Mistar Anderson’s story began in 2011, before the band even existed. Back then, vocalist Eric Rollin, drummer Andre Walker and guitarist Ryan Sullivan performed as a hip-hop cover band called This Hip-Hop Project. By 2013, they were putting out original music and soon started performing as Mister Anderson (which later became Mistar Anderson). Bringing on trombone, sax, bass and keys, the band incorporated jazz, funk and soul sounds into their hip-hop music.
We sat down with a few of the band members to learn more about how they each bring their individual musical influences and backgrounds to Mistar Anderson.
Meet the Musicians
Fave local venue: Express Live, Riffe Center
Fave local band: Honey and Blue
Influences: “As far as an emcee, I would say The Roots. The first time I saw them, I was very inspired. I decided that’s what I want to do. I mean, I wanted to do music before that. But when I saw them live, I was like, oh, this is what it’s about. Everything – all the music I listened to before.”
Fave local act: “WYD. I love it. It’s an all-girl band (including Carly Fratianne of Souther).”
Fave local venues: Newport Music Hall, Bicentennial Park stage
Influences: “My family … everybody plays an instrument. And growing up, I literally remember my whole family being in a cover band, and they would go around to casinos and bars and play. … It was inspirational just so I could get up there at a young age and do it. So it was not so much music theory or anything; it was just the act of being in front of people and having them enjoy what you put out. That was special.”
Fave local acts: Tony Monaco, Bobby Floyd, Hoodoo
Influences: “My musical influences are probably a lot different because I grew up in a very, like, sheltered home. So it was just straight classical music until I got to college. Like, literally, that was it. … I grew up on Stravinsky. … And actually, when I joined Mistar Anderson, I had never listened to hip-hop at all.”
Fave local venues: “I like some of the more intimate spaces:” Rehab Tavern, Brother’s Drake, Dick’s Den, Natalie’s Coal-Fired Pizza
Influences: “I used to go listen to Bobby Floyd every week as a kid. I could not believe what he was doing to the piano. I remember a couple times going to see Hank Marr play the organ way back in the day. … Definitely the local jazz scene was big for me as a kid.”
On the Band Name
Eric: I remember there were a couple of reasons (for the name), but I remember they kept going back to the nemesis of The Matrix. Because originally it was Mister Anderson with the -er. And then we changed it to an -ar.
And I’m glad we did because now it’s easier to search or find us if it’s -ar. Because there isn’t anything else spelled “mistar.” And then “mistar” has the word “star” in it. We’re stars, you know.
Fill in the Blank
If you like ___, you’ll like Mistar Anderson.
Eric: If you like pizza.
Elaine: If you like to chill.
Andre: If you like tofu. If you like to breathe.
Eric: I like that – if you like air.
When we’re not performing, we’re ____.
Andre: Painting really anything, but lately it’s been turtles. I’ve been painting turtles. I’ve got a show coming up in November at Rehab Tavern, and it’ll be up all November. So if somebody wants to come buy some Andre Walker drummer-producer-weird-dude turtles.
Andre: I try to use them in a social stand point of view. People aren’t threatened by turtles usually. So I can kind of maybe make someone think about something they wouldn’t think about by presenting it through a turtle.
Elaine: I do crafts – lots of crafts. I make a lot of jewelry. I use a lot of crystals. I made my wallet.
David: When I’m not performing, I’m typically preparing to perform.
Band members: [Laughs]
David: That’s about all I get to do, man. That’s what I love, but it’s a full-time thing.
Eric: I’m either sleeping – because I like to get a lot of rest so I’m fresh for whatever’s coming. I like to scooter. … I love to walk, and I just love listening to music. I love listening to new music; I love to find music.”
___ is Central Ohio’s best hidden gem.
Andre: It’s Loving Hut.
David: Eden Burger is one.
Elaine: I was going to say Portia’s Cafe or, like, Accent On Nature
David: Almost half of Mistar Anderson is vegetarian or vegan.
Elaine: Lalibela, the Ethiopian restaurant. It’s on the East Side.
Pineapple on pizza is ___.
Eric: No, pineapple needs to be by itself.
Elaine: I will not appreciate a pizza unless it has pineapple on it.
Eric: I can’t appreciate a pizza unless it has pepperoni on it.
Elaine: I’m vegan – I don’t get cheese on pizza. Put some pineapple on it.
Andre: Man, I’m going to get some vegan cheese and call it a day. If three out of four people say it’s good, it’s good.