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Girl in a Coma comes alive
by Jerry Nunn

Girl in a Coma is made up of three women—two of them lesbians—who rock to their own beat on Joan Jett's Blackheart label. Windy City Times called Jenn Alva, the bass player, to discuss life on the road.
Windy City Times: Hello, Jenn. You are from Texas?

Jenn Alva: Yes, from San Antonio.

WCT: The name Girl in a Coma is in reference to a song. Did you all start off as Smiths fans?

Jenn Alva: Phanie and I have been best friends since 1992. That is one of the things we bonded over in middle school.

WCT: You were able to eventually open for Morrissey.

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Jenn Alva: That was incredible. We were doing our own East Coast tour at the time, then we got the phone call that we could open for Morrissey for his East Coast dates. Our fan base was a little weak back then so once we got on that we tried to not be fans of his and just do a good job. We stayed out of his way.

WCT: I have heard crazy stories about him, actually.

Jenn Alva: He was really sweet to us but we didn't ask him any questions.

WCT: I interviewed Sara from Tegan and Sara, whom you opened up for after that.

Jenn Alva: They are great. They are so down to earth and intelligent. It was totally different because we went from opening up for Morrissey, which we like to call boot camp, to Tegan and Sara who asked us to hang out after the shows with them. They are sweet.

WCT: I met with Sara after their show. They have a strong fan following.

Jenn Alva: They sure do. That worked out for us too because we were able to steal some of their fans over to us.

WCT: And now you are opening for Sia. Have you done any shows with her yet?

Jenn Alva: No, we met her at The Michigan Womyn's Music Festival. Everyone camps out there. We had a sound check at eight in the morning, which was ridiculously early. We ended up waking her up. But she loved it and we have stayed in touch since then.

WCT: She's a character. You have a new EP that just came out.

Jenn Alva: Yeah, we have three. One was just released April 13 called Adventures in Coverland Volume 1. There is a Selena cover "Si Una Vez" and a Beatles cover "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." On the 20 we [ had ] another release of "Transmission" by Joy Division and "As the World Falls Down" by David Bowie. Our last one is on the April 27, with three songs: "Walking After Midnight" by Patsy Cline, Ritchie Valens "Come On, Let's Go" and "Femme Fatale" by The Velvet Underground.

WCT: So, quite a mix!

Jenn Alva: Yes, definitely a random mix that we wanted to do. If you buy all three vinyls the album cover folds out and it makes a board game.

WCT: What kind of game is it?

Jenn Alva: It's called Adventures in Coverland. You and friends can follow us to different states. You have to make it back to our hometown, which is San Antonio.

WCT: That brings us back full circle. You are openly lesbian. Do you have a girlfriend?

Jenn Alva: No, I am single. I like saying that.

WCT: I will get some girls to come out to the Chicago show. Then, afterwards they can follow you back to Texas.

Jenn Alva: Sounds good. See ya then!

Girl in a Coma opens for Sia this Sunday, April 25, at the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield. Visit or more information.