Michael Cameron Anderson, known professionally as Anderson East, was born in Athens, Alabama. Currently, he is based in Nashville, writing and singing his take on Country music — a rhythmic blues with a rock-and-roll edge. Talking with Michael was something like sitting down with an old friend. Read on to see what all he had to share. Don’t miss your chance to catch him at the Shaky Knees Festival coming up May 13th-15th!
(Sara Jane) You just got off stage a moment ago. How was it?
(Anderson East) It was great. It was really, really hot. But it was fun.
That’s definitely been the statement of the day — how hot it is.
Yeah, I’ve lost some weight, which I’ve needed to. Sweated out all my indiscretions.
(Laughing) I’m sure Miranda will appreciate that.
I hope so.
Well, let’s jump right in. Tell me about the artist or the song that inspired you to write, and supplied you with the desire to become an artist.
Standing around The Syndicate Lounge, I could hear Adia Victoria before I could see her. She talked loud and quick, sometimes in exaggerated Southern twang, sometimes in exaggerated Ghetto-speak. “I’m such a Black girl,” she added after one such occurrence. Draped in a zip-up white moo-moo, a sleek honey-brown wig, her steps accented by yellow Converse, Adia (Uh-DEE-uh) pulled her guitar over her shoulders for soundcheck. Cue “Smells Like Teen Spirit”–after, of course, dialing in a few originals.
She stopped, smiled, looked up from her guitar, joked about playing the next song. “Like uh, with Grateful Dead pedals!” she said, with exaggerated gestures. The guitarist next to her, Mason Hickman, tapped his foot across his board, began playing wah-wah sounds à la Jerry Garcia. Having played two of my favorite bands consecutively, two that had no earthly business being played consecutively, all I could think about while reviewing my questions was, “Try not to gush. Try not to gush.”
“Hey, are you Lindsay?”
Try not to gush. “Yes.”
“Hey, I’m Adia,” she said with an outstretched hand. “Are you ready?”
There is a rush of anticipation and excitement that comes with watching artists walk your way to sit down and speak with you. So naturally, when The Struts “strutted” their way into the media tent at the Hangout Music Festival, “rock stars” was the epitomizing term that came to mind. With all the aesthetics of “cool” going on–black denims, black leather, bandannas, lead singer Luke Spiller donning a black cloak with retro circular shades–it was a nice surprise to peel back the leather layers and see what’s underneath.
Mother Plug Music (MPM): Hey guys!
Luke (lead vocalist): Hello.
Jed (bassist): Hey!
Gethin (drummer): Yo, yo, yo.
Adam (guitarist): How are you?
MPM: I’m good, thanks for sitting down with me. So tell me guys, is this your first Hangout?
Jed: Yes, it is indeed.
MPM: What do you think about this crazy weather? The festival has had to call Code Red twice now!
Jed: So far, it reminds us of a seaside day in Great Britain, in the rain.
Gethin: We love it!
Jed: We got locked into artist catering. We thought there could be worse places at a festival than there .
Luke: It’s nice, it’s like being younger and you have a giant power cut out throughout the whole…
Mothers’ debut album, When You Walk a Long Distance You Are Tiredswells with feeling and precise instrumentation. Existential lyrics, somber vocals, and languid melodies transition into rousing, though altogether brief, experimental/indie-rock jams. A quick denouement–and it’s back to “the way things were.” When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired reincarnates every step of the way, endearing listeners to the wearier sides of life and, at the same time, encouraging us to maybe get out of bed before the sun goes down.