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Wake up to Girl in a Coma

John Black, Entertainment Editor

Nina Diaz first took to the stage as the guitarist and singer of Girl in a Coma seven years ago. It was a week before her 14th birthday.

"I first picked up the guitar when I was around 12, but I was always too shy to tell anyone about it," she sad. "My sister, Phanie, was in a band with her best fried Jenn (Alva) and one day I got up enough courage to play for them. They were very cool about it and asked me if I wanted to be in a band with them. We've been playing ever since"

Girl in a Coma, as the trio named themselves, spent the next few years paying their dues in and around their home city of San Antonio, Texas, gradually building up a following that stretched to the West Coast.

The band is currently touring on the strength of their sophomore CD, Both Before I'm Gone, a powerful mix of pop and rock that showcases the band's strength as songwriters and musicians. And while she's proud of the way the Cd turned out, Nena said the only way to really understand what the band is about is to see them live.

"I love the live shows," she said. "It's like acting in a way. Every time play I play a song I try to make it feel like first time I play it. It keeps it genuine. If it's fake I can feel it, but if one person is out there looking at me I give them a performance so they can get away from their jobs or their reality and enjoy themselves for a while."