By Gil DeLaRosa, CNN
(CNN) - Members of the all-girl, Mexican-American rock band Girl in a Coma are unabashed about their tattooed look and hard-edged sound. But they're also childhood friends who grew up in San Antonio, listening to a mix of Tex-Mex, Tejano - and punk.
With their fourth album, "Exits & All the Rest," released this month on Joan Jett's Blackheart Records, they're trying to prove that rock can come from anywhere, and in many forms.
"We're females. We're trying to prove to everybody that, you know, we can rock, too," bassist Jennifer Alva said. "We're Latinas, we're representing our culture. Two-thirds gay. We have a lot on our plate. We're trying to do a good job of representing all three."Alva and sisters Nina and Phanie Diaz have been playing together for 10 years, but In 2008, the song "Clumsy Sky" won an Independent Music Award for best punk song, and this year, the band was nominated for the song "Walking After Midnight.”
"There's no gimmick to us," drummer Phanie Diaz said. "We're women. We can look the way that we look ... we're the girls next door, we're your sisters, we're your tias. You can do it, too."
Here's what singer and guitarist Nina Diaz had to say about growing as musicians and as a band - and growing a fan base.
CNN: What is it like to be Latina in the punk rock community, and what is it like to be a punk rocker in the Latino community?
Nina Diaz: I don’t really think we thought that in the beginning. We were just musicians playing our music. And now we notice being Latina, being all girls, gives us inspiration to get to a lot of people. I guess it gives us just a little more of passion toward that, knowing we’re inspiring more of a generation of people.
CNN: What's it like to be a punk band from the not-exactly-punk-rock-city of San Antonio? How did you learn the music, then find and grow an audience?
Diaz: It’s new, so we’re just bringing out a new style to people…we didn’t invent the metal scene, but being ourselves kind of influences other groups to come out, out of the shadows and try out their own style of music. So it’s kind of the same as being a Latino group and having a different style of music - it’s just inspiring other people that are afraid to do it themselves.
CNN: Who are your fans now? How do you adjust your performance, if at all, based on the people in the audience?
Diaz: Our fans range from all types of ages to all types of ethnic groups. All types of - males, females - you know, there’s no specific genre of people that we play for, it’s anybody that wants to listen. And all I notice from all of our fans is that they’re dedicated people that are always ready to help us. They know that we’re trying really hard to just do our best and to make a good name for San Antonio and for female artists in general.
CNN: How has your music and your band's identity evolved since your first album?
Diaz: Well, we’ve definitely grown up a lot more as far as how we play and our knowledge of organizing songs. I started writing music when I was 13 and I’m 23 years old now, so I guess it’s just a lot of - when you’re writing, it’s a lot of self-learning and growing up and figuring things out and coming out through my lyrics.
Some of us like punk. It's way better than the crap being produced today. But I will agree with you "Punk Sucks," you do suck.
I have gone to many of Girl In A Coma's live performances for many years. I got involved video taping most of the performances I have seen. I had missed out seeing them for a year and a half and was able to see them perform live on stage a couple more times, which is always exciting to see them again and again. They have been a band for 10 years now and I am very glad that they have recently been getting into the limelight with their music. One of my videos have been getting many views which has over 18,000 hits now. I usually get great compliments from fans.
I am getting the CD NOW. Simply because they are from San Antonio ((((O))))) not San Antonia(cnn)
There were some legitimate criticisms posted CNN, and you SHOULDN'T delete those just because someone objects. My comments are below, and are still there. But it seems that the chica love fest is more important then providing all responses. While some people lack style in how they write, their criticisms May be valid. Some of these lovefest comments seem too buttery and suger sweet. But....Hey CNN, Nice to SEE your Selective Blogging. GETTING a little bit like FOX now, huh???
I love this band! So glad to see they are starting to get the recognition they so richly deserve. Great musicians and seem like nice peeps too.
CNN = Punk!!
