Girl in a Coma
|Girl in a Coma|
Girl in a Coma on March 20, 2009
|Origin||San Antonio, Texas, USA|
|Genres||Indie rock, alternative rock, punk.|
Girl In a Coma is an indie rock band from San Antonio, Texas on Joan Jett's Blackheart Records' label. The band is made up of sisters Nina (vocals/guitar) and Phanie Diaz (drums) and long-time friend, Jenn Alva (bass). The name is a reference to The Smiths' song "Girlfriend in a Coma". Before they were called Girl in a Coma, they were Sylvia's Radio and Girls in a Coma.
Nina Diaz is the youngest member of Girl in a Coma. There is an eight year age difference between her and the other band members. Nina is lead-singer and lyricist. Her sister Phanie and Jenn asked her to join their band after she shared a song she had written. Her first show was a week before her 14th birthday. At the tender age of 16 Nina decided to dedicate her energy to the band and left high school. Nina's decision was difficult. She was very close to finishing but realized that her focus was the band. Nina's distinctive voice and powerful live performances attracted the attention of fans, producers and fellow artists. In 2009, Nina collaborated with Tiësto to co-write the dance track, "In Your Mind."  At the start of 2014, Nina Diaz, decided to take a break from Girl in a Coma to head into the studio to record this new solo material.
Nina and Phanie are Mexican American. They are an important example for the Latino Music world. Although the girls grew up only being able to understand Spanish, Nina has made it her goal to learn to speak and write in Spanish. She wants to incorporate the language into their music and display her Latina pride. Since Nina and Phanie grew up in Texas and hearing Tejano music, Selena was constantly played in their house, they have also integrated this element into their band as well to allow their culture and traditions to be shown. It also allows many girls to see that Latinas can be rockers but also include their culture values. As a means of showing her Tejano culture, Phanie believes in the practice of curanderismo while her mother implements it.
Phanie's name is actually Stephanie but she has always gone by Phanie. She started learning how to play the acoustic guitar when she was eleven and eventually she learned how to play Nirvana cords. Jenn Alva and Phanie met in 8th grade in art class where they became best friends. Jenn and Phanie, both having a love for rock/punk music and both with the ability to play instruments, started up a band.
The band started with little money and much moral support from parents and friends. It was hard at first, they did the best they could by buying all the instruments and tools they could to begin to create music of their own. Prior to the groups first album, they were taken in by a fellow friend of theirs giving them a place to stay so they could focus entirely on their music.
Girl in a Coma hoped to record their first album with Erick and Gabe, two producers impressed by Girl in a Coma's live shows. Girl in a Coma was to be the first band that they signed to their up and coming music label.
In 2006, while filming the television series pilot for the SiTV show Jammin, the girls met one of their musical idols, Joan Jett. Joan Jett and producer Kenny Laguna signed the girls to a contract with Blackheart Records as a result of seeing them perform at the Knitting Factory in New York City for the television show.
In October 2007, while in New York, Girl in a Coma were called by Morrissey to open for the remainder of his tour.
Drummer Phanie Diaz and bass player Jenn Alva are both openly lesbian. Jenn is currently married and has been out lesbian for a longer time than Phanie. Phanie was hesitant at first on coming out because she wanted her mother to know first. She wrote a letter to her telling her that she was lesbian. Her mom was very accepting. Another reason why Phanie did not want to publicly announce her sexual orientation was because she did not want the public to focus on that and put them into a gay band box.
Girl in a Coma is a band made up of strong individuals who write songs that connect back to Chicana women and the whole concept of mestiza consciousness. On May 1, 2007 the band came out with a new song called "I'll ask him". You can listen to the song here  This song demonstrates women empowerment and mestiza consciousness in a very unique way.
Going back to the music, through the lyrics of this song you can listen to a verse in which a question is asked "Daddy, am I a nice girl for making him cry? This alone is a very powerful line only because it portrays a form of gender role confusion. According to a section in the book "Borderlands" Gloria Anzaldua' talks about how women are often portrayed as weak and have no say in anything that can be beneficial to them. Women often feel the pressure of doing things the right way since that perception/ idea is put upon women. The fact that in the Lyrics to Girl in a Coma, she asks if she is a nice girl explains that confusion between a woman doing the right thing and not being outspoken.
