Posted on 02 June 2009
In 2006, three heavily tattooed, well-coiffed, Latina girls from the
Lone Star state, made a big enough splash at New York’s Knitting
Factory that audience member Joan Jett signed the punk rockers on the
spot to her label, Blackheart Records. In 2007, Girl in A Coma released
the critically acclaimed, Both Before I’m Gone. Since then GIAC
has toured consistently, supporting acts such as Tegan and Sara, Social
Distortion, Frank Black and even Morrissey, to whom the girls have often
been compared. Their sophomore release Trio B.C. drops today, June 2nd
and I had a chance to talk for a few minutes with the very busy Jenn
Alva between video shoots and record release parties about the meaning
behind the cryptic new album title, the details on their upcoming tour,
and the band’s endearing affinity for 90s alt-rock.
Reni Papananias, Popwreckoning: Hi Jenn? It’s Reni from Popwreckoning.
How are you doing?
JA: I’m good, we’re actually at the college radio station
here and they’re not quite ready for us.
PW: Oh, what radio station?
J.A.: KSYM, it’s the local college radio station here.
PW: Nice, are you guys playing or doing an interview?
JA: We’re doing an interview today because tonight is our CD
release party. It’s exciting.
PW: Yeah, definitely. So what’s going on at the CD release
JA: We’re playing at this place called Jack’s Patio and
it’s all sold out which is awesome.
JA: Thank you, yeah so we’re going to play and debut the new
merch that we have. We tend not to play too much in San Antonio, maybe
once every two months or whatever. We don’t want our fans to
go away if we play too much!
PW: Right. So tell me about the new CD. I’ve only heard a couple
of tracks and I really like it.
JA: Well, it’s called Trio B.C. and it’s an homage
to the girls’ grandfather, he’s the man on the cover and
his band was named Trio B.C. and he was a big inspiration
to the girls, and he was kind of like my grandfather, too so…
PW: I love that name by the way!
JA: Yeah, it’s interesting, huh?
PW: It’s kind of fitting.
JA: Right. So, a lot of these are new songs, and we’ve been
dying to put out a new album, so you can see our progression just
a bit. The album before was written during a time when we had just
started the band and this is all kind of new and fresh. I don’t
know, we like it a lot and we’re not tired of it yet. It’s
really good I think.
PW: I definitely like it, I feel like you guys have evolved on this
record. In what way would you say your sound has changed since the
JA: This is different because we all tend to listen to the same music,
music brings us together, and we’ve just been hooked on our
90s music a lot. Everything that Nina listens to she’s influenced
by Sonic Youth, Smashing Pumpkins, and this record is kind of like
what’s going on in our life right now, and that’s why
the music sounds like it does. I think her lyrics are just getting
better and going through a lot more experiences she started the band
very young, like 12, 13, and she’s 21 now, so…
PW: I think you guys have a very mature sound, her voice and the
JA: Thank you.
PW: It has a dark, older feel to it, which I like. So, I actually
saw you guys when you opened for Tegan and Sara in October of 08.
JA: Oh, what city?
PW: New York, Terminal 5.
JA: That was fun.
PW: You guys were great. How was that tour? I know you guys have
been out with a lot of really great people. Do you have a favorite
tour? I know you did the True Colors tour and have been out in support
JA: Yeah, each one was great for it’s own different reasons.
It was pretty wonderful to start with a big tour like Morrissey because
it really kept us in this state of being like thankful. We like to
call that tour like a “Boot Camp” almost. When you tour,
you never know what the artist’s personality is like, and all
you want to do is just do a good job. With Morrissey we tended to
stay out of his way. We did what we had to do and then we ran to our
dressing rooms and you know, I think it paid off because he appreciated
that we kind of left him alone and he talked to us when he wanted
Going on the next tour, it was kind of the same thing. But with
Tegan and Sara they were definitely like, “don’t do that
with us! You guys can hangout whenever you want to.” Not to
say that Morrissey is not, but they are definitely down to Earth and
it was just a great experience, each one. We like to be ourselves
around these people but at the same time show that we’re going
to back off a little.
PW: Will you guys be headlining your own tour for this album?
JA: Right! We are. We joined up with Miss Derringer. She’s got
a great voice and it’s sort of this rockabilly sort of dark
kind of band and it’s going to be good for us too because it’s
really nice to join up with a band that you enjoy and that’s
kind of similar to you. It’s going to be fun. They’re
from LA. We’re going to do a couple of months.
PW: Will you be stopping in New York?
JA: Yes, of course!
PW: Oh! Tell me about the video shoot you just did.
JA: The song is called “El Monte”. It’s a love song
with a reality twist at the end, and yesterday we did “Static
Mind”, and that one we wanted to keep random because you look
at a lot of these 90s videos and that’s what we love about them;
some of them were random, some of them were artsy when it was time
to really appreciate a CD and to also really appreciate a video, too.
So, we just had fun yesterday. We worked with Jimmy Mendiola again
for both videos. He’s a good buddy of ours: we work well together.
PW: I’ll definitely look forward to that. Thank you so much.
Good luck tonight!
JA: Thank you.
Trio B.C. is out on Blackheart Records today, June 2nd, 2008.