NYC duo Tempers make melodic, guitar pop, set against dystopian drum machines. Their most recent album Junkspace is a concept album about the architecture of consumerism, set in a shopping mall. We caught up with Jasmine Golestaneh and Eddie Cooper to learn about their respective lived experiences of mental ill health and their coping mechanisms. […]
NYC duo Tempers make melodic, guitar pop, set against dystopian drum machines. Their most recent album Junkspace is a concept album about the architecture of consumerism, set in a shopping mall. We caught up with Jasmine Golestaneh and Eddie Cooper to learn about their respective lived experiences of mental ill health and their coping mechanisms.
What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?
Jasmine: I come from a family with a lot of mental health issues, and I suffered from depression for many years. It was so paralyzing and excruciating, but I didn’t know life could be any other way, I just endured it. A friend suggested I see a therapist who does EMDR, which is a form of trauma therapy, and it really changed my life. I’m not living in the dark tunnels that I used to, or swinging wildly between moods. I still have a tendency towards melancholy, but it’s a lot more negotiable. Such a relief.
What do you think affects your mental health positively? And negatively?
If I’m doing all of that it means I’m my healthiest self, present and grounded, and anything’s possible. I’m drifting all the time though; one day it’s suddenly impossible to work on music, I’m only eating takeout, etc., and I get stuck. So what I’d say is that neglecting the everyday, mundane stuff of life definitely has a negative effect on my mental health. It’s not always easy to stay on top of it though, cause a lot of that stuff is pretty boring.
What role does creativity play in your wellbeing?
Jasmine: It is fundamentally interconnected. For me, songwriting is woven into a kind of emotional alchemy that is very healing. I get these waves of indescribable feeling, which I can then sculpt with thoughts, fears, desires, fictions I’m dreaming about. I can make whole worlds with creatures out of it. The process is so fulfilling, I can’t image life without it.
What are you reading, watching and listening to at the moment?
Eddie: I’m reading a Raymond Chandler novel my dad just lent me. And I’ve been watching a lot of Columbo on TV, hmm, I guess it’s a detective phase? I’m listening to Big Thief a lot these days, I like all their new songs so much.
What’s your go to music if you need a boost?
Jasmine: Leonard Cohen is pretty much my default musically. He’s so articulate about the many facets of pain, and knows how to create a kind of dazzling beauty out of loss. He’s gotten me through some bad times. I find songs that are empathetic towards human suffering very uplifting, more so than conventionally “happy” songs. It takes courage to endure pain enough to write about it, a sad song is a triumph.
What are your favourite foods?
Eddie: The fact of the matter is that my favorite food is beans. I got a pressure cooker recently, so now I’m trying all these different types of bean that aren’t available canned. It’s very exciting stuff. Besides that I eat pho a lot. I could eat it every day of my life, honestly.
Do you like to exercise or meditate at all?
Jasmine: I like to run and listen to music, it’s very cathartic and good for my brain chemistry. I mediate every morning, and that has helped me immeasurably.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received in regards to your mental wellbeing?
Jasmine: Nothing is what it seems, your dark mood will pass, anything is possible.
How have you changed since 15, and what advice would you give to that person?
Eddie: I know I’ve changed a lot since I was a teenager, but I often feel like I’m the same person. I used to be less connected to people and to things; I didn’t have many goals, or even dreams, really. Some of that was typical disaffected youth, but mostly it was just depression I couldn’t see. I still have it, but I’ve been working on it for a long time and it doesn’t limit me as much. So I guess I’m (a bit) nicer to myself now, which opens me up to the possibilities of the world that I wasn’t able to see before. I’d try telling my teenage self that you have to admit you feel terrible sometimes, instead of pretending you’re fine. And everyone can tell anyway. I don’t think he would listen though.
New album Capital Pains is released 25 October.
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