Interview by Natalie K
April 25, 2010

Estrella: Can you please state your name and what you do in the band?
Nina: My name is Nina, I play guitar and sing.
Jenn: Jenn and I play bass.
Phanie: Phanie and I play drums.

Estrella: You just finished up one tour and now you are starting with Sia, what is it like to transition from one tour to the next in such a short amount of time?
Jenn: We are used to it. We do our own tours which are fairly small and then we will do something like The Wedding Present which is medium size and then something like this (Vic). We are used to it so we already know how it works with transition.
Estrella: Do you feel the audience is going to be different from The Wedding Present to Sia?
Phanie: Definitely, The Wedding Present was more well known in the eighties so they have more of an older crowd. They are more of an alternative sound and Sia is more on the pop side. She is newer, so I am sure it is going to be a completely different crowd.
Jenn: Either way, no matter who we play for we try to do our best.

Estrella: When picking your set list, do you cater to what kind of fans are going to be at the show?
Jenn: If we are touring with a harder more punk band we will do our faster stuff. We are with Sia so we are still going to do our more mellow stuff.
Nina: We are still going to rock their faces off.

Estrella: The last time you played in Chicago, a couple of weeks ago at the Double Door and tonight you are playing at The Vic which is a huge size difference. What do you feel the pros and cons are playing bigger and smaller venues?
Jenn: Well the smaller one’s are more intimate and we get to hang out with fans. They are a little more squished and you can feel the energy. Here, the only con is that everyone is seated over here or there so we are not sure if they are liking us or not. It is really nice to play in theaters like this though.
Estrella: Do you try to always go out by merch and talk to fans?
Jenn: We do, we really do. If we have time we will go and watch the show at the bigger theaters. Usually, at the end of the night we will go by the merch and hang out.

Estrella: Girl in a Coma recently released Adventures in Coverland, what was the idea behind that?
Nina: It is more to help Trio B.C. some more so people don’t forget about that album. It shows the influence that helped make the particular sounds for that album. “Slaughter Lane” has a bit of rockabilly vibe so Patsy Cline that you can see similarities of the styles. It is just to put the focus back on Trio B.C before we come out with anything. It is also a nice little board game when you get all the vinyls together.
Estrella: When did you decide to release it in three parts?
Phanie: It was when we came up with the idea of doing the covers album. We thought up everything on the spot, “Okay, we are going to choose these songs, make a list of the influences and this is what the cover is going to look like”. Jenn thought of the cover actually.
Jenn: Blackheart (Records) said we were going to do it on vinyl which we love and only digital so no CD. They said, “You guys think of something, it will be a normal vinyl layout but it will fold out so think of something.” We thought of a board game to get people to buy the vinyls.
Nina: Basically, to get people to buy the vinyls.
Estrella: Who did the artwork for it?
Nina: Jenn did.
Jenn: No, well I did the idea. We had, her name is Ann something, she is a great illustrator. She re-did it for us.

Estrella: When it came to picking songs for Adventures in Coverland, how big of a list did you start from to narrow it down?
Nina: We had a whole page full of things from Elvis to Jeff Buckley and as we were picking out the songs, it was more of whatever was easier to learn and make our own style out of it. Jeff Buckley for me was a little too difficult right now for me to pick it up, it is a whole other world. The songs that ended up flowing good together really turned out us making it our own style.
Estrella: How do you feel that Girl in a Coma put their spin on older, classic songs?
Jenn: Well like Nia, Nina, Nia (Everyone laughs.)
Nina: We just met Sia.
Jenn: Nia meet Sia! (Everyone laughs.) When we put our own spin on these songs.. What was the question, I’m sorry? (everyone laughs).
Estrella: How did Girl In A Coma put their own spin on the song?
Nina: For instance, I looked up the song and I learned by ear, I don’t know how to read notes then I rearranged it and gave it to the girls. Since Jenn didn’t even hear the song she wrote a new bass line as if it was completely new song of ours. Phanie listened to the drums but then would pick out certain things so we treated it as if it was one of our own songs.
Estrella: Who is the Alice fan that you derived the title from?
Jenn: Well yeah, we all love Alice in Wonderland. I think when we were throwing out titles some of them were just stupid like, “G.I.C Opoly” or something stupid. Because the board game is following us on tour, you are our fan following us until we get to our hometown we thought of Adventures in Coverland. With a kind of bit of Candyland.

