Girl in a Coma on Fans Making Up Lyrics and 12 Hours in a Van

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Rocks Off told you yesterday about our sponsorship of the Cactus In-Store series of concerts. We caught up with Girl in a Coma's percussionist Phanie Diaz who'll be in town for the second time this week to kick off the first show in the series lineup at 5:30 p.m. Saturday Nov. 5.

This week has been a busy one for the group, whose new CD Exits & All the Rest just hit music store shelves Tuesday. It's also the second Saturday in a row to be kicking off things. Last Saturday, they were playing their debut show of their new release tour to a crowd of 3,500 in San Antonio.

Rocks Off caught Phanie as the ladies made their way home to San Antonio from California where they performed at an independent record store and for the Daly Carson Show, which airs November 19 at 1:35 a.m.

Rocks Off: You seem to be doing a lot in-store gigs along with your regular club gigs for the tour. How has that experience been?

Phanie Diaz: We've done Best Buys in Houston and San Antonio a couple of years ago we were promoting Trio B.C.. The independent music stores are more fun, more intimate, like you're at someone's house. It feels like an indie punk rock show when we do it in a record store. There's random shoppers that are introduced to your music and they'll end up buying your CD right there, which feels good. We love supporting independent music shops and we're noticing there's not as many record shops on the road so it's a big deal to support them.

RO: What's the main difference for you between a in-store event and a show at a regular concert venue? (I can barely finish the question before she responds.)


RO: Do you ever have days where you are scheduled to perform both types of shows?

PD: Yes, but it's not too bad. Typical in-store gigs are 20-30 minute sets and then we just get to hangout with everyone and that's always fun. But the in-store we're doing in Houston Saturday is different. We'll be doing a full-on tour show playing for about an hour to an hour and a half.

RO: How have the fans been reacting to the new tunes?

PH: There a lot of observation right now, since people don't know the songs yet. For Trio B.C., we had had the lyrics to the songs but we haven't even posted the lyrics to the new songs online yet and since it's hard to understand exactly what Nina's singing at times, it's surprising how people make up their own lyrics to the songs sometimes. The most memorable one was for "El Monte." Someone had made up a story line for the entire song, which he thought was about farmers in El Monte. But really it's about a street and it's a love song. I think Nina really likes that though because then it really becomes their song.

RO: What's it been like traveling in van to all you shows?

PH: We've known each other for a long time so after being in a van together for 12 hours, we could start fighting over silly stuff like looking at each other the wrong way. We've kicked each other's asses on the road but it's ok. We'll get over it because we're sisters. We're different in that way from other bands that hire folks to join the group.

RO: Have you noticed anything different with this record so far?

PD: I've noticed a lot more attention with this record. I think it's because we recorded in analog, live, all together in one room and it caught the rawness of the music. I think this is an album you're going to really love or really hate. Also, we're watching the crowds get bigger and bigger with every event. The other thing we've noticed are critics being upset because we won't pick a genre for our music. One song is rockabilly, another punk, the next one a ballad. It's really makes them mad and confused. But we see no point in limiting our music.

So don't be holding your breath for that one for their songs to start sounding all the same and come us Saturday at Cactus.

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