As Flint Eastwood prepared to take the stage for their noon set at the Atypical Beast Agency Showcase, groggy employees of the Spider House Ballroom were still showing up for work. An early set time can be difficult for a band at South By South West, which sees Austin’s party scene drawing people out late into the night. Most bands could not match this unique SXSW challenge, but Flint Eastwood are not like most bands.
Dressed to match in black outfits and bolo ties, the band jumpstarts their set, filling the tent with energy and attracting the attention of everyone at the Spider House drawn in by the dance-friendly grooves. What followed was a rousing set that inspired an afternoon dance party- the likes of which I had never before witnessed. I immediately drew the conclusion that a cup of coffee is unnecessary when you start your day with Flint Eastwood.
Born and bred out of Detroit, Michigan, the five bandmates of Flint Eastwood have crafted a unique and defining sound for themselves, one that is perfectly matched by their distinctively sleek, black uniforms. Listening to their music, it is not difficult to see that they draw heavy influence from spaghetti westerns, though the indie dance sound they incorporate would provide the perfect soundtrack to the special kind of westerns where cowboys use dance battles instead of bullets, to settle differences.
Their name, one of my favorite band names ever, emphasizes their western influence and their hometown pride all at once, playing off of Clint Eastwood and Flint, Michigan simultaneously.
A band’s hometown may just be its starting point, but for the members of the band, Detroit is more than just where they lay their heads at night. It is a source of constant inspiration.
Made up of five members; Jax Anderson on lead vocals, Weston Bradshaw on guitar and backup vocals, Andrew Stevens on bass, Sam Ridgell on drums, and Leo Bautista on the keyboard, one thing stands for sure, Flint Eastwood are prepared to dominate any stage they perform on.
Talking with Jax and Weston after the show, they recognized Detroit’s legendary contributions to music, most famously garage rock and techno. However, they were quick to explain how their hometown scene is at an awesome transition point. Gone are all the garage rock bands, and in their place came a new wave of techno, electro, and hip-hop artists working together to put on amazing shows.
With a low cost of living, Detroit is helping to provide musicians the opportunity to hone their skills, truly do what they want, and do it frugally. Even the band uniform has hometown roots, the bolo ties inspired by a former bass players’ father, Mr. Carnell, and their signature western style hats coming from Henry the Hatter, a Detroit staple since 1893.
With this excellent territory come a true sense of dedicated fan support. When asked to describe the best show they have performed at, Weston described a show they played at a house party in Detroit. While setting up at midnight, there wasn’t a soul to be found. Much like their set at SXSW, once they began, people started to emerge from everywhere. The crowd that quickly filled the house, went wild dancing, shaking the floors and the walls to the beat of the songs. It got so wild that the police actually showed up, a rare feat for a noise violation in Detroit.
When they aren’t busting down the walls at house parties, they are sharing the bill with some amazing bands that tour throughout Detroit, including Foxy Shazam and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.. They even shared the stage with the real life party God, Andrew W.K., as you can see in the video for their excellent song, “Secretary,” off of their EP Late Nights In Bolo Ties. First timers at South By, they brought an infectious energy to every show, and took time to record a session with Daytrotter, as evidence proves by the Instagram video Daytrotter posted of them throwing down an impromptu remix of their song to the sound of a blaring car alarm.
When Flint Eastwood took the streets of Austin by storm at this years South By South West, their energetic performances and on point attire helped showcase how they are a band not to be missed, or messed with for that matter. It is for these reasons that they have been selected as AtypicalSounds’ very first Artist of the Month, as we all patiently wait to see what moves these Michigan musicians will make next.