Girl in a Coma
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Girl in a Coma

San Antonio, Texas, United States | INDIE

San Antonio, Texas, United States | INDIE
Band Alternative Rock

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Aug
28
Girl in a Coma @ The Paramount Theatre

Austin, Texas, USA

Austin, Texas, USA

Aug
27
Girl in a Coma @ House of Blues

Houston, Texas, USA

Houston, Texas, USA

Aug
26
Girl in a Coma @ House of Blues Dallas

Dallas, Texas, USA

Dallas, Texas, USA

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'Both Before I'm Gone', the debut album by Girl in a Coma, a San Antonio trio, is a raucous, frolicking good time reminiscent of early Blondie, with pop-y hooks, dense instrumentation and infectious lyrics. The result is an addictive sound that leaves you wanting one more song and then another.

The formula has proved successful. Nina and Phanie Diaz (sisters), joined by Jenn Alva on bass, have toured with Frank Black, the Epoxies, the Start and most recently have opened for the Pogues.

Small wonder why: Nina Diazâ' voice crawls under your skin and gnaws on your bones, demanding attention. Drummer Phanie Diaz is relentless, providing an energizing beat that prompts you to get out of your seat and do something, anything.

Although Phanie Diaz and Jenn Alva have been playing together since 1993, it took several mutations of their lineup to establish the current configuration. That incubation period resulted
first in a demo mixed by Boz Boorer (musical director for Morissey) and eventually in this album, released in March on Joan Jett's Blackheart Records. Grab it now, and get to a show if you can -- because these girls are going to explode.

- Erica Freudenberger / Altercation Magazine - Altercation Magazine


Joan Jett knows rock 'n' roll. that fact's even clearer with the new addition to her Blackheart label: San Antonio-based band Girl in a Coma, who released their debut album this spring. Combining a punk-rock sensibility with stunning vocals and a polished sound rarely found on a first effort, Both Before I'm Gone is solid from start to finish. Sisters Nina (vocals) and Phanie (drums) Diaz and childhood friend Jenn Alva (bass) began playing together in junior high -- think the Donnas with more complex melodies and sincere lyrics. Success hit quickly and their wealth of it shines through: after forming Girl in a Coma in 2001, they played the Warped Tour in 2005 and opened for the likes fo the Pogues and the Epoxies -- all before having a formal release on record-store shelves.

Opening track "Clumsy Sky" is at once energetic and nostalgic, with intricate tempo changes and haunting vocals (Nina has been called the "female Morrissey," and the band as been compared to the Smiths and Pixies). Tracks like "Celibate Now" and "Mr. Chivalry" introduce the band as a powerhouse on the music scene, and the album proves through inspired. body-moving tracks that there will be many more worthy records where this one came from. [Melynda Fuller] - Bust


Within the first few seconds of the first song, “Clumsy Sky,” on the San Antonio trio Girl in a Coma’s debut album, Both Before I’m Gone (on Joan Jett’s Blackheart Records), singer-guitarist Nina Diaz has already introduced herself as a charismatic singer with a big, beautiful voice that’s somewhere between the maternal comfort of Chrissie Hynde and the ghostly
power of Siouxsie Sioux. She positively sparkles during the song’s sugary pop intro but still maintains her sense of dreaminess even after the song kicks into a fast punk tempo. Although she’s a gifted songwriter who shares some of Morrissey’s romantic masochism and despair on songs like “Mr. Chivalry,” Diaz and her crew have a much wider range of influences than the Smiths (whose song “Girlfriend in a Coma” inspired their name). Her guitar playing is just as much Cure-like as it is Marr-velous on “In the Background,” and her sister-drummer Phanie Diaz and bassist Jenn Alva also stir up some exhilaratingly doomy Joy Division–style patterns. Nina’s supremely confident keening turns “Road to Home” into a pure-pop gem, and she confides enigmatically that “Tattooed lovers don’t like to reminisce” on the pretty jangle “Their Cell.” Also at Alex's Bar, Thurs. (Falling James) - LA Weekly


The dreams of Girls in a Coma are coming true--including the release of their debut album

By GENE ARMSTRONG


Rock 'n' roll Cinderella stories, such as those of the trio Girl in a Coma, can emerge from the most unlikely of places--like a subdivision in San Antonio.
Which is where, once upon a time, when Nina Diaz was a little girl, she slept in a bunk bed above her older sister, Phanie, who was 8 years old and in middle school, hanging out with a friend named Jenn Alva.

