girl in a coma
Girl In A Coma

Girl in a Coma is running late tonight.

With two back-to-back shows on opposite sides of town, it isn’t really that surprising. I park in front of a 7-Eleven and wait with a bunch of bored-looking cab drivers. We stare into the floor-to-ceiling windows of a condo across the street at a man clad in sweatpants. He drinks glass after glass of Tropicana Orange Juice. “Why is he drinking so much orange juice,” we collectively wonder. “And why, with a place like that, can’t he afford curtains?”

My cell phone rings and I finally hustle into Rockhouse, where Phanie Diaz sorts through parts of her drum kit. “Hi, I’m Phanie,” she smiles. I tell her that I drum. It’s like telling Jeff Gordon, “Yeah, I like to take the old Chevy down to the Pic ’n Save and do doughnuts in the parking lot just for shits and giggles.” She smiles and nods.

Phanie’s sister, Nina and the band’s bassist, Jenn Alva trudge down the stairs laden with equipment. I admire Nina’s teal hoodie and make the necessary pre-interview small talk. It’s a little like foreplay, but there’s no touching. We scoot into another room to avoid the boys from the other band and their vat of cold beer. I glance at it covetously. I have exactly enough change in my pocket for one glass of whatever is cheap.

Sober, I ask about vegetarianism because there is a tag on their MySpace page about a Vegetarian Starter Kit. The Diaz sisters are veggies, but Alva has recently turned into a closet carnivore.

“I like boys now, too,” she murmurs.

“Oh, shit,” giggles Phanie as Alva cracks a smile. I warn her that I will have to be the one to break this news to all of the devastated women of the world.

“No,” she answers. “I really like the girls.”

Sometimes I wish bands would do interviews after their shows. I get that they’re tired and they want to slink off and self-medicate, but there are so many questions that pop into my mind as I watch them play. Like, “What was going through your head when you wrote that line,” or “The audience was loving ‘Ven Cerca,’ did you feel that?” or “What about the two chicks making out right in front of your monitor for the entire show?”

But maybe I already know the answer to that one.

“I like to play ‘El Monte’ and ‘Pink Lemonade,’ says Nina, when I ask her which songs she likes the best. “Very heartfelt,” she adds.

Girl in a Coma might have a tender heart for young love, but their show is anything but soft, which still seems to surprise people.

“There’s still guys and people in general that just see us and assume we sound a certain way already just because we’re all girls,” says Phanie. “We were in Detroit and some guy told me, ‘I didn’t know girls could rock that hard.’ People still think that way.”

Maybe. But with more and more women plugging in and rocking out, it’s only a matter of time before audiences start paying more attention to what’s coming out of the instruments and less to who is behind them.