As a self-described impatient artist and musician, Eliza Schneider-Green thrives in the Florida heat. The humidity is a warm hug she wraps herself inside, and when she eventually ducks back into her airconditioned studio space, she still sees the natural landscape via a window overlooking her backyard’s banana and palm trees.
“I feel like Florida is a character and it shows up in almost all of my songs,” admits Schneider- Green, whose recently began trying her hand at songwriting for her band, Liza and the Wise Guys.
“It’s this overwhelming presence, and if you’ve lived here for a while or you were born here, you feel it, and when you leave, you feel its absence.”
Schneider-Green grew up in Tallahassee’s Grassroots Community down the street from her neighbors, and now bandmates, Jean-Marc and Noah Wise. They always enjoyed making music at community bonfires and holiday parties and decided two years ago to put their chops to the test and form a band. Having played in different venues around town, they’ll appear for the first time at Jim Crozier’s Wednesday night Lab Sessions on Aug. 9 at Bird’s Aphrodisiac Oyster Shack.
“I always say expect the unexpected with us,” laughs Schneider-Green, as the band’s setlist is always eclectic. “I’ve been to a couple lab sessions and they’re fantastic. Jim plays with you, and it’s a chance to collaborate and bring an honorary member into the band to see what cool stuff you can create. Hopefully, you’ll leave with a few new favorites.”
Something clicks inside for Schneider-Green when it comes to all forms of expression. As a dancer until age 16, she enjoyed being in the heat of the lights, feeling the vibrations of music, and seeing the reflections off audience members’ glasses as she entered the stage. While her background in dance and theater greatly contribute to her creative processes as a musician, Schneider-Green says she’s always felt most passionate about the visual arts.
After attending Tallahassee Community College, Schneider-Green fell hard and fast for photography, painting, and illustration, exposing herself the local artists and communities like Railroad Square. Coming from the perspective of being on stage gave her a crash course in the reality of being an artist and the behind the scenes work that is put into the form. “When you go to see a ballet, you’re seeing a finished product and not the months of hard work and effort that’s gone into it,” explains Schneider- Green. “When you’re in that world and see both sides of it, you get less frustrated if it’s more of a struggle to get to that finished product.
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