Jenn and Phanie liked bands such as The Smiths, Nirvana and The Pixies. In their teenage years, the pair started a couple of their own bands that didn't really go anywhere. Nina paid close attention and started writing her own songs and playing guitar.

By the time she was 12, Nina summoned the nerve to play some of her songs for Jenn and Phanie. Jenn remembers the experience as something of a revelation.

"We knew that Nina wrote songs and sort of looked up to us, but we never thought about it that much. Finally, when she got a little older, and we listened to her songs, we found out she had this amazing voice," said Alva a couple of weeks ago on her cell phone during sound check at a gig in Harlingen, Texas.

Girl in a Coma was born six years ago, with Nina on guitar and vocals, Jenn on bass and Phanie on drums.

Their fairy tale has been unfolding ever since, the most recent episode being the release, on May 15, of the band's remarkable debut album, Both Before I'm Gone, which sounds like the work of a band with more years and experience under its belt.

A club tour to promote the album will bring Girl in a Coma back to Tucson for a gig May 30 at Solar Culture Gallery.

An awful lot of dreams have come true for Girl in a Coma. Long enamored with Morrissey's solo work, the girls were delighted to be introduced about three years ago to Boz Boorer, the former Smiths singer's longtime guitarist and musical director. Boorer immediately warmed to their music and flew them to London to record an early demo.

"We call him Tio Boz now," Alva said. "He's one of our main influences. I had just seen him play a year before, and I was watching him in the studio, and then I had to record in front of him. It was nerve wracking. We fell in love with him and his wife, though."

The members of Girl in a Coma also fell hard for another of their idols--veteran rocker Joan Jett, whose independent label, Blackheart Records, released Both Before I'm Gone.

Jett had a string of hits in the 1980s and has been playing for some 30 years. She started playing with The Runaways when she was a teenager as well.

The members of Girl in a Coma consider Jett a mentor, and Alva can't say enough about her.

"Oh, when we heard she wanted to meet us and release our CD, it was amazing. Now she is like a big sister to us, you know what I mean? Every time we hang out with her is a pleasure. We realized how savvy she is when we were doing an interview with her. She was answering all the questions beautifully. She is very cool and educated. You can feel her years of experience in her poise. She's a role model for all generations."

Alva says she listened to Jett when she was a kid. "My parents had a ton of 7-inch singles, and one was an old Joan Jett single that I would always sing along to. I was 5 years old, and my mom says I would be asking her, 'Where's my piggie record?' Now I realize it was a rhino, not a piggie. It was from Rhino Records."

Yes, in case you're wondering, the band's name is borrowed from the Smiths song "Girlfriend in a Coma," In fact, Nina Diaz has been called a female Morrissey, which is just one way to hear her. Actually, because she plays all the guitar parts, she's more like a combination of Morrissey and Boz Boorer (or maybe Johnny Marr, if you have a good memory).

That Morrissey comparison, though, neglects her colorful, acrobatic vocal range, her fresh, inventive phrasing and courageous manner of attacking emotionally vulnerable songs. She brings to mind stylists as diverse as Billie Holiday and Siouxsie Sioux.

And in the band's music, there's a lovely touch of the restrained dada that the Pixies pioneered, the headlong energy of Sleater-Kinney and the playful vintage rock and pop melodies of classic girl groups of the 1960s.

Although Diaz's songs can be heart-wrenching and empowering at the same time, their situations and contexts remain somewhat ambiguous. Alva has noticed this, too.