"I change myself, I change the world." is one of the quotes by Gloria Anzaldua' that is very powerful and relates closely to girl in a Coma. This quotes is a resemblance of that the girls stand for and what they believe in regardless of what many others think.
On March 22, 2009 group member Jenn Alva and Nina Diaz were arrested outside of a Houston club. They were briefly detained and processed at a Harris County jail. Both were charged with felony assault on a public servant. The incident began when one of the officers, who was working as a security guard, saw Diaz slap her boyfriend and attempted to separate the couple.   All charges were later dropped.
On August 14, 2011 Girl in a Coma performed at the Seattle Woodland Park. They were the opening band for the GO-Gos which was a huge success. These girls have a passion a determination when it comes to playing powerful music. Opening all-female band Girl in a Coma surely was a nod to the Go-Gos punk rock roots. The trio slashed through their set –aggressive songs with more than a little Seattle grunge influence – with great dramatic and explosive stage presence. According to an article by Michele Costanza, she stated "I think it’s possible that some of the +50 and -10 age-demographics in the crowd were a little confused by Girl in a Coma’s pairing with the much more poppy Go-Gos, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing."
The message the Go-Gos give out, and have always given, is that “GIRLS ROCK!” and it’s good to see this young Texan band being given a shot to be heard by so many potential new fans. Video can be found here  The music that these girls play are all relative to their own personal background and history. These girls come from a Hispanic background but yet their Spanish is very poor. These girls grew up in a society in which English was the mainstream language. Having said this you can see how mestiza consciousness comes into play. The society in which they were brought up into have shaped their identity and style and has led to the creation of a new language. This is very similar to the reading from Gloria Anzaldua, in her book Borderlands La Frontera the author talks about how for people who are neither Spanish nor live in a country in which Spanish is the first language; for people who live in a country in which English is the reigning tongue but who are Anglo, they have no choice but to create their own language. "A language which they can connect their identity to, one capable of communicating the realities and values true to themselves".
"Identity is the essential core of who
we are as individuals, the conscious
experience of the self inside."
In 2014, Nina Diaz, the songwriter/vocalist/guitarist of Girl in a Coma is taking time off the band to launch a solo album. While Nina takes time off to launch her solo album, Phanie and Jenn are starting up a new band with guitarist, Annette Iglesias, and singer, Theresa Moher called FEA. Girl in a Coma announces it is not breaking up. They're just simply taking a break.
Musical style and influences
Self-identified by its members as an Indie Rock band, Girl in a Coma creates music that breaks conventions in order to escape the categorization of a single rock genre. Through identifying as such, a freedom to create music that provides, as band member Nina Diaz describes, “The ability to sing, and scream, and break from personal inhibitions" becomes more accessible. The band's emphasis on the importance of freedom and uncategorized musical expression truly provides an opportunity for Girl in a Coma to further embody the diversity of the band’s many musical influences.
Girl in a Coma’s unique musical style, that combines the essence of many rock genres, is generated from the large and eclectic group of musical influences including, Nirvana, girl groups such as Bratmobile and Bikini Kill, the Ramones, and the Smiths, whose song “Girlfriend in a Coma” is attributed to the inspiration for the bands’ name. At the top of the list, band members Phanie and Nina Diaz describe their grandfather as their first prominent musical influence. His passion for music, singing, and guitar playing witnessed at a young age by Phanie and Nina Diaz, has had a profound influence on the band’s music as well as the title of their second album, Trio B.C., titled after their grandfather’s Tejano band from the 50’s. As stated by Phanie Diaz, “His passion is our inspiration. We hope to make people feel that way about our music."