Trevor, you're wrong. GIAC Is anything but "egotistical" and anybody who actually knows them would agree. Do "egotistical" people in bands kindly offer to add a fan to their guest list if the fan really wanted to see them and was broke?? Just an example there... Not only are they an awesomely talented band, but they are also some of the most down to earth people you could ever meet! These gals are talented AND grounded and THAT is why they will continue to be even more successful. They deserve this and San Antonio is proud! Seriously, your comment was asinine and so far from the truth. YAY GIAC!!
They are beautiful and have great talent! All you haters are just jealous, get over it. They're going to be more famous then they already know, and you all are still gonna be home like little losers judging people that are out flaunting their talents! Yay Girl in a coma! You three rock! Especially Jen! BEAUTIFUL!
Beautiful? Hardly... unless you have a thing for pit bulls! I don't get it... there is an article about them because they are 2/3rds lesbians, Mexicans, and females? So what, their music is pretty much derivative, terrible and boring. Whats with the lesbian love fest nowadays? The media is drowning the public in lesbian this lesbian that. At least tegan and sarah are good musicians, but o yeah ,they are canucks. If these three weren't almost all gay and Mexican and women, there'd be nothing else to write about.
Why is emo considered punk? Isn't it seperate?
They are simply great musicians. i saw them perform in person and their sound is just so awesome. No hip hop stuff, just pure rock and punk rock. A true test of how great a band is, is to here them live.
I am a sista but can I get some 2
I just added Girl In A Coma's latest hit "Smart" to rotation on Merge98FM internet radio. Glad to share a current residence with these talented young women.
Your lame dude!
First of all why are so many of you haters?!? Regardless of their sound and over all look if the band. You should get a life, these ladies have worked very hard to be where they are at. I have known them since the 90's when they were just getting started and they have become amazing artist. So if your gonna be a total dick about style and taste your obviously a child with a very narrow mind. Maybe one day your lame band will make it...
iIt's refreshing to see a latino /latina musical group who doesn't jump on the hip hop/rap style music scene. Kudos to Girl in a Coma, keep it up chicas !
the normal looking one
James, you can make a critique without being a jerk. It is possible. Your opinion is obviously valid, just try not to jump out of the gate being so mean spirited. K? Thanks.
Trevor grabbed a Twix and can't talk now.
I know this might be off topic trevor but, what's the name of your song in guitar hero 3
The silence from Trevor is deafening
Its not Punk. But maybe thats good, cause that genre faded. I thought the vocals (voice) was good; the semi-hollow bass was a great instrument choice...I liked that. The music was not presented in any fashion that I would say "wow." Perhaps thats CNNs fault and I will go to youtube to check. But the clips here made the style and presentatin seem a little pedantic. The "girl" thing and the "latina" thing is way kool, and is understandably inspiring. Maybe you gals should/could raunch up some hommage to Lenny Kravitz; or do a version of Tell Me Something Good (punk style) by Rufus and Chaka Kahn?? Don't just be a band, own it musically. Its not how you appear or what you claim to be, its completely how you "Groove." See how Collective Soul, or Prince perform...and thats what I mean by own it. Great attention from CNN, but average to below average on highlighting musical ability.
MsK - If you don't say "Wow" when you hear Nina Diaz sing, then you either need to adjust the sound or your ears. Nina has one of the best voices you are ever going to hear. Her voice is an instrument by itself. She had the kind of range and power few singers - male or female - possess in the music industry today. CNN didn't do the best job of really showcasing Girl In A Coma's music. But the reason for this interview was the old "Hey, your all girls AND Latinas." Yeah, we get it already. How about showing GIAC as a band that kicks some butt and deserves some attention because they make and play really good music?
Punk, post-punk, no-punk …..whatever! These girls have been playing together for a really long time. Use to play the local club scene with them back in 2003 when Nina was like 16 or something. What i'm trying to say is these girls aren't just an overnight cliche band. These girls have stuck together, paid their dues, and continue to make music that inspires. Extremely proud!!!
haven't seen them yet, but loved there music ever since I saw the drummer wearing a Prima Donna t-shirt and decided to check them out. love them!