"One thing about Nina is that, even though she's a great observer, she doesn't like to reveal the exact meanings of songs, or who this one was about or that one was about. She likes to keep it a mystery to the fans. She feels like if you know too much specifically about a song, it goes dead in some ways. She feels like fans can't relate if you tell them, 'This was what that song means.'"

As the band's debut, Both Before I'm Gone will be enjoyed as a blast of fresh attitude to many listeners, but it didn't materialize o - Tucson Weekly


As Nina Diaz purrs, "She won't mind; they always said a women's touch can cure no man," it's easy to see why Joan Jett snatched up these three San Antone ladies for her label. Featuring sisters Nina (guitar) and Phanie (drums), plus Jenn Alva on bass, the Girls' full-length debut is under pressure from the push of opener "Clumsy Sky" to the propulsive four-four drum beat of "Say." Produced by Jett's perennial co-conspirator, Kenny Laguna, Both Before I'm Gone booms with a professional studio vibe. The album's ubiquity is Nina Diaz's powerful, booming hiccup, reminiscent of Sleater-Kinney's Corin Tucker, though it can often dominate to the point of dulling her guitar's straight edge. Still, both radiate a manic energy; even the ballads ("Their Cell," "Road to Home") feel like they have electric skin. Gone has all the vital signs. (Girl in a Coma wakes up Red 7 Thursday, May 10.) - The Austin Chronicle


The members of Girl in a Coma know about, and, of course, lead, the glamorous lives of rock 'n' roll stars.

The trio — the Diaz sisters, Nina, 19, (guitar, vocals) and Phanie, 27, (drums) and childhood friend Jenn Alva, 27 (bass, backing vocals) — has worked national tours; traveled to England to record a demo with one of their music-making heroes, Morrissey's musical director, Boz Boorer; and turned in Warped Tour gigs. Tuesday will see their "Both Before I'm Gone" CD released on iconic rocker Joan Jett's Blackheart Records label.

On the eve of Fiesta, and the eve of a national tour, Girl in a Coma gathered around a table at Ruta Maya Riverwalk Coffeehouse for a few minutes before they hit the Ruta Maya stage for a tuneup gig.

"The album is coming out, we're about to go out on tour, we have $500 among us and we still need to rent a van," said Phanie, laughing just a little. "But that's the way it is. We were stuck in San Francisco after a tour and had no money to get home. Jenn took a stack of CDs and went into bars, asked people to listen to them on headphones and, if they liked what they heard, buy one. We made $100 so we could come home."

OK, so maybe Girl in a Coma (named for the Smiths song "Girlfriend in a Coma") isn't quite leading the glamorous rock life just yet. But the band is doing what Phanie and Jenn dreamed of since they met over music magazines at Longfellow Middle School — rock, roll, record and tour.

The Longfellow alums, with Phanie on guitar and Jenn playing bass, put together a few bands. Nothing stuck. Meanwhile, Nina took an interest in music.

"She asked me to show her a little bit of guitar and later gave us a tape of what she'd been working on," Phanie said.

"You care about what your older sister thinks," Nina said.

"I listened to the tape and I said, 'Phanie, we got gold,'" Jenn added with a loud laugh.

So Phanie switched to drums and Girl in a Coma is going for the gold.

Nina's voice has been compared with that of Bjork and Patsy Cline. She's also been described as "the female version of Morrissey." But Girl in a Coma's brand of rock 'n' roll is much more straight-ahead than the Smiths/Morrissey moodiness. Still, Nina doesn't cringe at the comparison.

"It's a great compliment and I guess I'll just take it and say 'Thank you,'" she said with a shrug that caused the tattoo of the Fender Telecaster guitar on her left upper arm and the tattoo of a stylized version of herself on her right upper arm to move in unison. "I like to say our songs are good music to fall asleep to or good music to chill out with friends to."

"It's good times music," Phanie said.

"It's good times, day or night, music," Jenn added, laughing again.

"I like to bring out every emotion," Nina said.

"I have records that I listen to that bring out good memories every time I play them," Phanie said. "That's the way we want our music to be."

Nina said she doesn't try to force the songs.