In conjunction to their grandfather’s inspiration, a prominent influence can also be found through Girl in a Coma's lasting connection to Tex-Mex music. Though not always witnessed directly through the production of the bands’ music, Tex-Mex influences are ingrained through the history of Girl in a Coma and each members' origins in San Antonio, Texas. The momentous impact of their background in this community is a primary reason for the literal and symbolic connection Girl in a Coma has with Tex-Mex music which band member Jenn Alva explains, “Is not intentional, it just is because that musical sound has always surrounded us.” This standing idea and comfort of Tex-Mex music in each band member's life has not only influenced the music that they play but the genre of Tex-Mex itself. As described by Deborah Vargas, “Girl in a Coma’s music moves within and through Tex-Mex sound—but is not necessarily of it, thereby enabling an alternative racialized gendered sensibility of what constitutes Tex-Mex.”
Girl in a Coma embodies the mestiza consciousness that Gloria Anzaldua talks about in her book The Borderlands. Mestiza Consciousness is Anzaldua’s feminist theory that a person may not belong to one category, she or he intertwines with two or more.
The three members from Girl in a Coma are like many people that have this mestiza consciousness. Felix Contreras of National Public Radio (NPR) conducted an interview with Girl in a Coma where they opened up about not speaking Spanish and not knowing the language well. Nina Diaz, the lead singer and guitarist, said, “When the grandparents were talking to my older sister, or even adult conversations, you could hear them talking and it felt like a foreign thing," She also said, "It's like, 'What are you saying? I want to understand you.' But then I would go off and play with my toys, and was like, 'Whatever, I guess I'll understand it later.'”  Many people living in a country different from their roots often deal with a feeling of not belonging to either their country of nationality or the country that they currently live.
In another interview, by www.musicpix.net the band members said that they do not like to label themselves as a Latina, lesbian, or girl band, because they do not want to be put in a box. Girl in a Coma does say that if they were anything they would say they are a rock and roll band even though there are punk rock, oldies Spanish music, indie, as well as rock and roll influences in their music. However, they also said they do not want to make it about themselves, because it is all about the music.
Their Mestiza consciousness is noticeable in their music. Their music video “Clumsy Sky” shows many aspects of the Latina and Latino culture but also what life in Texas is like for a Chicana or Chicano due to living a bicultural life. In the interview by www.musicpix.net of Girl in a Coma, the band said that they had influences from Selena Quintanilla, especially because she was also from Texas and she was the first Latina to break out in a male dominated industry. They covered her song “Si Una Vez” in their album Coverland. The band also mentioned in their interview that they would love to have a complete Spanish album in the future.
Girl in a Coma has been involved in social issues affecting the LGBTQ and Latino community. They have stood up to stereotypes and unfair policies through their music. In 2012, Girl in a Coma got together with The SoundStrike to campaign against Arizona’s anti-immigration SB 1070 law. According to the Huffington Post, the band was pulled over and question by authorities in Mobile, Alabama. In an interview, Phanie Diaz does not consider Girl in a Coma to be activists or a political band. “Even though we are not self-identified [as activists], we do pay attention…we have youth, the gay community and the Latino community all paying attention to what we are doing and supporting us so if we can give back, we can.  In a separate interview with GA Voice, Jenn Alva stated that there had to be a different way to approach immigration. “Our country is taking steps in the wrong direction…There’s got to be another way. We need to work to help them and see what brilliant compromise that we can establish.” The song “Hope” on Exits and all the Rests was written about Arizona’s anti-immigration law.
Girl in a Coma utilizes social media to connect with fans. They use Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Their social media promotes upcoming shows and informs fans of new projects they are working on. Not only do they promote what Girl in a Coma is doing collectively, but their space is also used to promote projects that individual members are working on. An example of this is Nina, the lead singer, performing with a new band at the Belmont in Austin, Texas. Also promoted is the “FEA” tour presented by Phanie and Jenn.
A third way in which GIAC use their social media is to share the life they live in between the performances. Specifically speaking of their Instagram account, GIAC in the past has shared pictures wishing their fans a Merry Christmas or posting pictures of them doing something silly. The goal of GIAC and their use of social media is to engage and interact with their fans as much as possible.
