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Girl In A Coma Loves Joan Jett's Rock 'N Roll
Of the Oakland Press


Those checking out Girl In A Coma this weekend needn’t worry — there’ll be plenty of motion when the San Antonio trio hits the stage.

The all-female group’s name is an homage to the Smiths hit “Girlfriend in a Coma,” and that group’s frontman, Morrissey, has even taken GIAC on the road with him twice as an opening act.

But the band’s real patron is Joan Jett, the rock veteran who signed GIAC to her Blackheart Records label after meeting the trio as part of a reality TV show in 2006.

“She was the surprise part of the show,” says drummer Phanie Diaz, 27, who formed the group with her younger sister, singer-guitarist Nina Diaz, and school friend Jenn Alva on bass. “She stayed for our practice and then came to see us later that night at a show.

“She liked it and as soon as we came off stage, she and her partner, Kenny (Laguna) offered to sign us on the spot. We said ‘yes’ immediately, and things went from there.”

“Things” have included GIAC’s debut album, “Both Before I’m Gone,” as well as the singles “Clumsy Sky,” “Road to Home” and “Say.” Nina Diaz, meanwhile, has also appeared on the TLC show “L.A. Ink,” getting a tattoo from Kat Von D.

GIAC is hard at work on its second album, which it hopes to record this summer and have out in early 2009.

Jett is still a booster and mentor, but Phanie Diaz says that she also gives the band plenty of room to make its own music.

“She’s very involved,” Diaz says, “but she gives us creative control. She doesn’t tell us how to write songs or anything like that. But if we need advice or help with anything we don’t understand, she’s there for us.

“She’s like a big sister. We can totally call and write her (e-mails) for help. She’s there all the way, definitely, which is a big, big help.”