"I'll just pick up the guitar," she said. "I have more time now because I was working at a day-care center and I just quit because I got tired of changing dirty diapers. So I'll play guitar and sing melodies. I usually don't finish a song all at once. I have pieces and pieces of songs, and I come back to them."

In the beginning, Nina was responsible for the majority of the words and music.

"I think Nina finding her own style, and Phanie and I learning more and more, really helped set us apart," Jenn said.

"I started out learning by ear, listening to the Misfits and being home alone and playing in the garage," Nina said.

"Nina would show us songs she wrote and we would work on them," Phanie said. "Now all three of us contribute."

"Nina still starts it," Jenn added.

Nina has brought songs to the other two and had them rejected.

"They used to do that, but now I ignore them," Nina said.

Joan Jett, who was younger than Nina when she started rocking and rolling with the band the Runaways, did not ignore Girl in a Coma. The trio was doing a television show for SíTv in which bands would be introduced to one of their influences for a mentoring session.

"Joan showed up at a rehearsal and surprised us, and then she and Kenny Laguna (Jett's longtime producer and manager) went to our show at the Knitting Factory in New York," Phanie said.


'This is all we've ever wanted to do,' says drummer Phanie Diaz. The band's new release is on Joan Jett's label.


"She was just going to give us some advice, but she and Kenny signed us," Jenn added.

There was a bit of serendipity involved because the Diaz sisters' mom introduced them to Jett's music, and Alva's mother gave her the 45-rpm record of Jett's "I Love Rock 'n' Roll."

"Their music is really interesting, intense, catchy rock 'n' roll," Jett said in a phone interview. "They were different, melodic. I'm a melody freak. I like guitar hooks and vocal hooks. I like to champion girls when I can."

With the Runaways, - San Antonio Express-News


Live in Santa Barbara at the Muddy Waters Café – June 12, 2007

It was written in the newspaper like in blood ink swimming through the pages of a sacred book: “Girl in a coma” is coming to town! A storm is about to break through, three girls: lead vocals and guitar Nina Diaz, her sister Phanie Diaz on drums and Jenn Alva on bass guitar are about to burst as a living volcano and pour down our souls their rage for living…and kicking!

It’s all happening at some groovy café called “Muddy Waters”
( http://personal.linkline.com/muddywaters ), a new breed of lounge that will make you swing happy with a smile in between heaven and hell.

I’m a virgin when it came to “Girl in a coma” ( www.girlinacoma.com ) and therefore the perfect creature to be purified and converted by these new Goddesses of Rock’n’Roll and their mad rush of a thundering songs. Just crossing their eye-sight upon meeting them and during the show trying to look but not stare, I felt the pulse of their latin blood as if the rise of the Mayan or Aztec Empire was about to sacrifice me for the promise of an eternal musical orgasm. Listen to their album “Both before I’m gone” on Blackheart ( www.blackheart.com ) and you’ll feel the drift of their pains and joys. Painful life is; a mean bitch with a sexy ass is my true thought about it. Breath in, as if it was your last bubble of air, the spleen-like melodies of “Simple Man” or the searching as in “Consider” for “a piece of what they long for”. And beyond the twisted, sometimes cloudy skies and seeking paths for a place among the zombies of Earth the ladies with claws will bath you with Hope and Inspiration. Even so the long, long road is barely paved for them, they do get that you need to “Don’t regret a thing because it was fun at the time, smile at all the remarks you made you wish you could just leave behind” (single “Road to home”). There is a Future for the trio, for us as a human race and it is indeed necessary to make amend with our pains and kill them on the side. We need to bury our fears, look straight ahead. Let’s go full speed, jumping on a Harley, breaking the speed limit, full blast, free at last. Enough kissing their sexy ass, I’m wasting my time to try to please, no more tease. Time for the girls to glue me on my seat with some permanent punk-rock acid. Time to shut the fuck and listen to their flirtatious howling at the wild wide opened universe. I’m smashed on the wall now like a happy fly. I’ve been caught in a net by the fatal killer mermaids from Atlantis. I surrender. Hold my breath, take a chance and go for the last and endless spinning dance. As Nina spells it so well in the single song “Clumsy Sky”: “We are the stars that light up the night”…well, girls, you sure light up and rock our lives, until Death does not us apart…because for ever and beyond, we shall meet again…!