In conjunction with this idea and the Mestiza Consciousness that has been a reoccurring theme throughout this page, Girl in a Coma also expresses their Mestiza identity in a subtle way. In every one of their pages their caption reads “Puro Heart. Rock and Roll.” This embodies Gloria Anzaldua’s idea behind “Culture Collision” not only because of the use of the different languages but also the message itself.
Jim Mendiola, the director of many of Girl in a Coma’s music videos, directed the Girl in a Coma an episode of "Jammin’" for SiTV. This 2006 episode captured the girls in their music element: writing songs, recording, performing, and interviewing, all in their hometown of San Antonio, Texas. The full episode is 45 minutes in length, but small clips are available . The episode gives a glimpse into the girls’ lives, how they started up their band, and shows how real and down to earth they really are.   Jim Mendiola 2006
|Nina Diaz Solo Tour||June 11-June 25, 2014|
|Fall Tour with Hunter Valentine and Krissy Krissy||September 10-October 4, 2013|
|Fall tour supporting Minus the Bear with Cursive||October 21-November 17, 2012|
|West Coast Tour Headlining with Piñata Protest and Sara Radle||April 22-May 10, 2012|
|Album Release Tour||October 28-December 10, 2011|
|Go-Go's Tour||August 2011|
Demos and EPs
Gira O Morir Demo (2005)
- "Race Car Driver"
- "Only I"
- "Sybil Vane Was Ill"
- "I'll Ask Him"
- "Simple Man" (hidden track)
Girl In A Coma Demo [Vinyl] (2005) (Very Rare, Only 500 copies)
- "Both Before I'm Gone"
- "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want"
Hiding My Trail EP (2009)
- "Only I"
- "A Conversation"
Adventures in Coverland, Vol. 1 [Vinyl] (2010, Blackheart Records)
- "Si Una Vez"
- "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"
Adventures in Coverland, Vol. 2 [Vinyl] (2010, Blackheart Records)
- "As the World Falls Down"
Adventures in Coverland, Vol. 3 [Vinyl] (2010, Blackheart Records)
- "Come on. Let's Go"
- "Walkin' After Midnight"
- "Femme Fatale"
Both Before I'm Gone (May 1, 2007, Blackheart Records)
- "Clumsy Sky" (3:52)
- "Say" (3:30)
- "Road to Home" (3:56)
- "Sybil Vane Was Ill " (4:05)
- "I'll Ask Him " (3:37)
- "Their Cell" (5:31)
- "In the Background" (3:48)
- "Mr. Chivalry" (5:21)
- "Race Car Driver" (3:51)
- "Consider" (3:48)
- "Celibate Now" (3:36)
- "The Photographer" (3:51)
- "Simple Man" (6:47)
- " Road to Home" Music Video was added as a Bonus on the Album and features LGBT activist Amanda Lepore
Trio B.C. (June 2, 2009, Blackheart Records) (48:32)
- "BB" (3:48)
- "Static Mind" (3:02)
- "Vino" (4:42)
- "Baby Boy" (3:49)
- "El Monte" (3:53)
- "In the Day" (3:15)
- "Slaughter Lane" (2:58)
- "Trail" (4:03)
- "Pleasure and Pain" (3:35)
- "Joannie in the City" (3:15)
- "Pink Lemonade" (3:39)
- "Empty Promise" (3:43)
- "Ven Cerca" (4:57)
- "Davey" - Unreleased iTunes Bonus
Adventures in Coverland (October 19, 2010, Blackheart Records) (32:52)
- "Si Una Vez (Selena)" (2:56)
- "While My Guitar Gently Weeps (The Beatles)" (3:25)
- "Transmission (Joy Division)"
- "As the World Falls Down (David Bowie)" (3:56)
- "Come On, Let's Go (Ritchie Valens)" (2:07)
- "Walkin' After Midnight (Patsy Cline)" (2:49)
- "Femme Fatale (The Velvet Underground)" (3:13)
- "For What It's Worth (Buffalo Springfield)" (3:27)
- "Yo Oigo" (original recording) (3:57)
- "BB (acoustic version)" (3:20)
Exits & All The Rest (November 1, 2011, Blackheart Records) (45:03)
- "Adjust" (3:52)
- "One Eyed Fool" (3:12)
- "Smart" (3:21)
- "She Had A Plan" (4:28)
- "So" (4:42)
- "Cemetery Baby" (4:40)
- "Knocking At Your Door" (2:53)
- "Hope" (3:50)
- "Control" (5:00)
- "Sly" (5:12)
- "Mother's Lullaby" (3:59)
- "Smart (Radio Edit)" (3:19) - iTunes Bonus
- "Coffee and Tea" (3:56) - iTunes Bonus
- "Hotel" - Amazon.com Bonus
Girl in a Coma has filmed nine music videos between the years of 2007 and 2012 since the forming of the band in 2006. Music videos can be found here .