*seen them live yet
Saw they gals in Boise on Saturday and they were amazing! $10 to get into the venue with only 100 or so other people. I have a feeling the next time I see them it will cost a lot more and be in a much larger venue....feeling fortunate :)
This interview feels overwhelming like a favor done for Joan Jett.....who Im assuming is headlining the tour this band is playing on.Something about it all feels forced and not very punk rock at all.
Wrong Sam, Joan Jet was not at the show and they are getting the props they deserve!!
Nice try, Sam, but very wrong. The show where they recorded this interview was at Coney Island in Brooklyn back in July. I know because that'ss the only New York GIAC show I've missed in the lasst three years. That show was a free concert where GIAC played as the opening act for Joan Jett. How is it a "favor" for Joan Jett? CNN has a studio in New York. It's easier for them to interview a band when that band is in town? To say it's a "favor" is insulting to a very good up-ajnd-coming band. Try listening to their music before you fire off uninformed insults.
I don't like labeling things, but if we have to apply labels, let's apply accurate ones. I don't see or hear punks. They sound good (I had to go to YouTube to actually hear their music. Thanks for that, CNN), but I just wouldn't ever call it punk. If I had to use the word punk, I would call it punk-inspired rock.
Not punk rock.
I was introduced to these ladies four years ago when my then high school intern did an interview with them for my (now defunct) online magazine. They are simply amazing. I would dare anyone to rival Nina on vocals and the overall talent of the trio.
I know the definition of punk has changed a hell of a lot over time, but they aren't even close to it. Members with visible tattoos maketh not a punk band, not even a pop-punk band.
punk is only music. if you like it, and listen to it. your punk. spikey hair. or youthful angst, those are descriptions some folks idea of punk. these xicanas are punk. but not by your punker than thou'ness definition.
Punk is more than just music. It's a culture. If you don't know that, maybe you shouldn't be calling yourself punk.
You're right, they also have to perform. I think they also do that.
What makes this all kind of silly is that punk rock has never been about race or culture. It has ALWAYS had a wide cross section of followers. For the band, great for them. For CNN, is it possible for you to stop looking at the world through racial lenses? Your constant reporting on all the things that make people different is a big part of the problem.
girl in a coma is one of my favorite bands. and i am glad they are getting some national attention. i think they deserve it.
...and to all those people not thinking this is a news-worthy story....
cnn.com is set up so u can click on the stories that u want to know more about; if u dont want to know about 3 talented bad ass mexican-american chicks living the american dream then catch a boat to no one gives a damn land.
as for me, i dug it \m/ rock on chicas
so hip, so edgy,,,,,
Another Latino article by CNN on the front page? Imagine that.
wow people on cnn.com are a bunch of hateful racist tool bags. not the best article on girl in a coma but it's great to see the band get some cnn love. stop hating, jerks. go listen to their music. it's dope.
they all look chunky
Not-so-punk-rock city of San Antonio? Good lord this person must have no clue. I can name a half a dozen punk bands from there and I don't even live in Texas.
I've seen 'Girl in a Coma' live at a local club in Boise. This CNN video doesn't do their sound justice. Nina, the lead singer, has an amazing voice. I'm glad they are finally getting noticed more for their talent.
Yeah I love finding stuff on Rolling Stone OH WAIT THIS IS CNN, HOW LAME. ... like there aren't dozens and dozens of struggling bands out there. "Here's one! It's all Latinas though!"..... -_-
Awesome, another article about music where you don't actually get to listen to the music.
They're taking their cue from MTV.
Got my vote
Because they are trying to get rid of the white man. They are basically pro islam, anti christian/catholic/jew/atheist. They say they are not racist, but favor all colors but white which is awkward considering America healed from racism years ago, and is still going through the healing stages, and yet these liberal ignoramuses want to bring it back.
