AUSTIN ON STAGE
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Girl in a Coma
By Nick Manix
Hailing from San Antonio, the female rock group Girl in a Coma has been making a solid name for themselves during the past few years.
The group formed when
best friends Jenn Alva and Phanie Diaz met in junior high school art
class - over a mutual love of the Smiths, Nirvana, and skipping school.
They recruited Nina Diaz - Phanie's then 12-year old little sister
- as lead singer, after she blew them away
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. The fate intervened 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 television show
featuring unknown bands. Jett and Laguna signed the band on the spot
to their label, Blackheart Records.
The ladies will tear up the stage at Emo's on Thursday, September 24th. Nick Manix spoke to the band about to the all-girl rock group from San Antonio - who will play Emo's on September 24th - about how they started, being discovered by Joan Jett, touring with Morrissey, and their new album, Trio B.C.
Nick Manix: How did Girl in a Coma come to be?
Girl in a Coma: It all started in the late 90s. Jenn and Phanie were in punk band together and played gigs around San Antonio. They stopped for a while, since they were having trouble finding the right members.
In 2001, they decided to start up another band. Nina decided to show us a song she had been working on, and we were blown away with her voice and writing skills. So we decided to make her the lead of the band - even though she was only 12.
G.I.A.C.: Nirvana, Babes in Toyland, Jeff Buckley, Elvis, Selena, Sonic Youth - the list goes on.
N.M.: What's it like being signed by Joan Jett, one of the pioneering women in rock history?
N.M.: You worked on the "True
Colors" tour with many talented artists, including Cyndi Lauper
- what was the experience like?
N.M.: It seems like you've been touring non-stop since the 2007 release of your first album. Where did you find the time to write and record your new album, Trio B.C.?
N.M.: Girl in a Coma hit a legal speed bump back in March of 2009 when charges of "felony assault on a public servant" were brought against Jenn and Nina. So what happened at the nightclub Chances, in Houston, and what was the verdict?
G.I.A.C.: Case dismissed. Two off-duty officers working security at the club roughed up the girls and said things they should not have. It's hard to have to fight the system, but we decided we needed to - because it's just not right. We lost a lot time, money and energy, but we are glad justice prevailed. It's a big eye opener for us - needing to watch out for situations like that. Hopefully, the club will start paying more attention to who they hire - and how they treat their customers.
N.M.: Trio B.C. is an amazing album, and I found the track "El Monte" to be lyrically entertaining. Where did that song stem from?
N.M.: What's next for Girl in a Coma?