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Nina, Phanie and Jenn from “Girl in a Coma”:

Boys and girls, seat, shut up and listen…if you don’t, I slap you hard in the face.

Q: Today’s youth seems to me that most of the time they’re asleep on too much drugs or too much hope, and with a name like “Girl in a coma” is it your hope you can wake them up, take them out of their coma, to inspire them to act, instead of waiting for death? Tell them to stop following the masses, to stand up and yell out loud for what they believe?

Girls: Totally!

Jenn: We’re not the average band. We don’t look like MTV made and we’re not what you might expect from a band…

Phanie: And besides it has all be done before too. So we’re not going to seat here and say: “we’re new, we’re fresh, we’re great”. We’re just playing Rock’n’Roll…

Jenn: And we hope you do whatever makes you happy…

Phanie: And we’d like to inspire, girls, boys, whoever. That would be nice too as a goal. But first, let’s have some fun. Play for the music.

Jenn: Being called “Girl in a coma” is cool because there are lots of kids who don’t know about The Smiths ( www.askmeaskmeaskme.com and www.morrisseymusic.com ) and even music from the 70’s and also the pioneers like “The Sex Pistols”…and it’s cool if we can show them where the music, where our inspiration is coming from. When I got into a band I wanted to find out who they were into and this lead me to even greater stuffs. So I hope people do that also with us. That would be rad…

Q: How do you write the lyrics. They are so poetic, so punchy also at the same time. Who is the poet among you girls?

Phanie and Jenn: Here you are the poet and the puncher…(pointing at Nina)

Nina: Yeah, I write the lyrics. I read a lot, got into Oscar Wild because of Morrissey. But really I’m an observer. I like to observe things. I like to listen other people’s conversations and get ideas for songs. I’ve been writing since I could write, since I learned to write…

Q: Are the lyrics and the music complete each other…

Phanie: For sure. Jenn and I have been playing in punks bands since we’re 14 years old. And we co - Buzzine


By Ben Rhudy Mar 17, 2007, 21:49 GMT

After an entire week of hearing earnest, melodic Brit-pop, twangy country rock and solo acoustic acts, it was finally time to get a sampling of the alternative acts rolling through South By Southwest (SXSW). My first musical love will always be punk rock, as it's raw, dirty, honest style has always appealed to me, and so it was good to be able to get back to my roots.

In order to accomplish my goal, I made my way down a crowded 6th street, filled with pirates, men wearing pickle suits and as many shades of hair color as there are types of Skittles. Strolling up to Emo's, the premiere punk-rock venue in Austin, several extremely long lines were beginning to form around the back entrance. The posted flyers told me that tonight would be the big Blackheart Records showcase featuring well-known punk bands The Dollyrots, Girl In A Coma and the Vacancies.

Blackheart Records was founded by legendary rocker Joan Jett, and is set up as a sort of punk rock talent farm that harvests up and coming bands and places them in the spotlight for the general public to gobble up. The label recently brought on the L.A. Trio The Dollyrots, made up of bassist and lead singer Kelly Ogden, guitarist Luis Cabezas and drummer Chris Black. The Dollyrots' infectious melodies, lyrics and music take a bit of the seriousness out of the punk rock world, but add a lot of fun and attitude to make up for it.

The first band to pound the black, carpet lined stage was San Antonio natives Girl In A Coma. The all-girl squad of three was quiet as they walked onto the stage, smiling at the crowd that was beginning to form. Emo's is set up in an unusual way. There isn't technically any backstage area, only a door to the side of the stage leading into a small closet sized room where bands prepare for shows. This creates a situation where the artists, even big name acts, are usually out in the crowd beforehand out of necessity.

Girl In A Coma stood in the crowd visiting beforehand, mingling with the locals, until it was time to get up on stage and melt faces. And melt faces they did. Contrasting their short stature, Girl In A Coma brought a super-sized amount of irreverent and gutsy punk rock that pleased the crowd.

