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Wake Up With Girl In A Coma!
Chatting up San Antonio's riot grrrls
by Johnny Firecloud
Aug 05, 2009

San Antonio’s Girl In A Coma stand out starkly in a scene brimming with pop-punk girl bands and screamy brats with all the right connections. Their sound rises from an '80s-infused mix of rock and Smiths-esque sentimentality that's anything but accidental - you need only look to their name for evidence of that - and they've already toured with the legendary shoegazer icon himself, ex-Smiths frontman Morrissey.

Playing with one's heroes at such an early point in a band's career can cause self-congratulatory lethargy, leading them to the pitfalls of self-congratulatory, atrophied ambition. Such is not the case with Girl In A Coma. Vocalist/guitarist Nina Diaz, bassist Jenn Alva and drummer Phanie Diaz are hungry, tour-ripened and ready for the big game.

In 2006 the trio hit the radar of pioneering chick-rocker Joan Jett, who signed the band to her Blackheart Records label in short order. Their debut album, Both Before I'm Gone, was a stylistic mix of their influences, and found the girls developing their sound through their heartsleeve rock leanings. This year's follow-up, Trio B.C., finds the girls in a much more refined and focused state of mind. With more attitude, tighter hooks and an overall spunkier attitude, Girl In A Coma have certainly come into their own, and we're excited to see where they're headed next.

We caught up with Phanie to discuss life as a rock band in a crumbling industry, the end of the world and the healing powers of Girl In A Coma's music.

CraveOnline: So you've already toured with Morrissey, where the hell do you go from there? What goals do you set after that?

Phanie Diaz: Morrissey is definitely up there... but it doesn't end there. You keep on keeping on... we want to do this as long as we can and as long as the people let us. Releasing records and touring on them is always the goal for us. We want to reach all who will listen.

CraveOnline: Has your music actually helped bring anyone out of a coma yet? If not, that fixes the previous question's goals dilemma, but what song would you play to a comatose person over and over to try to get them to wake up?

Phanie Diaz: Haha not yet.. BUT if we were trying to get someone out of a coma.. we would probably have to cover something...or we would write a song called WAKE UP.. in which Nina just yells wake up over and over again. Think that would work?

CraveOnline: How has your relationship been with Blackheart Records?

Phanie Diaz: Amazing. They take care of us and also allow us the freedom to do what we want. We plan our own videos and record whatever we like. A supportive label that allows you that kind of freedom is hard to find.

CraveOnline: In an ideal world, what would a label do for a band?

Phanie Diaz: Everything Blackheart is doing. Getting you a CD to sell and spreading the word about your band as much as they can. We hear horror stories about other labels... trying to change a band's look and or sound.. it's stupid. If you sign a band...then there must be a reason why you liked them in the first place. Why change them...or why try to make something that's already been done?

CraveOnline: You've undoubtedly seen many great bands fall by the wayside on your way up the ladder - what's kept you from falling into the pit of failure (aside from kicking ass, of course)?

Phanie Diaz: I think just the support we have for each other. We truly love and care about each other and take care of each other. We also know what we want to create as writers... and even if we get angry and fight...we know that tomorrow or in a few hours... it's going to be ok. We know each other... and that's what makes us last. Chemistry.