The San Antonio, Texas all-female trio -- who named themselves after the Smiths' song “Girlfriend in a Coma” -- know a thing or two about surviving high school cliques, coming out of the closet and the pitfalls of the music industry.
Jenn Alva and Phanie Diaz were in high school when they had their “let's start a band" moment, but they had no vocalist. Unlike most punk kids who reject family and all that “uncool” stuff, Diaz chose to recruit her younger sister, Nina, who was only 13 years old at the time, to become their lead vocalist and, undoubtedly, their secret weapon.
Nina's edgy drawl helps make the band even more unique. You can hear a little bit of Morrissey, Selena and Patsy Cline in her vocals. Girl in a Coma's third studio album, Adventure in Coverland (2010), showcases her voice's virtuous ability to transition from the musical borders of Tex-Mex to the U.K., from a punked-out rendition of Selena’s “Si Una Vez” to a minimalist take on Joy Division’s “Transmission.”
The band has been signed to Joan Jett's label, Blackheart Records since 2006, and with the rock icon's mentoring and access to a broader audience, Girl in a Coma have been gaining a loyal following and critical acclaim from the indie-rock community.
How they got signed to Jett goes back to the band's hero, Morrissey: One of their homemade demo tapes made it into the hands of Morrissey's music director, Boz Boorer. He then invited the trio to London to record their first demo. Later, Girl in a Coma were flown to NYC's Knitting Factory to perform on a cable TV documentary about emerging Latino bands -- and it was there that Jett signed them on the spot.
Girl in a Coma are paired perfectly on a tour with Canada's all-female rock band Hunter Valentine. GIAC's fourth studio album, Exits & All the Rest, made it to No. 6 on the Billboard's Heatseekers chart.
The Mexican-American band are seen as heroes by girls who can't and won't conform for others. According to their tweets, they are all “San Antonio. Puro heart. Rock and Roll.” So get ready to get your hair blown back on Friday night -- it's all part of San Diego Music Thing.
Dita Quiñones is a multimedia journalist born in Tijuana with a passion for Latin alternative and hip-hop music news. Her main goal is to uplift and inform so that the Latino and Hip-Hop community get knitted into the fabric of American history. In addition to SoundDiego, she contributes to Latina, FOX News Latino, Poder, VidaVibrante, and HipHopDx. She is also the founder of the infamous music and politrix blog GN$F! Follow Dita on Twitter.