People were still filing into the venue when 8:00 pm rolled around, and as the girls kicked it into high gear, Ms. Jett herself appeared before a cheering audience to introduce the group.

Nina Diaz can sing, and it's an amazing voice that climbs out her. Her wild-eyed antics and deep, husky cries were the highlight of the show. All-around, in the short amount of time that the band had to get the crowd fired up, they did just that. When they're album hits this month, you can bet I'll be rushing out to any nearby record store to pick it up.


The pop-punk frenzy continued on into the evening with a short set from the newest Blackheart Records band, The Dollyrots. My previous interview with Kelly O. had me itching to find out how The Dollyrots sounded live, and after picking up “Because I'm Awesome” at Waterloo, the wait became almost unbearable.

What set The Dollyrots apart from so many other well-known punk acts that I've seen, is that their desire to have a blast on stage overshadows the simplicity of their songs. Kelly, Luis and Chris put off a vibe that just yells, “Screw playing perfectly...let's rock!” The crowd definitely picked up on this, and all I could see behind me was a mass of bobbing heads and thrusting fists as the set went on.

At the end of the set, as The Dollyrots pounded out the anthem “Because I'm Awesome”, the title track from their recently released album of the same name, the energy level of the room increased ten-fold. As the last note shot out of the band's equipment, Black leaped over his drums and tackled Cabezas to the ground. Getting in on the fun, Kelly dog-piled on top of her band mates and all three began furiously wiggling around. It was a fitting end to a set filled with infectious pop punk.
I came away that night with a better understanding of why Blackheart Records was created. The label really seems to want to put the fun back into punk rock, where it should be. If it means that I get to see more bands like Girl In A Coma and The Dollyrots, then I agree wholeheartedly.

‘Because I’m Awesome’ is now available at Amazon. Visit the music database for more information and a link to M&C’s review of the album. Check back with M&C for more coverage of SXSW – including a concert review of Redman. Visit M&C's music features section for our exclusive interview with Kelly O. of The Dollyrots, Aqualung, and Ari Hest. Visit M&C's music reviews section for our exclusive SXSW concert reviews of Ari Hest, Joe Purdy, White Rabbits, Star Deaths and White Dwarfs, and Nicole Atkins. - Monsters and Critics


By Jason Lamphier

In this month's issue of Out, we chat with San Antonio–based twank-punk trio Girl in a Coma about their debut album, Both Before I'm Gone, and new video, "Road to Home," starring Manhattan's transgender gadabout Amanda Lepore. Made up of front woman Nina Diaz,
her sister Phanie Diaz (on drums), and queer bassist Jenn Alva, the band will be heating up the States with their hard-edged, country-infused rock as they tour this summer.

Both Before I’m Gone is a curious title for an album. What’s its significance?

Nina: I got the idea for Both Before I’m Gone from a James Dean quote. He said, “Being an actor is hard. Being a man is even harder. I hope to be both before I’m done.” I changed it to Both Before I’m Gone.

So it was similar to what you did with the band name, which references the Smiths song “Girlfriend in a Coma.” These are shout-outs to the iconic figures in your lives?

Nina: Right.

Nina, you do most of the songwriting. Your lyrics address everything from nostalgia to moving on to vengeance. Where were you mentally when you were penning these songs?

Nina: I guess I was mentally all over the place. I’ve been writing these songs since I was 13 years old, growing up throughout the years and reading a lot of books, just experiencing life.

So you’ve had literary influences as well?

Nina: Yeah, I like to read Oscar Wilde and Sylvia Plath. They’re my favorite writers.

“Sybil Vane Is Ill” is about the character from The Picture of Dorian Grey. Why did you write about this literary figure?

Nina: I was really interested in her sadness. There’s this line in the story, “Sybil Vane must be ill,” which I thought was really cool, so I decided to write about her life.

“Road to Home” is beautifully cryptic and unsettling. What was the concept behind this song?