If ignorance is your forte, by all means continue on with it, living in utter bliss and denial. Liberalism is a mental disorder.
Karl, I'm really proud of you. I know it was hard, but I also knew you had it in you.Good show, my fneird. And you rock for not only being so courageous, but so eloquent. Bravo.
“Because they are trying to get rid of the white man.”
Historically genocide is a conservative activity. And so is hypocrisy.
Your comment put a smile on my face. For some reason people today think that hate speech is free speech, and responding to hate speech shouldn't be free speech. They then twist it and say the responses are preventing their free speech. It's illogical, hypocritical, and typically from the right.
They also think that if they disagree with someone’s opinion they can just claim it to be hate speech, racial or just un-PC. And there for it should not be allow. Grow up.
Aren't you reading an article in the "Diversity Section" of CNN? Are you going to complain about corporate stories on CNNMoney?
Of course a band name like 'Girl In A Coma' so clearly expresses their rich, Latina, heritage *sarcasm*
So right on!
Big on the sarcasm !!!!
I enjoy their music
it's not about being Latina, it's about being a girl rock group, duh.
Decent group. It's too bad the singer/guitar player is also becoming a porker!
hardly call it punk rock... but hey at least it's not that screamo garbage most are playing these days.
Just in case anyone missed it: They are 2/3 gay, Mexican, Hispanic, and Latino. Maybe their music really rocks. Couldn't tell because they just kept talking about how they are lesbians, Mexican, Hispanic, Latino women. Affirmative Action story of the day.
Girl band trying to prove they can rock! How stupid and corny and so not news! Girls already proved that 50 years ago in the sixties!
i've seen these girls from their first album and they are only getting better! keep it up ladies!
What a bunch of punks!
Hmmm. Not bad. Pretty well spoken too.
Apparently none of you have heard of FoamyEd? and they are ALL hotties =)
Goto Youtube and search FoamyEd Exhale if you love chicks singing and fistfighting, lol!
How refreshing to read a CNN article on minority achievement that is not sullied by un intelligent, bigoted remarks put forth by bitter social scourges, many of them, unfortunately, boomers like me. Young hearts rule.
So happy for them. I remember seeing them as Girls in a Coma at The Sanctuary in front of a crowd of fifteen. This must have been in 2005. We interviewed them for our cable access show (The Scene) before they hit the stage. Great gals, great band.
Where is the nod to Go Betty Go? They are the ORIGINAL Latina punk band.
That's what I said! Go Betty Go did all this before this group.
I am so proud to be of you guys! You make SA very proud! That was such an awesome interview! Can't wait till ya'll come back to Austin!
Are you stupid or what this girls have work to make real good music anda what in the hell did you mean by brown pride so what if they are latinas thats even better beaucause that makes them different and have more diversity for music than you can imagin and also they really do play
girlfriend in a coma I-know, I-know it's really serious.
Yay, someone got it. :)
The only people who have a right to complain about 'real punk vs fake punk' would all be at least 40 years old now and most of their friends would be dead from O.D. If you do not fit this description than please realize that whatever punk you listen to that you are so sure you are a real punk rocker, you pass some old dude every day in the street who thinks you are a poser. :)
I've been playing in punk bands since the early eighties, and I don't call anyone a poser. People who worry about what's punk and what isn't AREN'T, and I couldn't care less.
If you buy in to all that "real" vs "fake" punk, then you are a poser.
One of the guiding philosophies behind punk is "do your own thing." If you feel the need for a litmus test to tell whether others are "punk or not", you're not.
I say, ol' boy, it's poseur.
I was hoping they would be actually be punk. You know, playing fast and all is usually a pre-requisite for that genre.
Gotta follow them rules. Nothing punker than following the rules. Gotta sound exactly like (insert band name here) or y'aint punk.
Never mind the positively glacial tempos found on "Never Mind the Bollocks" or the very existence of the Minutemen and "Meat Puppets II," you gots to follow them RULES, people.
