TFP: Hey Everybody. It’s That Fucking Panda. I’m here with Liz Cooper for ListenSD. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today. I’m super, super excited to talk to you. How are you doing today, Liz?
LC: Fantastic. I am in the van, across the country.
TFP: Hell yeah, that is awesome. And if you don’t know Liz, she is a powerhouse. Her music is amazing. She just came out with a new album called “Hot Sass” in September, and she’s playing at the Casbah in San Diego this weekend.
I know you did a name change recently and you took off the Stampede from your name and now you’re just Liz Cooper. Um, can you tell me a little bit about why you took off the Stampede?
LC: Uh, yeah, it’s because I’m a vegetarian and I don’t like animals, so I didn’t want them anymore. Uh, no, I just really was tired.
I was tired of having, that name and that moniker and I felt like it was a lot easier to just go by my name and feel less boxed in. For some reason, I felt very boxed in and I feel like a lot of people also associated me with country music because of the Stampede and “Window Flowers” and everything that was before that was recorded with a completely different group of people.
I have a new group of people and they’re human beings. They’re not Stampede.
TFP: I love that. That’s beautiful. Oh, yeah, for being a vegetarian. That’s beautiful. And then I know also you recently moved from Nashville to Brooklyn. Can you tell me about your experience moving, why you decided to go to Brooklyn if there are any big changes in your music with it all?
LC: Well I moved here, out of Nashville at the end of 2019. And essentially just went on tour till after we made “Hot Sass” and then I moved into my friend’s apartment. Basically right before the pandemic. And then I stayed and it’s been, essentially a living hell, but it’s also been really great.
And it’s helped me get in touch with my insides in a deeper and scarier way.
I love and I miss Nashville, but it was just time for me to move. I’ve lived there since I was 18 or 19, I’m 29 and I just wanted a change. And it was just really natural.
But we all lived somewhere during the pandemic and it was wild.
TFP: Yeah, it was crazy. It’s exciting that live music is back. Things are starting to shift. How do you take care of yourself and your mental health during the pandemic, without being able to really see friends and play shows and having that release of music?
LC: It was really hard. I mean, this was the aspect about this past two years. For me, it was really hard. I don’t know how I made it through, to be honest. I started doing therapy. I just kind of found a new routine and I think painting and drawing have helped me and playing the piano has helped me with giving me things to do and a kind of purpose.
I mean, this is obviously the most still we’ve all been, ever. And I think for me, I was going really hard on tour and pushing myself to an extreme measure for the last few years before the pandemic and I just didn’t realize how unhealthy I was. And then just, it was really awful when it just came to a complete halt.
I feel like I finally accepted that music wasn’t coming back in January of 2021. And then basically like a month later, uh, people were like, you’re going to be playing Bonnaroo and it’s all coming back this year and I didn’t believe it. And I also didn’t want to believe it because months and months and months trying to get over the fact that I couldn’t play and also all this in a new city. So I drew and isolated and here I am.
TFP: You made it, you made it. No, it’s beautiful. I feel like the past year, really caused everyone to just stop and look at themselves and face their shadows, you know? Cause I feel like so many of us are always in that go, go, go phase. And even as hard as it was, I feel like there was a lot of growth that came out of it.
LC: Definitely. I feel so much better in a lot of ways.
TFP: Is there anything you do to calm the nerves before a show? What do you do?
LC: I do the Wim Hof method before shows to help calm the nerves.
TFP: Oh, the Wim Hof method. That’s amazing. Yeah, absolutely. Now I love breathwork and meditation. It has helped so much. That’s awesome that you do that before shows.
Check out Liz Cooper on tour and listen to her new album, Hot Sass!