Nina: It’s about an outsider trying to find somewhere to fit in. Along the way he meets people. In the video this guy is looking at Amanda Lepore. He’s having troubles in his life, and he’s very intrigued by her. He discovers that he wants to be a transvestite—that’s where he belongs. That’s why at the end he becomes one. The song is basically about finding yourself and being happy with who you are.

Phanie: Yeah, we chose Amanda Lepore because we wanted someone really pretty. The video was shot in New York City at a burlesque bar called the Slipper Room.

And in the video the band is sitting in the audience?

Phanie: Yeah, I’m playing the bartender, Jenn is supposed to be a bouncer, and Nina is a regular who’s been there so many times she knows the words.

You’re a new band trying to market yourselves, but you chose to remain in the background of the video for “Road to Home,” and you didn’t pose for the cover of the album.

Phanie: We didn’t really plan not to be on the cover. A lot of videos look the same, and we wanted to have a storyline with ours, not just play and sing into the camera.

Jenn: I think on “Road to Home” we had such strong characters that it wasn’t necessary for us to be in it. It came together so well with Amanda.

Jenn, would you say it’s becoming easier for openly gay artists to be seen and heard in music?

Jenn: It’s taken a step up, but I don’t necessarily think it’s that easy just yet. It will take a long time for it to be totally accepted, but Rufus Wainwright is a great example. If people listen to his lyrics, they know he’s gay, but you can just fall in love with that voice. It’s good there are artists out there like that. As for me and the girls, we take one thing at a time. We’re just a band, and we try not to be pigeonholed.

Do you think it’s easier for punk artists to be openly queer?

Jenn: Yeah. Punk rock is a state of mind. You’re always the outcast and you clinch onto whoever else is supposedly the outcast. I think it’s more accepted.

Is punk music a good vehicle for outcasts who are looking for a connection?

Jenn: Yes, if it’s done right—for people who don’t give a fuck what anybody thinks.

What’s a typical Girl in a Coma performance like?

Phanie: A couple of beers (laughs). It’s a lot of energy. We look to Nina for a lot of it. She gets really into it, so she gets us hyped up to play. And the audience is important, of course. If they’re giving it back to us, it makes us work even harder.

Boz Boorer, the guitarist and musical director for Morrissey, produced a demo for you in 2005.

Phanie: We had a manager who happened to know Boz. He passed a demo we had made to him, and Boz liked it. He invited us to England to work with him. It was a blast.

Jenn: It was an honor, but we wanted to keep our cool because we wanted to maintain a friendship with him. We were trying to keep calm, especially when the platinum and gold albums were on the walls.

When you were in New York, you had your first encounter with Joan Jett, and she signed you on her label.

Phanie: We did that television show for CTV, so that was the surprise moment o - Out Magazine


June 20, 2007

Another up-and-coming act mentored by an influential feminist forerunner rolls into town this weekend, taking the Sunset stage on Saturday, June 23. San Antonio, Texas' Girl in a Coma are as influenced by the Smiths as their moniker implies, but the all-female, Latina trio also put plenty of spit-polished guitar and intimidating atmospherics into their silver-throated sound, elements that pricked the ears of riot godmamma Joan Jett and got them signed last year to her label, Blackheart Records. They've just released Both Before I'm Gone, a slickly produced but smartly executed collection of dreamy, anthemic hard rock that sounds like what
Throwing Muses might have committed to tape if they had bigger budgets. "Joan is great," says drummer Phanie Diaz via e-mail. "Every time we see her, it's nothing but words of encouragement—she always gives us that smile. What we've learned from her is to never
give up on what makes you happy." - Seattle Weekly


Discography

Exits & All the Rest, 2011
(Blackheart Records)
#19 CMJ charts, #5 Specialty Radio
"Smart" currently getting radio play (CHR, HotAC and AAA)

