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TBD Sits Down With a Rising Artist

Detroit’s Flint Eastwood, known off-stage as Jax Anderson, is a dynamic person. When she speaks about writing music or performing live, the enthusiasm is tangible. On stage, she brings an energy that few possess. Anderson’s genre bending sound comes from an intimate place and is reflective of the highs and lows that all people experience. These are all reasons why people love and support Flint Eastwood.

Motivated by a need to create quality music and throw down on stage, Flint Eastwood has been gaining traction since late 2013. Eastwood’s recently released EP, “Broke Royalty,” is another step forward. As momentum continues to build, it’s clear that Anderson is on the verge of taking the presentation of her art to the next level. The reasons why were on full display Friday, April 14th at the historic Fisher Building.

Towering above the corner of 2nd Avenue and Grand Boulevard, the Fisher Building is one of Detroit’s architectural gems. Built in the 20s, the Fisher is a testament to the beauty of the Art Deco style. The lobby is especially stunning, but not the first place somebody would think to throw an EP release party. Jax did. Collaborating with Assemble Sound, Fusion Shows and The Crofoot in Pontiac, Flint Eastwood hosted what will be remembered as a truly monumental night for Detroit music.

With an outstanding line up that included Tunde Olaniran, SYBLYNG and Michigander, the entire night was packed full of amazing performances, an unreal atmosphere and a sold out crowd of 1,500 people. It was a special night and the next one is sure to be even bigger. Following the show, TBD had the chance to catch up with Flint Eastwood about how it felt to be on stage that night, how she gets ready to perform and her relationship with Assemble Sound.

 

How did it feel to be on stage in such a beautiful venue in front of that many fans?

The feeling that I kept coming back to was that I felt very grateful, cause I feel like there are so many friends and people that have been [making music] for an extremely long time. It’s very rare to be able to accomplish what we accomplished. We started off with people saying, “There’s no way you can sell out the Fisher [building].” So when we did, it was just this moment of gratitude. The whole night, even the openers, were bands we’ve played with for a really long time. Even the kids on the SYBLYNG set. I helped co-write some of their songs and [my brother] Seth has helped produce their songs. We’ve been following Tunde [Olaniran] for so long. It was just this moment of feeling like the things we’re doing are working, you know? It was a really cool feeling.

 

What do you do to get ready to perform on stage?

I usually like to take the hour before and just be alone. I like to get into a good mental headspace and just focus. Truthfully, right before I play I’ll think of my mom and what it would be like if she were in the crowd. That’s kind of what keeps me grounded and helps me stay grateful. Knowing that she won’t be able to see these successes. She was my biggest source of encouragement ever, so to get into that mental headspace of “what would it be like if she was here? I should make her proud” is where I try to put myself. I try and put myself in an extremely vulnerable space because I feel like if I’m not vulnerable, nobody else is going to be vulnerable. Then I go on stage and just try and to be as honest as possible.

Your new EP, “Broke Royalty,” seems to be a natural progression of your sound. How would you describe that growth?

I think the common thread that’s always existed for Flint Eastwood is that we just care about writing good songs. So we’ll jump around from genre and sound and do different things. It has evolved, but I think the consistent thing for us is just continually trying to progress our songwriting. It’s funny, I was just curious, and listened to some of the songs from “Small Victories” and…I just feel like “Broke Royalty” is a better record. I feel like we just learned so much about recording, about mixing and songwriting that “Broke Royalty” is a pure advancement of the sound. We always want to move forward

 

You are very involved with Assemble Sound and are one of the founding members of the studio. How has being a part of Assemble affected your growth as an artist?

Assemble was definitely a huge advocate for what we were doing, and continues to be. We’ve been able to grow tremendously from being around other artists and experiencing other people’s viewpoints in the space. A lot of times, artists can kind of hermit themselves away. Sometimes it’s good, but most of the time it’s pretty detrimental to creativity. In order to be creative, I feel like you have to experience other viewpoints and experience other things. Assemble is a great way of doing that. There’s just always things happening at Assemble and I think it’s a really cool space because it’s not intrusive. We want to encourage people to make really good art and make the best art that they can. It’s really cool being around people like that all the time.

What are some of your next steps as Flint Eastwood?

We’re going to be touring a whole bunch! Playing a lot of festivals too. The reason why I make music is to connect people and to hopefully offer something positive to people. I think the more people we can reach, the more effective Flint Eastwood can be. We’re just going to keep growing.