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
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
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