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Girl In A Coma: The Next Runaways?

Published by MTV News on Thursday, July 2, 2009 at 5:00 pm.
By Daniela Capistrano

It’s no secret that that “Twilight” star Kristen Stewart will be playing rock legend Joan Jett in the upcoming biopic, “The Runaways.”

With the rest of the band’s lineup finally cast, the real Joan Jett has been on the set in a producing role, making sure that the film will stay true to the pioneering girl rockers legacy.

What you might not know is that the rock vet’s label Blackheart Records is home to what could be this generation’s Runaways: Texas trio Girl In A Coma.

The band is excited about Kristen Stewart playing their hero and have some friendly advice for the actress. “If you’re going to play Joan you have to have that stare,” explains drummer Phanie Diaz. “It’s an I-can-see-through-into-your-soul stare. If Kristen has that locked, then she’s on her way.”

Describing themselves as “nerds” and “loners” who read Love & Rockets comics, Diaz and bassist Jenn Alva met in high school and bonded over their passion for Nirvana and Morrissey, naming their band as an homage to the Smiths’ song “Girlfriend in a Coma.”

Soon after, Phanie’s 12-year-old sister Nina joined the group as singer/guitarist/songwriter and they recorded their first demo in the summer of 2004. They were discovered by Joan Jett at an NYC gig at the Knitting Factory, and Jett released their debut album Both Before I’m Gone in 2007. Last month, the band released their second album Trio B.C. named after their grandfather’s Tejano band in the ’50s.

“He was our first musical influence,” Phanie explains. “He would play us guitar and sing and we would love to watch him in the garage with a cold beer in his hand, playing his records and singing along like he meant it. His passion is our inspiration.”

Phanie hopes the group can fill hero, label boss and mentor Jett’s big shoes and transcend labels. “We just wanna play rock and roll,” said Phanie. “But of course we are going to get labeled a girl band. Jenn and I are gay, so we also get the queer-band label. It just happens. We got a lot of people after our show that come up and say ‘I don’t really like chick bands but I like yours.’ I think to myself, why is that? What is so bad about all females making music?”