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.