M897 Artist Spotlight: June 2015
The Good, the Bad, and the Spaghetti
Story by LCC Radio Staff Reporter Sarah Spohn
words: Detroit Spaghetti Western. Intrigued? You ought to be.
Flint Eastwood is a Detroit born and raised indie, alternative, electronic, funky pop … self-described Spaghetti Western inspired outfit. Let’s just put it this way, it’s tough to put a label on the sounds that make up Flint Eastwood.
If you read that as Clint Eastwood by mistake, you’re not too far off. On stage, the band can be seen wearing bolo ties and frontwoman Jax Anderson’s signature black that resembles that of an infamous Western film.
The name is symbolic of three areas very important to the band: Flint, East Detroit and Hollywood. Combining an earthy fusion of swampy rebel blues guitar with synthetic pop drum beats and eccentric ‘woman gone mad’ vocals, Flint Eastwood is a little bit of everything and a lot of energy.
Jax Anderson, main member of Flint Eastwood, can be described as equally resilient as the city in which she was born: Motor City Detroit. Although the group has experienced line-up changes, and band dynamic shifts, Anderson said the feel of Flint Eastwood remains the same.
Despite being the only consistent member of the group, Anderson argues that Flint Eastwood is still very much a band.
““This project has always felt like a band to me and it still does. It doesn’t feel like a moniker for Jax Anderson simply because this project wouldn’t exist without the collaboration and the friends that are involved in making Flint Eastwood what it is,” the singer said.
“That’s what Flint Eastwood always has been and always will continue to be: a group of me and my friends having fun, making music and hopefully inspiring people to fully be themselves along the way.”
And along the way, Anderson spent time alongside her brother Seth writing songs and collaborating with other musicians. Creating is something Anderson lives for.
After returning back home to Detroit from the sunny hills of Los Angeles, the singer/songwriter quickly found Hitsville USA-worthy inspiration.
Citing the Supremes as a prime influential element of Anderson’s, Jax found herself going back to that sort of collaborative effort in recording new material for the band’s latest EP.
“I love the idea that Motown offered of having everyone get together with no other goal than to create something awesome,” she said. “And that’s what we did – at the beginning of a session, I’d call a bunch of friends and see who would show up to write.”
Often times, artists find themselves uninspired, forced to complete enough material for a record within a deadline. But for Flint Eastwood, they’ve kept the art sacred.
“It was this idea that writing should be natural and fun. It should be inclusive and community-based and the more brains on the project, the better,” Jax said.
Written and recorded in the heart of Detroit, at Assemble Sound studio, the material is fostered with the idea of artist collaboration.
“It’s awesome – you never know what Detroit artist will be there. And for those who are there, it’s awesome to grab their opinion or voice or instrument playing on a song as they pass through.”
But passing through is something most Flint Eastwood fans just don’t do. They come for the live shows and they stay for the family.
Breaking down the barrier between artist and fans is something Flint Eastwood is becoming nationally known for.
“I think music is best enjoyed when in a community setting – really most good things are more enjoyable that way,” Anderson said.
“So in a live setting, I love messing around and almost pushing the limits of personal space. I love getting into the audience and being with the Flint Family.”
Don’t be surprised if you get called out for not dancing at a concert, Anderson isn’t afraid to be her zany self on stage, and fans are encouraged to do the same.
Moving to the music, “pistols up,” she creates a setting where insecurities, worries and stresses are forgotten to the beat of a drum.
It’s no secret that social media can account for fans learning and listening to a whole slew of artists and bands they wouldn’t otherwise come across. For the group though, it’s about a deeper connection outside of the DSL high speed internet world.
“Nothing will ever compare to having a face-to-face interaction with another human being,” Anderson said. “It’s so important to exist in life with other people. It’s something that’s so easy to lose these days.”
“Personal communication is something people have tried to bootleg through the internet, but nothing will ever compare to the real thing.”
After all, it’s the fans that keep the music being heard. It’s the fans that join the band at #FlintFamily potlucks before shows at the Loft, and summer barbeques at The Crofoot that foster that creativity and collaborative effort.
““People over money, people over success, relationships over everything,” Anderson said passionately.
And Michigan is the most passionate music scene Anderson has ever seen. “There are so many great musicians coming out of this state,” Anderson said. “Here are some Flint Family approved bands that I vote you all go check out and since you’re probably reading this on the internet somewhere, you should do it immediately: Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers, Tunde Olaniran, Nigel & the Dropout, Valley Hush, Blaire Alise and the Bombshells, The Soil and the Sun, Kim Vi & the Siblings, Mike Mains & the Branches, George Morris & the Gypsy Chorus and Rival Summers.”
In the meantime, Jax is busy “schemin’ hard” with ideas for the next release.
“Again, Flint Eastwood has always been and always will be a group of me and my friends playing together. Right now I have a set group of friends that I love and I love playing with,” Anderson said.
Regardless of who plays what on each record or live show, one thing that remains the same is the ever-growing close-knit nurturing bond of the music makers and dreamers: the Flint Family.
You can catch Flint Eastwood at their upcoming Michigan tour dates:
Monday, June 8 with Betty Who, COIN at The Pyramid Scheme-Grand Rapids
Tuesday, June 23 with Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness at The Loft-Lansing
Thursday, June 25 at The Electric Forest-Rothbury
Tuesday, July 7 at Common Ground Music Festival-Lansing