By: Hannah Herner, In The Record Store staff writer.
When local act Mistar Anderson stopped by for In The Record Store’s 54th episode Eric Rollin, Andre Walker and Jon Weisbrot discussed their music backgrounds, the difference between being a band and being a DJ, and the band’s new material.
Mistar Anderson as it is known today started about four years ago as This Hip-Hop Project. Drummer Andre Walker came up with the name somewhat accidentally when he called to book a gig and the booker asked what they call the group.
“I don’t know, it’s this hip-hop project,” Walker said at the time.
That Hip-Hop Project covered hip-hop tracks from the early 90's up until the present, but changed its name when the members started putting out original songs just over a year ago.
The biggest influence of the band’s current name is the movie “The Matrix,” and more specifically the way that Agent Smith would say “Mr. Anderson.”
A lineup change came with the name change, leaving the two core members Walker and Rollin to build up their new band. Rollin called on his jazz connections.
“Before Mistar Anderson and This Hip-Hop Project, I played with a lot of musicians and some were jazz musicians at Ohio State,” Rollin said.
Dan White of The Huntertones, local trumpet player Josh Smith, and trombonist and producer Evan Oberla — who all played on the group’s first EP — connected Rollin to saxophonist John and trombone player Elaine Mylius.
In fact, the lineup is forever changing and is adjusted gig to gig, including about 6 or 7 members total. The band brings together an eclectic mix of classically trained musicians and self-taught artists.
“I am not classically trained, I am not musically trained whatsoever. I just have what they call a good ear,” Rollin said. “I wish I did go to school for music, I played the trombone when I was young but didn’t keep up with it.”
During the podcast Weisbrot said he suspected that the range of backgrounds is precisely what makes it work for Mistar Anderson.