THE EXAMINER

Return to Girl In A Coma

 

Real girl rock

Apr 15, 2008 2:00 AM
by Nancy Dunham, The Examiner

BALTIMORE (Map, News) - It’s one thing to be a Morrissey fan. It’s quite another to have him become a fan of yours.

That was the enviable situation Nina Diaz found herself in recently. When Diaz was 12, she formed the band Girl in a Coma with two friends. Although several notable musicians (including Joan Jett, who signed the trio to her Blackheart Records label) have raved about the band, meeting Morrissey was especially motivating for Diaz.

“He came to see us at [Los Angeles club] The Viper Room and gave us some compliments,” said Diaz. “It just makes you feel so cool and like anything is possible.”

Soon after the meeting, Morrissey invited Girl in a Coma to open for him on a European tour. Although plenty of up-and-coming musicians model themselves on Morrissey and The Smiths, you don’t hear of many that receive such attention from the legendary musician.

Not that opening for big-name musicians is really new for the band, which has also toured with The Pogues and Social Distortion. Such recognition might overly inflate some performers’ egos, but that’s clearly not the case with Diaz, who speaks affectionately about her family and friends and seeks paths for self-improvement.

“Recently I’ve started reading a lot about Zen and [practicing] yoga,” said Diaz. “I’m opening my mind to different things to stay focused and centered.”

That self-awareness is also helping Diaz and her bandmates focus on writing their next album. She promises it will have the same kind of ‘90s alt-rock vibe (think of The Toadies) as the band’s 2007 debut, “Before I’m Gone,” which received wide critical acclaim.

“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,” wrote a critic for Seattle Weekly. “[It’s] a slickly produced but smartly executed collection of dreamy, anthemic hard rock. …”

Let other musicians fret about a “sophomore slump” after a well-received debut; Diaz seems energized by the challenge to put out another well-received record.

“We’re excited to play the new songs,” said Diaz. “It’s all come together really well; these songs are definitely cool.”