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A Q&A with Girl In A Coma (playing Friday at the Pastime Club)

Written by Paul Raymore
Tuesday, 04 September 2007

Girl In A Coma will play the Pastime Club in Truckee on Friday, Sept. 7 at 9:30 p.m. The Randies will also play that night.

The Tahoe World’s Paul Raymore caught up with drummer Phanie Diaz by email last week to ask a few questions about the band...

Tahoe World: How is the tour going so far this summer?

Phanie Diaz: The tour is going great! Weve been on the road going on three months now…and this to us is the best way to get our music out. So we are having a blast and a lot of adventures.

TW: What was playing on the Warped Tour this year like?

PD: Hard work! Everyone calls it the boot camp of rock and roll and it truly is! When we started it we were not to familiar with the rules of warped… like getting up at 8 a.m. etc… We’re such late sleepers. The last day with Warped is when we finally got the hang of it… So if we are ever on it again we will be better prepped next time. As for the kids, it’s really a great way to get to the kids who can’t come to the late night shows to check you out. Kelly O. of the dollyrots, who we also played Warped with, gave us some great direction and advice on getting through the tour. She’s great.

TW: Other than being one of your musical influences (if your press materials are to be believed), has Joan Jett had any more impact on your music since you signed with her Blackheart label?

PD: Definitely. We have always been fans of Joan since she was with the Runaways, but now that we personally know her, she’s even more of an inspiration. You can truly see in her attuitude that she really cares about her label and guiding and helping bands as much as possible. She’s always been true to herself and her beliefs: She’s not only a role model for women in the industry, but people in general.

TW: What other musicians, artists, great works of literature, etc. have helped shape the band’s music?

PD: For Jenn and I, Babes in Toyland and Bikini Kill were the main bands that influenced us growing up. Nina loves a lot of the singers from back when, like Billie Holiday and Patsy Cline. My mom has a huge collection of vinyl and was always rocking them and sharing them with Nina and I. The passion in tejano music growing up was also an influence — we were surrounded by music. Jenn is also a huge Elvis fan. At one point she actually thought she was Elvis’ daughter. Her father use to tell her he was Elvis and she totally believed it!

TW: What about being an all-girl band? How does that affect your sound?

PD: It really doesn’t affect the sound at all. We don’t think: Hey we’re an all girl band, so we should write about this or sound like this. We just write rock and roll, and sing about what we are feeling at the time. We’re all humans, and we all have the same feelings, so someone is going to relate to the lyrics or music regardless of gender.

TW: A lot of writers have been surprised at the quality of your first record (including me). How do your live shows differ from your recorded songs?

PD: It doesn’t stray far from it at all. What I love about Nina’s voice is she sounds exactly like the record — it’s not some auto tuner that a lot of artists need to use these days. It’s raw and is real. When you see her live you can feel her. The same for our playing. Of course there might be a slip up here and there, but that is what makes live shows fun. We tried not to do anything [on the album] too far from what we do live, so you can pretty much expect the same thing.

TW: The Pastime Club in Truckee, Calif. — where you’re playing Sept. 7 — is a small, dirty, badly lit bar with a tiny stage, horrible acoustics and 100+ years of grime in the corners. It’s also by far the best place to see punk or alternative-type bands in the area. What’s your idea of an ideal venue? Crowd? After party?

PD: I think old dirty bars are great! They are the best place to be up close and personal with a band and really feel the music. We love playing places like that — they always make the most memorable gigs. We love it when a crowd is feeding you energy and you can tell they are there for the live show experience. As for after parties, we are totally party poopers. Give us a bed for sleep, that’s an after party :) We party in our dreams. Ha ha.

TW: Anything else you’d like to add?

PD: Come see us at the Pastime!