From their first album, Both Before I’m Gone, which was released in 2007, the Latina girl band came out with four music videos from that first album alone. With the help of directors Jim Mendiola and Greg Olliver, Girl in a Coma was able to film all four videos in about a year and a half. Many of their music videos have been filmed in San Antonio, Texas, where Jenn, Nina, and Phanie live. For the Road to Home music video, Girl in a Coma featured a guest star to perform in it, Amanda Lepore. The music video Clumsy Sky was filmed in a nightclub in their hometown of San Antonio, called Lerma’s Nite Club. With the help of Vincent Valdez, the music video Say by Girl in a Coma had hand drawn letters and drawings for the background of the video. The last of the four music videos filmed for the first album Both Before I’m Gone, was Their Cell, which Girl in a Coma filmed inside the Gonzales County Jail in Gonzales, Texas.
As for Girl in a Coma’s second album, Trio B.C., the band filmed two music videos. Again, with the directing of Jim Mendiola, and on location in San Antonio, Texas, Girl in a Coma filmed both El Monte, and Static Mind, in July 2009.
The band’s third album, Adventures in Coverland, was an entire album dedicated to covering songs from other artists, and the first album where Girl in a Coma switched it up and found different directors to help direct their music videos. One of the covers, As the World Falls Down, was originally David Bowie’s song, and Girl in a Coma released a music video for that song in 2010, directed by Robert Rodriguez. The one other music video that the band filmed from their third album was for Walkin’ After Midnight, which was Patsy Cline’s original song. This music video also came out in 2010, but Jenn Alva (bass guitarist in the band) directed the video.
Lastly, Girl in a Coma has filmed one music video for their latest album Exits and All the Rest. The video for Smart came out in 2012 and is the most recent work of Girl in a Coma.
 Both Before I'm Gone (2007)
- "Clumsy Sky"
- "Road To Home"
- "Their Cell"
Trio B.C. (2009)
- "Static Mind"
- "El Monte"
Adventures In Coverland (2010)
- "Walkin' After Midnight" (Patsy Cline cover)
- "As The World Falls Down" (David Bowie cover)
Exits and All the Rest (2011)
- "Smart" (Released 25/10/11)
Awards and nominations
- Nominated for Artist of the Year on Channel One News
- Independent Music Awards Best Independent/Alternative Rock Album “Exits & All the Rest”
- Nominated for Best Independent/Alternative Rock Song “Adjust”
- IMA Vox Pop fan poll for “Adjust” in the Indie/Alt. Rock Song Category
- Named one of the best bands to see at SXSW by TIME.com
- “Exits & All the Rest” nominated for Outstanding Music Artist for the GLAAD Media Awards
- “Exits & All the Rest” one of NPR’s Top 50 Albums of 2011
- "Smart” is #4 on Rolling Stones Playlist of favorite songs, albums, and videos
- “Walkin’ After Midnight” nominated for IMA Best Cover Song category
- Esquire Magazine named “Transmission” as #1 Best Song You Probably Didn’t Hear in 2010
- “Clumsy Sky” selected as the Winner of the Song-Punk category in the 7th annual Independent Music Awards
- Girl In a Coma Interview, Mike Ramsey, The Cover Zone
- "Multiple Matches Found - MSN Musictrio-bc". Music.msn.com. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
- "Nina Diaz". Texas Monthly. 2009-08-01. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
- from Jim Mendiola 3 years ago Not Yet Rated (2010-08-26). "Girl in a Coma Documentary - Excerpts on Vimeo". Vimeo.com. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
