Girl In A Coma
'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!'
San Antonio based all-girl indie rock band trio GIRL IN A COMA is comprised of siblings Nina (VOCALS) and Phanie Diaz (DRUMS), and complemented by childhood friend Jenn Alva on BASS. The band’s energetic pop/rock has been seen on tour with the likes of Frank Black, The Pogues. and The Start.
GIRL IN A COMA donned the name from the classic Smiths song 'Girlfriend In A Coma,' while Nina Diaz has been referred to as the "female version of Morrissey." Whatever the truth, the girls have managed to create a sound and style that not only pays homage to their heroes, but is uniquely their own.
GIRL IN A COMA’s debut album BOTH BEFORE I’M GONE, featuring the first single “CLUMSKY SKY,” is slated for release on May 1st, 2007 on Joan Jett’s Blackheart Records.
Taking it from the top and what were your musical influences growing up and how many still factor into your music today? Phanie Diaz - "Jenn and I grew up on a lot of riot girl music. Nina would listen to a lot of Billie Holiday, Jeff Buckley, Bjork. I think you can def. hear both combinations in our music. Jenn and I tend to write in that old style and Nina sings her heart out on top of that."
For the Average Joe who may not have heard of you and was thinking of buying your debut CD, how would you yourself describe your sound? "Think about the early 90s, maybe even the mids... when it was fun to go to your local record store and you’re looking through vinyl and tapes and you decide to take a chance on this particular album because you like the cover or the band name... so you take it home and it ends up being your favorite album of the year. You start adding tracks from the album to your mixtapes for friends . . . and when you hear that song years later . . . it takes you back to a great place. That’s what we sound like :)"
Your album title 'Both Before I'm Gone' is an interesting choice, but perhaps it originates from a more personal standpoint for you? Is there a theme to it, perhaps? "Nina is a huge James Dean fan. He has a quote where he says, "Being a good actor isn't easy. Being a man is even harder. I want to be both before I'm done." Not exactly word for word . . . but that’s where the album name came from."Also, please reveal to us today just where the bands name originates?! "We totally came up with it ourselves . . . haha. We’re Smith/Moz fans... so “Girlfriend in a Coma” by The Smiths is where it comes from. There are people out there that don't know this nor this song . . . So we’ve actually offended people with our band name."
How easy (or hard) is it to constantly create a new, vibrant, wanted-by-the-public sound that both builds on and surpasses the musical wonderment's/accomplishments that preceded it within the industry? "You can't make everyone happy. I think the problem these days is that a lot of bands want to follow a formula. "We have to look this way and we have to sound this way for it to work". . . which is why a lot of the stuff on radio and t.v. is so boring and expected. The girls and I just stay true to what we like and what we know regardless of what people think. We don’t try to look a certain way nor are we following a formula. We are not trained musicians. We learn everyday from each other. So in a sense to us . . . what we do comes natural . . . so it’s easy. As long as you’re true to what you like and are real and are not trying to impress anyone . . . especially within the industry . . . people are going to understand you. The realness and rawness is what’s missing from music these days."
Please tell us more about how you managed to hook up with Blackheart Records ... and what it was like that first time you came face-to-face with the legend herself, Joan Jett?! "We did a TV show for a Latin cable channel. Joan was supposed to show up and give us advice. She ended up digging us . . . and signed us onto Blackheart instead. During the show . . . Joan walks into our rehearsal for a gig in NYC...it’s all documented so you can see the shock and nervousness in our faces. Then we had to play for her. The first meeting was definitely nerve racking... but the more we see her the more comfortable we are with her. She's really down to earth . . . and we like that. Like I said, that realness is so rare . . . so it’s great to have her on our side."
Being that there are two sisters in the band does this lend itself to more-than-your-fair-share of siblings arguments that probably wouldn't have been brought forth if it weren't for being under the microscope of being in a band?! "O man! haha... we’ve gotten into bad fights. . . but it’s always out of love. The cool thing about it is . . .that we will laugh about it days later. We can punch other in the face and laugh about in an hour . . . not that we have . . . haha. She's my sister at the end of the day and no matter what happens . . . we are going to love each other regardless. If anything it’s a lot easier having her there and my best friend. Where I am weak... they are strong . . . and all that other sappy sh*t, haha."
Will there ever be a CD release from Day Old Rice found on Ebay, perhaps?! "Wow! You know we never made a CD . . . but there are some people out there who have photos . . .and film. So if Day Old Rice film ever surfaced that would be rad!!"
If asked for charity, what '80s (and possibly cheesy!) pop/rock song would you love to cover today if asked ... and why?! "Journey . . . "Don't stop be Believing" ... because Nina is obsessed with Steve Perry . . . and she’s rubbed it off on us... and she really wants to cover it. I think she would even collaborate with him . . . so this is a call to Steve Perry!!"
Lastly, and throwing in a comedic curve ball, Exclusive Magazine love Penguins ... do you?! "Of course we do!!! There so cute!! How can you not love Penguins?! They’re all about familia!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk