The band’s 2007 debut, Both Before I’m Gone, reached number 23 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart and number 21 on iTunes
“We always talked about it, but it just felt like it was so far-fetched that it would never happen,” says Alva.
“That soon,” Nina adds. The album’s distinctive sound merged alt-rock influences with a diverse smattering of punk, indie rock, and blues that make the trio hard to pigeonhole. After the album dropped, Morrissey – who penned the Smiths song for which GIAC is named – asked the green dating online band to join him on tour.
The Diaz’s mother, Maria Gonzales, says her attitude about the band changed about a year before Nina Diaz dropped out of high school in 2005. (She subsequently earned a GED.)
“This was why I didn’t argue with her decision to drop out. Both Nina and Phanie kept telling me making music was what they wanted to do,” Gonzales says. “Then they went to London and starting touring, and I saw they were serious. This was their passion, and they would make it.”
There’s not a filler track on the album, and the guitar scores demonstrate an increasing playfulness and complexity
“Now `our parents are` really proud,” says Phanie. “They have that little shrine that they put together themselves, and they have it when you walk in you can open up the book and see all our newspaper articles … and they let us take over the house.”
Now 21, guitarist-vocalist Nina is clearly coming into her prime. She’s been the band’s primary songwriter since its inception, but Trio B.C. shows her continuing to evolve as both lyricist and composer. Diaz says she starts to feel strange if she doesn’t answer her muse on a regular basis, and the result is a solid and growing library of work.
“The span from 13 to 18 is when the songs from Both Before I’m Gone were written, and I can’t even count how many there are, was, is,” Diaz says. “And now, I constantly have to write songs, I constantly have to have something coming out of me. At least one idea a week, or something, has to come out, a piece. Otherwise, I feel like something’s wrong. … I feel like I forgot to turn off the running water, you know?”
At the band’s SXSW gig at Maggie Mae’s in o, performing with a wide-eyed fervor that captivated the audience. Alva revved up the crowd with her aggressive bass playing, while Phanie laid down a rock-solid attack on the drums.
“I try to just let go, because that’s everybody’s time to just let go,” says Nina. “You go to a show to get away from your problems, not to create more or be nervous.”
Wake up, San Antonio
A flyer for an early summer Girl in a Coma gig reads “Music is in a depression; let us wake it up.” It’s a sentiment that many musicians and fans apply to San Anto itself. Alva expresses nostalgia for the Alamo City music scene of the ’90s, when she says there were lines to see local bands and good vibes all around. While performers and audiences debate why the scene seems to have deteriorated to some degree – with fewer indie-rock touring stops and a revolving door of live-music clubs – Girl in a Coma believes it can be resuscitated, and to that end they play goodwill ambassadors when they’re on tour.
“We kind of just rep San Antonio as much as we can when we’re on the road. We talk about how great it is here, and beautiful, and people are cool, and come play here – there’s people here who want to see shows,” says Phanie.