- Gallagher, Natalie (2013-09-26). "Girl in a Coma's Nina Diaz: I've gone through my last wormhole | The Fast Pitch". The Pitch. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
- Bondy, Halley (2012-10-15). "Girl in a Coma: To Be Young, Retro, and Adored". Mtv Iggy. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
- "Girl In A Coma on Tone Deaf - The Home Of Australian Music". Tonedeaf.com.au. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
- In, Girl (2011-10-19). "Girl In A Coma: Rockers Tackle Their Second Language". NPR. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
- "Girl in a Coma Girl bio". Girlinacoma.com. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
- "Girl in a Coma Biography - ARTISTdirect Music". Artistdirect.com. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
- Girl In A Coma Interview, The Austinist
- SXSW 2007 live review, Ben Rhudy Mar, Monstersandcritics, March 2007
- Girl In A Coma Confirmed for SXSW
- Girl in a Coma Interview: SXSW 2010
- Independent Music Awards - 7th Annual Winners
- "Przystanek Woodstock 2010 (European Woodstock Festival 2010) w Kostrzyn nad Odrą (Kostrzyn nad Odrą) z dnia 30 VII 2010 – Last.fm". Lastfm.pl. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
- "11th Annual Independent Music Awards Winners Announced!" Independent Music Awards, 2 May 2012. Retrieved on 4 Sept. 2013.
- "Interview: Jenn Alva of Girl in a Coma ~ Lesbiatopia". Lesbiatopia.com. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
- Bendix, Trish (2010-04-15). "Girl in a Coma's Phanie Diaz talks about coming out and living on the road". AfterEllen.com. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
- "Girl In A Coma - I'Ll Ask Him Lyrics". Songlyrics.com. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
- "Gloria E. Anzaldúa Quotes (Author of This Bridge Called My Back)". Goodreads.com. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
- "San Antonio Current - Blogs". .sacurrent.com. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
- Gray, Chris (2009-03-24). "Girl In a Coma Members Released From Jail After Weekend Brawl | Houston Press". Blogs.houstonpress.com. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
- Sculley, Alan (November 24, 2011). "Sweet dreams: Girl in a Coma brings punk-tinged rock to SLC", Daily Herald. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
- Michele Costanza (2011-08-23). "ZooTunes: Go-Go’s Do It Right by Marianne Spellman - SassyCityGirl". Blog.seattlepi.com. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
- "Girl in a Coma (at a zoo in Seattle)". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
- Vargas, D. R. (2012). Epilogue. Dissonant divas in Chicana music: the limits of la onda (). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
- "Interview: Girl in a Coma at the Zoo". Retrieved 2014-06-01.
- Contreras, Felix. "Girl in a Coma: Rockers Tackle their Second Language." . National Public Radio, 19 Oct. 2011. Web. 3 June 2014. <http://www.npr.org/2011/10/19/141475757/girl-in-a-coma-rockers-tackle-their-second-language>.
- Girl in a Coma interview with www.musicpix.net. Perf. Nina Diaz, Phanie Diaz, Jenn Alva. YouTube, 2010. Film. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_sUN7dmf1A>.
- Official website
- Girl in a Coma on Myspace
- Interview of "Girl In A Coma" on The Lesbian Podcast
- Video Interview of "Girl In A Coma" By Serene Dominic
- Interview with Girl in a Coma at SuicideGirls.com
- Amoeba Records: GIAC performing "Clumsy Sky" By StereoStef
- Interview with "Girl in A Coma" at Autostraddle.com
- FEA Facebook page