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FESTIVA Q&A: Girl In A Coma
Marc Solis
June 11, 2009 - 11:38AM


Amid the stormy weather that dawned upon Mission last Wednesday on the way to Smokin' Aces, another sort of tempest was brewing at Smokin' Aces in McAllen ­--- and it didn't involve tornadoes.

The air was thick with anticipation walking inside the entrance through the windy rain. Just moments earlier, hail drops the size of raisins pelted everything in sight. After all the excitement Mother Nature produced, the girls everyone was waiting to see were ready to stir a bit of their own.

Local rockers Incohero (watch their Festiva Unplugged performance) kicked off an amazing set with music from their new album, The Way of the Dinosaur, lighting up the house with their explosive punk sound. The Vital Brass Tones and Jonestown Tragedy (download a song by them), both Valley bands, followed with stellar performances.

It wasn't long until I had noticed Nina Diaz (guitar, keys, vocals) giving out autographs to eager fans along with her band mates who were doing the same. Phanie D. (drums) and Jenn Alva (bass) seemed to have their hands busy as well, making small talk with fans and repeating to autograph. I waited patiently for the right moment to approach all of them and finally got some private time to pick their brains. Here's what they had to say:

How was it playing on Cyndi Lauper's tour?
It was fun. She's very organized, and down to Earth which made it nice for us. We learned a lot from it.

In what ways is the new album different from previous work?
You can't pinpoint the sound. The different influences we've gained kind of helped mold the direction we wanted to go in. Our grandfather was a huge inspiration for it as well. He played guitar and sang in a band in the 50s which drew inspiration for the album title.

How do you feel about working with Joan Jett?
It's always new, and she gives really great advice. Her style is flawless, and her ideas are relevant. She really knows music at heart.

What's the craziest thing you've done as a band?
Hmm....we've been in a blizzard!

After the interview, the girls prepped themselves up and began to walk on stage. All eyes were on their every move as the anticipation grew stronger. A guitar lick popped here and there, initiating sound check. The bass began to hum thickly and drum rattle could be heard in the back field. They were ready, and so was the crowd who came out to see them.