Jax Anderson is Flint Eastwood. Formerly a band filled out by a guitarist, drummer, and bassist, things quickly changed a few months ago. According to Anderson, the parting of ways with her former bandmates was amicable, just one of those things that happens in life. And maybe it's for the better. The lead singer has always been the creative force behind the music, the lively stage performance. And now, she can really do things her own way.
With the help of her live backing band, Anderson will perform at this year's Blowout, supporting headlining rocker Andrew W.K. In anticipation for the show, we chatted with her about her new record, recording in a church, and, of course, the hat.
Metro Times: This has been a big year for you. Can you tell me a little bit about what's been going on?
Jax Anderson: We're spending almost every day wrapping up our new EP, which comes out this spring. I've been playing shows all throughout the state. It's been a really cool ride.
MT: Are you all done recording now?
Anderson: I'm the only one writing and recording. I'm the only member of Flint Eastwood, so it's just me in the studio. My brother helps me produce it. It's been a very cool process because it's a lot different than what I'm used to. It kind of organically turned into this massively collaborative effort with a bunch of musicians throughout Detroit, which is awesome. It's been such a cool experience. My older brother bought a church in Detroit so he's been recording out of that. It's just been a giant collaborative effort, and I'm really happy to be spearheading it and to get it done and out to people.
MT: Is the sound of the new EP similar to older stuff or have you gone in a different direction now that it's just you?
Anderson: I've gone in a slightly different direction. Not too far off from the old sound. There's always been an element of just wanting people to dance. It really wasn't fully there with our old stuff. It was heavier, and it was more rock-centered. This is definitely going to be dance-centered and more about the energy and more about making people excited and helping people to forget their worries 'cause life is hard. I feel like music exists to help people live in a manner that's of the moment. I feel like these songs really do that.
MT: How has it changed now that it's just you as Flint Eastwood?
Anderson: Honestly, it hasn't changed much simply because I've always been the one to record everything. So basically, our live show has just kind of switched players. But the energy is still there. We're still about interacting with the audience and it being very energetic, lively. It's about it being more of a show and performance. So, that aspect is still there. Basically the only thing that has happened is some players got switched out. Everything is on par with the way it used to be. Just a little more involved.
MT: You describe the band as "Spaghetti Western baked in Detroit ovens." Is there a specific way you would describe your style? I like the term "Amish chic."
Anderson: My style icon is a mixture of Patti Smith — very classic, she always knows what she wants to wear — and Lee Van Cleef, who is like the bad guy from all the Spaghetti Westerns. He's the one I got the black hat from. I want to wear that hat 'cause I saw him as being a total badass in all the old Spaghetti Westerns and I kind of want to be that guy.
MT: Let's talk about the hat.
Anderson: Tunde [Olaniran] found it on the Internet and was like, "You should get this hat." I'm like "OK." He sent me a link to it and I ended up buying three or four over the last two years. It's something I like so much I didn't want to run the risk of them stop selling them.
MT: You're playing Blowout, directly supporting headliner Andrew W.K. Do you have anything wild and crazy planned for your set?
Anderson: Honestly we've been playing so much, we haven't had time ... we're playing with Mayer Hawthorne and Big Chris this weekend and we're doing Canadian Music Week. I'm sure we'll have something up our sleeves. I always mind-fuck the audience.
Flint Eastwood plays Metro Times Blowout on Wednesday, April 29 at St. Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; mtblowout.com; all-access wristbands are $20.