With every headline these days centered on COVID-19, it’s easy to forget there are other things going on in the world. Let punk trio The Venomous Pinks’ latest song “Todos Unidos” remind you that the usual problems plaguing society – namely, the United States’ treatment of immigrants – have not gone away.
“Todos Unidos / never be divided / nuestra familia / we stand united,” they sing in Spanish and English, calling for listeners to support undocumented immigrants. Together, the three band members have parents and grandparents who have immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico, Colombia, and Palestine, and they wanted to make a statement in support of people in that situation today.
“People are fleeing from other countries to escape violence and poverty, hoping for asylum in the United States,” says the band’s drummer Cassie Jalilie. “The song was an artistic decision to encourage cultural unity. ‘Todos Unidos,’ which translates to ‘everyone together,’ demands listeners to stand up and fight against these political issues.”
The band felt particularly compelled to speak out against Trump’s threats to abolish DACA, as well as attacks on immigrants in their own communities. “We just want to use our platform to help people see what’s going on and become aware that the only change that’s going to happen is from us,” says Jalilie. “Even with the coronavirus, we’re still hearing about ICE raids going on, which is crazy because we’re in the middle of a global pandemic.”
She hopes the song inspires people to push for reform in immigration laws. “You have families being separated, locked up in cages, and that’s just not right,” she says. “We can put people in power who can change some of those things.”
The Mesa, Arizona-based Venomous Pinks — a name inspired by the pink ladies from Grease — just signed to Die Laughing Records. On their upcoming album, I Want You, the band also sings about the need for government transparency, making healthcare a human right, and race, gender, and economic equality. It’s not just their music that’s working toward good; they also volunteer for The Sidewalk Project, which brings art, music, and food to the homeless in Los Angeles and Phoenix.
As part of an all-female band, the members face their fair share of discrimination, but Jalilie is encouraged to have seen things changing since she and her bandmates started making music as teens. “Sometimes we feel like we constantly have to prove ourselves. You’re usually categorized, and people will underestimate us, but luckily, our music and performance speaks for itself,” she says. “Growing up, there were fewer women role models in the punk scene and even fewer female musicians our own age. Now, there are many publications run by and focusing on women in music. It’s not as uncommon to see women both on stage and in the pit.”
She hopes to start seeing even more women pursue their musical interests. “A lot of women will tell us ‘I wish I could play drums’ or ‘I’ve always wanted to play guitar,’ but they just didn’t really have the courage to do it,” she says. “We just want women to not be afraid to pick up the guitar and just play. There are no rules.”
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