Joan Jett and her Music Label Blackheart Records
In 2006, Girl in a Coma already had a cult following in their hometown of San Antonio, Texas, thanks to Nina Diaz’s powerful, passionate voice and the group’s catchy Smiths-inspired rock tunes.
By that November, SíTV recruited the band for its new “life of a Latino rock band” series, Jammin. For the finale, the Girl in a Coma members — 20-year-old singer-guitarist Diaz, her 28-year-old sister and drummer Phanie, and 28-year-old bassist Jenn Alva — were sent to New York to play a club. While rehearsing, in strolled Joan Jett, one of their heroes. “We were like, ‘What the hell? What is she doing here?’” says Nina Diaz.
Jett watched the band for a few songs, decided to pop by the show later, and before the end of the night, had signed the band to Blackheart Records. “I thought they’d be great to have on Blackheart, because we really want Blackheart to be a place where girls feel comfortable to come play their music, because it was so hard for me,” Jett says.
The group’s working on its follow-up to its Blackheart debut, 2007’s Both Before I’m Gone, and Diaz says, Jett has become “a rocknroll mother figure. We know if we’re ever in a bind or if we need any advice, we can ask her.”
NINA DIAZ OF GIRL IN A COMA
Were you a big fan of Joan Jett before you met her?
My mother loved her, and I grew up listening to her. She's a huge inspiration to any girl who picks up a guitar.
How did you feel when Jett and Kenny Laguna asked you to be on Blackheart Records?
I felt very relieved. I mean, there are bands that are out for 10 or 20 years before they get any kind of recognition from any label, so I was grateful that it happened now. I'm constantly writing, and there are these songs I wanted to put out right away, so people can hear them, and I can grow and show them, "This is what I have to offer next on the new album." It was fate. It happened at the right time.
Do you have a hard time being in a "girl" band in the male-dominated rock world?
Luckily it's a lot easier with people like Joan Jett open