t until I got into high school when I started to play my music and perform that I started to get any attention at all. I was the quiet one. I was really, really quiet, if you can believe it.

AB: I can’t believe it.

LS: No one can believe it now! Even when I was working for Billy [Corgan] – I was eighteen through twenty-one – I was really quiet. I was just an engineer. I was in the background, so I didn’t really talk that often. I came out of my shell when I was twenty-two.

AB: How did that happen?

LS: I had my heart massively broken for the first time. I fell in love and it was just such a huge mess – a chaotic breakup. I came back to LA and I was completely on my own for the first time. I could create a whole new identity without anyone having pre-judgments of me. I was able to figure out who that was. When I started being creative and letting myself make art and music, it naturally came out.

This here’s Strawberry’s aforementioned song, “Fuck You, I’m Beautiful”.