Q TOWN

Return to Girl In A Coma

 

Girl In a Coma LIVE October 3rd!

There’s a reason San Antonio rock band Girl In a Coma was signed on the spot by Joan Jett. The all-female, all-Latina rockers are sophisticated musicians who know how to perform. After touring with the likes of Morrissey, Frank Black, The Pogues, Tegan and Sara and Social Distortion, sisters Nina and Phanie Diaz and Jenn Alva are stopping at the Black Cat in DC October 3rd. We caught up with drummer Phanie for a little q & a during a break in touring.

Q> You’ve toured with so many living legends—Cyndi Lauper, the Pogues, Social D, Tegan and Sara and Morrissey…what are some of your favorite moments from your time with these folks?
Phanie> With Morrissey it would have to be Paris. It was our final show and he came in our dressing room…thanked us for touring with him and gave us a bottle of champagne. With Cyndi it would have to be when she pulled me on stage to sing “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” with her. Tegan and Sara would be making great friends. We still talk to Tegan and Jonny 5, their drummer, to this day. Social D shows were just amazing…their guitar player Jonny just came to our show in LA at Sunset Junction.

Q> How did you hook up with Joan Jett?
Phanie> She came to our show in NYC while we were filming a documentary. She was supposed to be a surprise guest and give us advice. She ended up really liking us and signing us to Blackheart.

Q> Does Joan look as good in person as she does on tv?
Phanie> She’s beautiful.

Q> You guys rock as hard (or harder) than any rock band today- male or female, yet you’ve talked in the past about struggling as an all-female rock band. Do you feel like you are still facing any discrimination?
Phanie> As an all female band I believe we are always going to face discrimination whether we know it or not. We are Latinas, we are two parts gay, we don’t look like Barbie dolls and we play rock and roll. There will always be someone wanting to put us in a box as either a queer band or girl band. We just tend to do what we do and not really worry about it.

Q> Can you tell us some things that go along with your success that you weren’t expecting? (good and bad)
Phanie> We are constantly on tour, but we love it. Watching the crowds get bigger…meeting and experiencing things you never thought you would. I think as long as we are busy…we are doing all right.

Q> The LGBT community is still struggling for equal rights. Do you find yourselves being political at your shows?
Phanie> Jenn and I are proud lesbians…and we support the community all we can. We don’t make it the focus of the band though. So no, we are not very vocal on the subject at our shows.

Q> Being in the spotlight, do you think it made it easier or harder to come out?
Phanie> I would say easier…being gay is part of who I am, so why hide it? Like I said, we don’t make it a focus…but if we inspire someone, that is enough for us. You can be gay, you can be Latina, you don’t have to look like what the media thinks is beautiful and you can play rock and roll and be successful at it.someone, that is enough for us. You can be gay, you can be Latina, you don’t have to look like what the media thinks is beautiful and you can play rock and roll and be successful at it.

Q> Your video for “As The World Falls Down” has a unique story involving director Robert Rodriguez—can you tell us about it? …and by the way, your version is beautiful.
Phanie> Thank you! We met Robert at SXSW. He started following us around and just filming. He even came to a San Antonio show and filmed. I think he got where we came from and wanted to show the love and support that surrounds us at our Texas shows. The crowd in and around SA is very amazing. He comes from SA as well. It’s a pride thing. Showing other people we are proud of our roots and where we come from. We have that in common.

Q> The songs you covered on the newest album “Adventures in Coverland” are an eclectic bunch; from The Velvet Underground to Selena. What was it about these songs that compelled you so much that you wanted to put out your own versions?
Phanie> Those are songs that we grew up with. We listen to everything. Which is why Trio BC has the sound it does. I remember reading a review where the critic didn’t understand how we can not pick a sound for the band. We went this way and that way and tempo changes. But that’s what I love about us. We can play anything we want. It’s what we know. We love Elvis, we love Selena, the Beatles and Joy Division. Everything influences us, so why should we limit ourselves?

Q> Do you get to hang out in the cities you play in? Got any funny road stories?
Phanie> For the most part, yes. There are tons of funny stories. I don’t even know where to start. Probably not appropriate to share!