Trio B.C.
(Blackheart Records), 2009

Both Before I'm Gone (Blackheart Records), 2007

Girl in a Coma (Self-titled) EP, 2005, produced by Boz Boorer, self-released

Photos

Bio

San Antonio’s Girl In A Coma have left a permanent tattoo on the hearts of thousands with their piercing songs and nuclear performances. They’ve blazed a singular trail since Nina Diaz joined the band at age 13 and have found champions and comrades along the way including Joan Jett who signed them, Morrissey, Sia, Tegan and Sara, The Pogues and Amanda Palmer who have hand selected them for tours. In addition, Robert Rodriguez asked them to compose one of the key songs for his film Machete last year. All the while, they have been building one of the most impassioned and diverse fan bases in music. Girl in a Coma are that rare feral band, unaffected by trends, that has managed to stay wild and thrill us at every turn. Exits & All the Rest, their 4th album out November 1, 2011 on Blackheart Records, is the most heart-stopping turn yet.

Girl in a Coma formed when best friends Jenn Alva and Phanie Diaz met in Jr-high school art class over a mutual love of the Smiths, Nirvana, and skipping school. All they needed was a singer. Enter Nina Diaz, Phanie’s little sister. Nina blew them away with her mesmerizing vocals, a powerful voice some critics have compared to Bjork, Patsy Cline, and the band’s hero, Morrissey himself. The trio practiced for three years, gigged at local punk rock clubs, played a High School talent show, one kid’s birthday party, and then hit the road, building up a solid and loyal fan base across the country.

In 2006, the Girls played for Joan Jett and long-time songwriting partner and producer, Kenny Laguna, at New York’s Knitting Factory as part of a cable TV show featuring unknown bands. Jett and Laguna were so impressed with the band that they signed GIAC to their label, Blackheart Records, on the spot.

The band’s 2007 debut album, Both Before I’m Gone, was a critical hit with raves from Alternative Press Magazine, the LA Weekly, Bust magazine, among many others, with the album reaching No. 23 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart and No. 21 on iTunes. “Clumsy Sky,” the band’s first single, won a 2007 Independent Music Award.

In 2009, the band released their follow up album, Trio B.C. The album is a unique amalgamation of eclectic influences: oldies, rockabilly, 90s alternative, and contemporary bands both indie and mainstream.

Just a year later, the band recorded a companion piece to Trio B.C. Produced by Grammy-award winning producer Greg Collins (U2 and Gwen Stefani), Adventures in Coverland. features reinterpretations of songs and artists who have impacted the band. The songs range from a punked out version of Selena’s “Si Una Vez” to a stripped down version of Joy Division’s “Transmission.”

In early 2011, new material was piling up and the band was ready to head back into the studio to work on their upcoming album, Exits & All the Rest.

From sharing stages with their heroes to experiencing Arizona’s controversial laws firsthand, the album was born in an especially intense period for the band. The Girls headed a few miles north to Austin and recorded with producer Mike McCarthy (Spoon, Trail of Dead). It was the band’s first time working on analog tape and all the basic tracks were laid down live. The recording process seemed to help the band capture some of the raw energy and power that they are known for in their live shows.

At the same time, the album showcases the depth and maturity of Girl in a Coma’s songwriting. Album opener “Adjust” is a tale of persecution and a sonic mindfield. Nina Diaz’s voice turns from a lament to a growl in a split second while the thundering combination of Phanie Diaz’s drums and Jennifer Alva’s bass rattle your ribcage. “One Eyed Fool” is a fearless and bare declaration of the universal need to be loved. “Cemetery Baby” underscores the bands ability to seduce you with melody no matter how tragic the message. “Hope” is a pogo ready punk assault that speaks to the Arizona immigration dispute while daring you to stay still. “Smart” showcases GIAC’s own special recipe for a melodic pop song. The stomping rhythm of future GIAC anthem “Control” lays a foundation for Nina’s voice to build empires of heartbreak on. The album closes with the dramatic build of “Sly” and raw emotion of “Mother’s Lullaby.” The stamp San Antonio’s music scene has left on the band is all over the album and it’s stabs of punk, tejano, rockabilly, classic rock and roll, rancheras, indie rock and ballads all contributing to a sound that can only be described as Girl in a Coma.