Great band and down to earth! Seen them live at many venues around that city and have never been disappointed. Dont miss a chance to check out their album Trio! "C to the V" has their head "Up the A" and probably also tells people he's never been to McDonald's like some other pretentious morons...and no i'm not fat!
they are not punk.
That is not punk rock.
Punk is a state of mind, not a sound.
To the posters that think GIAC isn't punk rock, or any kind of rock at all, you obviously haven't heard all their songs. Just like all great bands, they have their ballads, their 'pop'-ish songs, and their harder rockin songs. They have songs that are English and they have some that are Spanish. Other than their cover songs, they write all their own lyrics AND music. And they deeply love their roots and their city. They are genuinely nice, down to earth, girls next door. They are incredibly humble, and humbled by the outpouring of love from their fans.
They don't have an 'angle'. They simple are girls that rock.
Well put, Dre. Why all this need for labels? Nobody ever claimed the grils are "punk rock." They are influenced by punk rock, but they're also influenced by probably eight other genres. Their music is a mixture of all of it and that's what makes this band unique and outstanding.
All you "labellers" out t here, you know what kind of music Girl in a Coma plays? Rock and Roll. You might have heard of it. It's making a comeback after being dormant for a few decades while morons tried to create smaller and smaller genres as music got progressively worse. These girls just ROCK!!!
that's not punk...that's rock-a-billy.
I love Manic Hispanic they do awesome redos of old punk. I will definitely check these chicas out. Don't worry Joe, soon when you are in the minority we'll occasionally throw you a bone.
I will certainly look into Manic Hispanic, I haven't heard of them before. Where are they from?
by that time you'll be fighting over that bone for any scraps you can eat off it. You really think its gonna be the same as when we ran things? Ha!
Yeah because all those third world nations south of the US (all predominantly hispanic) are doing so great huh?
I was listening to some of their songs and punk rock? More like Soft Rock!! If they had an edge they lost it to go commercial.
David, go buy a couple of their albums. And use whatever change to get to buy a clue. I think you'll find your statement is laughable. Commercial? Seriously? Silly.
It is just a peasure to see girls playing whatever music they like...Punk rock? Unbelievable. Maybe this will be the one CD of this kind that I buy. You girls are right, you do look like the girls next door, however, the only thing the girl next door plays is the radio. I may go see you if you ever choose this city to play at, thank you..
If they were boys, no one would give this two thoughts.....big deal,really. Glad they are smart to play off their gender, but it's the same thing I always see..it's girls and that's the only angle. I'm yawning
If they were not latina, this would never be a story. More hispandering by cnn.
Speaking of yawn, What about this male executive doing this and this male rock band doing that. We have all had the Beales, Stones, Elvis, Motley Crue and Metallica shoved down our throught so much we are ready to puke. It is refreshing to hear/read about something outside the norm; which happens to be white anglo saxon men! Vivo Mexico!
Whoa... what a lousy, semi-retarded post! Sounds like SOMEONE has a chip on their shoulder. These "girls" aren't anything special... just another "wannabe" band from Bariioville U.S.A. I think their MAIN objective is something rather useless like the so-called "brown pride",, well, whatever.. I thought bands were supposed to be able to actually PLAY.. not so evident with these sisters.
Really Maddy Farfan? Barrioville USA? If you have an intelligent criticism, speak it, and don't reduce yourself to prejudiced stereotypes.
You should be ashamed of yourself writing something so negative. You need to respect the rest of the world and the rest will respect you. God's always watching!
CNN: What's it like to be a punk band from the not-exactly-punk-rock-city of San Antonio?
CNN obviously has no idea of some of the the bands that have come out of San Antonio.
No bands were born out of San Antonio, but San Antonio made bands famous. For instance, Rush, Judas Priest, Scorpions, and many more rock bands. No other city will give them a chance at that time. Thats why we're the metal capital of the world.
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at email@example.com.
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