LANSING STATE JOURNAL

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Girl in a Coma to release new cover album
Pop-rock trio
Anne Erickson • NOISE • September 8, 2010

Dressed in skull-decorated T-shirts and sporting trendy, ironed-out hairdos, the gals of Girl in a Coma aren't your typical debutantes. But on the trio's latest full-length, "Trio B.C.," the group is proving the most important thing in rock has nothing to do with image: It's the music.


"I think getting out to the people and playing every night and getting into the music is the best part of this whole experience," says drummer Phanie Diaz, who along with her sister Nina (vocals/guitar) and Jenn Alva (bass guitar) play Friday at The Loft.


Girl in a Coma's story starts small. The girls built their fanbase starting in San Antonio, Texas, playing anywhere they could, every weekend. After a year together, they decided to go on tour and left Texas with $500 in their pockets.
Adventures ensued. Like the time they got stuck in San Francisco without enough gas money to get back.
"We would go into bars and have people listen to our CD, and if they liked it, they would pay for it," Phanie says, laughing. "We raised enough money to come home that way."


Shortly after that tour, the trio was asked to do a pilot show for a Spanish/English channel documenting what it's like to be in an up-and-coming band. One of the segments was supposed to feature Joan Jett giving the girls tips on how to improve their music. Instead, after Jett saw them play a show in New York City, she was so impressed that she offered them a record deal on her Blackheart Records label.


"It's like a dream come true for a band, to get signed on the spot," Phanie says.


On the band's latest album, "Trio B.C.," power pop riffs stand against a surging backdrop of punky rhythms and gutsy, chick-rock vocals. Grammy winning producer Greg Collins' (Gwen Stefani, U2) mix allows the bass lines to pop and move with grease, while three-chord guitar arrangements give the music a punk rock flavor.


Girl in a Coma's forthcoming release, "Adventures in Coverland" (out Oct. 19), is a compilation of all cover songs from the band's biggest influences: The Beatles, David Bowie, Patsy Cline, The Velvet Underground

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"We wanted to show why we sound the way we do and to educate people," Phanie says. "If there are some younger kids who don't know who Joy Division is, we wanted to show those influences and teach them."


The cover album comes just one year after the band's last release. Why the push to release new material so quickly?
"We try to stay busy. Writing is a non-stop thing for us and we want to keep releasing albums," Phanie says.
"We want to be like a Sonic Youth and have 20 albums under our belt before we're finished."