(Photo Credit: Nicole Shackelford)
In the budding underground music scene in Detroit, there are more artists of different styles coming out of the woodwork these days in a city that's evolving on a daily basis; one such artist is Jax Anderson and her band Flint Eastwood. Anderson recently released her newest project, the Small Victories EP, six songs of varying pop music ascetics with deep personal and emotional connections to them.
Recently, I posted a small interview with Jax Anderson about the meaning behind the new record and recording it at the Assemble Sound artist space. Below, we dive back to the time before the new release and talk about the beginnings of Flint Eastwood.
When did the Flint Eastwood project start?
Flint Eastwood has been around, I want to say, 2012 is when it kind of started, so three years now. It's kind of always been this ongoing project. When I was in high school, I was called Apple Trees and Tangerines, and instead of starting a brand new band, I switched it over to the name Power. Then, we had to switch that name because it was extremely hard to find on the Internet, so we are like, Flint Eastwood. It's been this ongoing thing that never ends.
In 2013, you had the Late Nights In Bolo Ties project. Talk about that release.
That release was a lot of fun. That was a very fun project. It was something where we were playing a lot of live shows and we were starting to get known for our live shows. At this point, it was me and three other players that were in the band. We were really getting known for our live show. We were playing a lot around and we didn't have anything to sell to people or for people to listen to on their own time. There was a rather large demand for it. So I went back through my catalog and was like "What are four songs that would be cohesive and consistent and sound like its one band?" It just so happen to be these four rock songs and so we kind of got branded as a rock band unintentionally. Like I never set out to make rock music, it just kind of happened. So Late Nights In Bolo Ties and we toured it for three years and since then, the other band members have gone on to their own projects and now, Flint Eastwood is just me and I create pop music and its my heart and soul.
When you were just doing these shows, what were you performing at that time? What was the idea of the band before you decided to actually put out music?
The idea was just to play live music. There really wasn't a thought behind it. I really thoroughly enjoyed being in a room full of people that are all like-minded and all have the same goal of having a good time. I feel the most alive when I'm connected to people. My way of connecting with people the most is being on stage. There wasn't any kind of ulterior motive. We weren't trying to like be the next Beyoncé or be the next Rolling Stones or something like that. We want to have fun and we want to play music for people, so that's what we did.
The music industry is filled with a lot of dudes. How do you navigate those waters as a female artist?
Honestly, my whole life, I've been surrounded by guys. I have two older brothers. I hung out with my cousins a bunch when I was a kid. I have like 40 cousins and maybe like 15 are girls. I have a huge family. I'm very close to my family. I appreciate all of them. I've just always been around guys, so its always been this easy language for me I guess. I don't know. I've never viewed myself differently for being a girl, like I've never been like "I can't do this" or "They're looking at me differently for people female" or "This is going to be harder and I'm going to have to have a stronger voice". I know a lot of females have a totally different experience and yes, sexism 100% exists in the music industry, but I'm very grateful to say I really haven't experienced a lot of it. I've always been somewhat of a boss, so I've always laid out the guideline of I'm going to be respected, you're going to treat me as an equal, and I feel like everybody on my team as, and I feel very grateful. I've been lucky enough surrounded by wonderful people that view me as an equal.
Flint Eastwood's "Small Victories" release party with special guests Tunde Olaniran, Parlour Tricks, and SYBLYNG is at the Two James Annex in Corktown on Saturday, November 14th. Flint Eastwood is also set for a string of dates in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo from December 3rd through 5th. The "Small Victories EP" is now available. For more information, visit flinteastwoodmusic.com.