Flint Eastwood is the evolution of the creative side of Detroit-based multi-talented artist Jax Anderson. Flint Eastwood is what happens when friends and family gather in the forgotten spaces of an embattled city and are left to create with no rules, no boundaries, and nothing holding them back. Jax’s endless creativity is a byproduct of growing up in a talented family.
Her father was one of ten kids, each of whom played guitar and sang. Her oldest brother, Sam, played in punk bands, and Jax spent her teenage years learning the value of passion and acceptance at DIY shows. As she got older, her other brother (and Flint Eastwood collaborator and producer) Seth started playing in bands throughout the Detroit garage rock scene. Their dad worked as a curb address painter to pay the bills once the housing crash made his job as a mortgage broker invalid. During this time, Jax and her brothers went door to door, passing out flyers advertising her father’s services, through some of the toughest residential neighborhoods in Detroit. These struggles helped form the vision that drives Flint Eastwood: to give everyone listening (whether live or on record) a momentary escape from the problems we all have.
Between helping around the house, Jax spent her days in her family’s Detroit-area home, without cable and internet, teaching herself to play her father’s 12-string Taylor guitar that he left for them in the living room. It was also during this time that her mother’s love for Motown music began to influence Jax’s knack for the theatrics and power of the Detroit sound, as Mom played records from The Temptations, the Jackson Five, and Earth Wind & Fire.
Once old enough to break out on her own, Jax briefly moved to a small German tourist town in rural Georgia, where the only station in town played solely pop and country. There, she fell in love with the hooks and harmonies that define American pop music. Later, she moved with Seth to Los Angeles, to mainly focus on writing for licensing opportunities and playing small clubs and house parties around town. While in LA, Jax developed a love for film, hopping on tour with bands every chance she could get as a self-taught videographer. Her experiences on the West Coast still influence Jax’s push to make her musical endeavors into well-rounded multimedia presentations (mixing music with theatrical lighting, video projection, and costumes).
Upon returning home to Detroit at the very beginning of the much-maligned city’s recent resurgence, Jax’s explosive and endearing personality on stage became the driving force behind Flint Eastwood. But through it all, it was the songs that were always the focus.
On their now sold-out debut EP Late Nights In Bolo Ties (2013), Jax and her friends mixed elements of pulsing electronic tracks with blistering bluesy guitar licks, all with a spaghetti-western backdrop, inspired by Sunday night movie sessions with Jax and her father.
On the new EP, Small Victories (released October 23), Jax has returned to her Detroit roots, mixing a taste of the theatricality of Motown music with her more recently found love for pop music. The result is six songs full of hooks. The type of tracks that you turn up a little too loud, close your eyes, and forget where you are for four minutes. In a live setting, the songs are taken to another level entirely, mixing a CHVRCHES-like depth with a twenty | one | pilots-style flair for the dramatic. This approach has led the band to rapidly gain an ever-growing fanbase. Their last two hometown headline plays have sold out (400+ tickets per show), and the band has toured heavily through the Midwest, mixing festival looks like Electric Forest, MoPop Festival, and Midpoint Music Festival with club appearances alongside acts such as Foxy Shazam, Mayer Hawthorne, Betty Who, X Ambassadors, and Andrew WK.
Small Victories was crafted and polished in one of Detroit’s oldest church buildings, now repurposed as Assemble Sound, a hub of Detroit creativity that fosters artists through collaboration. In this crumbling but inspiring location, the new record was created as a coping mechanism to help Jax deal with the loss of her mother, who was her biggest fan and inspiration. As the listener makes their way through the EP, they experience Jax making her way through her mother’s illness and passing, railing against it, dealing with the aftermath associated with such a loss, eventually accepting it, and using it as a driving force to continue to create.
Jax broke the EP down in one simple thought:
“Small Victories comes from the idea that doing anything creative in life takes a lot of persistence, struggle, and hustle. It’s easy to expect that the spoils will come easily and be immediately fruitful. But if you focus on the little things, the “small victories”, you realize that it’s those things that are the most rewarding. That’s what keeps me going.”
The lead single is the EP’s first track, “Find What You’re Looking For”, which is Jax’s interpretation of her mother’s final words to her:
“Don’t let this break you”.