"It wasn't until someone pointed out that I was a woman in music that I started viewing myself as a woman in music," says Jax Anderson, the lead singer and brains behind her alter ego Flint Eastwood. "That's what a lot of the new music is about — viewing myself differently."
This new view has also inspired Anderson to produce perhaps the most diverse — and quite simply the best — music of her career. New Flint Eastwood songs like "Queen" and "Rewind" push the sound to new heights while delivering lyrics that are both empowering and catchy.
With the debut of her new EP, Broke Royalty, this past week and a huge hometown show in the lobby of the Fisher Building this Friday, April 14, Flint Eastwood is gearing up for one hell of a summer. Plus, add in some music festival performances at Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza for some icing on the cake. Metro Times caught up with Anderson to talk her new EP, collaborating with other Detroit artists, and the grind of touring.
Metro Times: Congrats on the new release!
Jax Anderson: Thank you! I'm really always writing, so these songs just sort of came together and became an EP.
MT: What influenced this particular group of songs?
Anderson: I don't really write about love a whole lot. It's more about what is happening in the world and what is happening to me. Sometimes I'll rewind and go back to childhood and write about that, or revealing what matters most in life. So these songs just reflect what has been going on with me recently.
MT: Why did you decide to collaborate with so many people on the new EP?
Anderson: Well that's partly due to writing the album at Assemble Sound, because there are just so many people there writing together and collaborating already. GRiZ just happened to be in town working on something at Assemble Sound and I was working on a song so we just sat down and came up with "Rewind."
MT: What about "Push" with Tunde Olaniran?
Anderson: That was another song that just happened because Tunde was at Assemble Sound, and we were hanging out. We were stuck and needed a melody. And Tunde just came up with it and it became the song.
MT: Can you explain what exactly Assemble Sound is in case some people have never heard of it?
Anderson: Assemble Sound is a writer's space, basically. The idea really isn't to record your record there, but to write your record. It's such a strong community of artists and musicians.
MT: How was playing SXSW this year? Was that your first time there?
Anderson: It was actually my third time there. But it felt a lot more relaxed this time. Like, we actually had a hotel room this time. We played seven showcases, which was like the perfect amount. There was a really strong Detroit presence there this year too, which was really cool.
MT: You know, I've kind of noticed that lately. Does it seem that more Detroit artists are making it to the national level?
Anderson: I mean, there has always been a very strong and beautiful music culture in Detroit, so it's not like all of a sudden there are buzzy bands from Detroit. I think a lot of musicians here are more connected, so maybe that is why?
MT: Where did the EP's title, Broke Royalty, come from?
Anderson: The idea of "broke royalty" has kind of been a theme of Flint Eastwood the entire time. It's this idea that your means shouldn't dictate your success or your dreams. I've never wanted to be held back just because I didn't have enough money or something like that.
MT: Was there a reason you decided to release an EP and not a complete album?
Anderson: These were just the songs that I've been working on the past couple months, and they just all went together in this little package that I liked.
MT: Why are you playing the release show at the Fisher Building?
Anderson: Well that kind of goes back to the "broke royalty" idea, too. The Fisher is just such a regal place. So, that juxtaposition of not having it all but still performing in a gorgeous building is something I really like.
MT: What are rest of your plans for spring and summer?
Anderson: So much touring! This show in Detroit will be our biggest yet. Tunde Olaniran, Michigander, and SYBLYNG are opening, which will be fun. And we're playing a lot of festivals so that will be cool. I love touring — it's long and gruesome, but it's the best.
Flint Eastwood performs in the lobby of the Fisher Building on Friday, April 14; Doors at 7 p.m.; 3011 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit; $15.