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Girl in a Coma comes to M Room
Published: Thursday, October 1, 2009

By DENNY DYROFF, Staff Writer

Even though Nina Diaz is just approaching her 22nd birthday, she's a rock veteran - a guitarist, keyboardist and singer with 10 years of experience with the band Girl in a Coma.

The band also features her sister, Phanie Diaz, on drums and Jenn Alva on bass.

Girl in a Coma, which will play the M Room in Philadelphia tonight, just released its sophomore album, "Trio B.C.," which was named after the tejano band the sisters' grandfather led back in the 1950s. The album has been released on Blackheart Records, the label owned by Joan Jett.

"We did a pilot episode for a show called 'Jammin'," Diaz said in a recent interview. "They followed us with cameras for two months. It ended with a trip to New York and a show at the Knitting Factory. Joan Jett came and listened at our sound check and then asked us to join her label."

Diaz ended up in Girl in a Coma much the same way - people in charge liked what they heard.

"Jenn and Phanie had a band when they were in high school, stopped it and then picked it up again when they were 21," Diaz said. "That was 10 years ago, when I was 12. They taught me how to play guitar. I wrote a song and, when I played if for them, they asked if it was a cover. When I told them that I wrote it, they asked me to join the band.

"A lot of my older stuff is pretty dark," she said. "I think I've brightened up a bit in recent years. I write about what I'm doing or how life is going.

"With our music, there are a lot of different influences. We all have our own things. Jenn loves Elvis and Phanie is into the whole riot grrrl thing. I do most of the singing, so my influences range from Billie Holiday to Bjork. My favorite guitarists are Johnny Marr, Poison Ivey, Kim Gordon and Jeff Buckley."