Estrella: The song “Joanie in the City” off Trio B.C. was collaborated with your record label’s founder Joan Jett, how did that happen?
Nina: We recorded some of it in Los Angeles, then I went to New York and finished vocals with Joan Jett and she heard the songs and wanted to do something with it. Especially “Joanie in the City” because it is about her. Their own style is raw and we just wanted to keep it as fresh and raw as it is which is great thing that it worked out with the songs we did with them.
Estrella: Are there any other artists you would want to collaborate with down the line?
Nina: Definitely Mike Patton. I love Mike Patton and I know he works with a lot of people.
Jenn: What about the lead singer of The Cars?
Nina: Shut up! Jenn said I wanted to do a collaboration with the lead singer of The Cars, but I never said that.
Jenn: No, I was doing an interview and I said the lead singer of Ours.
Nina: Oh and they thought you said Cars! (Laughs.)

Estrella: When the Sia tour ends, what do you have planned?
Jenn: Go home for a bit and then we are playing a summer tour. We are going out to the west coast in June or July. This one was just east and west, and we have Canada dates for the first time which is awesome. We have a cool show in Poland this summer.
Estrella: Have you guys been to Poland before?
Phanie: Never. We have never been.

Estrella: What is a song you never get sick of hearing?
Nina: Aqua “Barbie Girl”. (Everyone laughs.)
Phanie: For me, it’s probably any Smiths song.
Jenn: I am going to go with any Elvis song, I love them all.

Estrella: What is something you have always wanted to do, but have not done yet?
Nina: Punch Phanie in the face.
Phanie: You have done that.
Nina: No, really punch her. No, Coachella!
Estrella: I know you were just at SXSW, but have you done Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, or any of the big festivals?
Jenn: No, none of those fun fests.
Nina: Not yet. I say it all confident, not yet. (Laughs.)

Estrella: If you could see any band or artist perform any song live, what would it be and why?
Nina: Billie Holiday “God Bless the Child”.
Jenn: Elvis, back in the seventies, one of his concerts would be cool.
Phanie: I would probably want to see Bowie maybe doing “Ziggy Stardust” or a classic.
Nina: I want to see him too but I would be afraid to attack him and become a stalker.

Estrella: What is one of your favorite lines in one of your songs?
Nina: I liked in “Sybil Vain Was Ill” when I said, “Remember now she died holding to much thought in her mind”.
Phanie: I like, ‘I’m saving all my secrets for a deaf man’ from “Their Cell”.
Jenn: I like “Say.”
Nina: (Laughs.) Say I. You don’t know any of my lyrics!
Jenn: Yeah, I do in “Vino”.
Nina: What do I say then?
Jenn: The tide.
Phanie: Wow, that’s good Jenn.
Jenn: I can’t think right now, but that’s one of my favorite lines. Which is… (looks at Nina)
Nina: ‘Nothing can wait for the tide and these feelings aren’t over’.

Estrella: As an all girl band, do you ever feel pressure to change your image?
Nina: I am constantly trying to get Phanie to wear dresses with fluffy shoulders but she won’t do it!
Estrella: So there is only pressure from inside the band then?
Nina: I try to dress them up like chiwawa’s and it doesn’t work
Jenn: We have just done whatever we want to do and that is the great thing about Blackheart (Records). They support what they need too, they leave us alone, and we have the freedom to be who we are and do whatever we want. I think a lot of girls like that. They see we are average looking girls and are not all about leather and stiletto’s. We are not that kind of girl band.

Estrella: Any final comments?
Jenn: Just we would really like to see some girls form some more groups, especially with the music industry being so weird. It is a really good time for us to stick together, gain control, and conquer.

One response to “GIRL IN A COMA

  1. Pingback: New interviews posted! « estrella online

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