April 24, 2018
53° light rain mist
  • As part of an endorsement deal with Freestate Custom Guitars, 13-year-old musician Jackson Anderson will get a guitar with custom wood, color schemes, designs and hardware.
    As part of an endorsement deal with Freestate Custom Guitars, 13-year-old musician Jackson Anderson will get a guitar with custom wood, color schemes, designs and hardware.

Teen Musician From Fast As Lightning Secures Endorsement

Brad Dress
Brad Dress's picture
View Bio
March 7, 2017

Fast As Lightning guitarist and Arnold resident Jackson Anderson is moving up the musical chain as quickly as his band’s namesake.

Freestate Custom Guitars, which builds its own instruments in Annapolis, endorsed Jackson when he turned 13 on January 20. Freestate owner Jon Malfi said Jackson will get a free custom-built guitar, shop work for his instruments, musical equipment and promotions as part of the endorsement, which operates on a year-to-year basis.

Freestate’s marketing department will promote the young musician on social media, make advertising flyers and attend any big events in which the band performs. The deal works in cross-promotion, so Jackson will also promote Freestate at any events attended by Fast as Lightning.

Freestate will finish Jackson’s guitar in four to six months. Jackson chose Freestate’s 21-409 model, one of the company’s standards, and will add custom wood, color schemes, designs and hardware to it. Malfi said Jackson selected a futuristic circuit board design, which he drew up himself.

Freestate’s standard guitars range from $1,600 to $2,200, but the custom modifications will make the guitar more expensive.

Malfi said Freestate likes to give up-and-coming artists the chance to “feel the experience” by promoting them and donating equipment they can use to pursue their craft.

“We feel he is a good fit for the company on a different level,” Malfi said about Jackson. “He’s pursuing higher things than what normal kids would do.”

Malfi said Jackson’s dedication and commitment impressed him, further drawing him to select Jackson as an endorsed artist.

Malfi has known Jackson for two years, and for approximately a year, he talked to the boy’s mother, Lisa Anderson, about the endorsement. Jackson is Freestate’s fifth endorsed artist.

Jackson said he has played since he was 7 years old, when his mother bought him the video game “Rock Band.” He picked up a guitar afterward but wanted to quit because the strings cut his hands. His mother, however, did not let him quit, and signed him up at School of Rock Annapolis in Arnold.

Lisa and Jackson said the band is the priority, and they check the band’s schedule before making any plans for upcoming shows.

The teenage guitarist said he plans to keep the band going in the future. “I don’t think it would fail at this point,” he said.

Jackson plays guitar and sings backup vocals in Fast as Lightning. He plays with four other members; 10-year-old Katie Hall is the lead singer and Jacob Spitzer plays bass; freshman Jack Peery is on drums; and 14-year-old Trystin Martin plays keyboard. In addition, Ben Grant, an Annapolis-based musician, acts as the instructor and mentor for the band.

The band mostly plays cover songs, adding its own spice to numbers by groups like Nirvana, Alice in Chains and the Foo Fighters. In addition, the band has written one rock song, “Kat in the Hat.”

Fast as Lightning’s members met at School of Rock Annapolis in 2013. They got together as a band in August 2014 and played at their first venue the following October. Since then, they have played at Baltimore Soundstage, Jiffy Lube Live, the Green Turtle Sports Bar & Grille, and their most reoccurring gig, the Office Bar & Grill in Pasadena.

They have performed at more than 60 shows since 2014, and they try to play gigs at least two or three times a month.

“I hope that Jackson will have built these friendships [with the band] and they will last his entire life,” his mother said.

Additionally, Jackson is an actor. He has appeared on TV as a supporting actor on the History Channel and Hulu. He acted in the “Tarzan” musical at Anne Arundel Community College. And he plans to be in “The Addams Family” musical at AACC this March and April.

Jackson is a straight-A student at Magothy River Middle School and is in the National Junior Honor Society.


Sidebar Ad

Faces of the Voice

  • Lonnie Lancione
  • Colin Murphy
    Sports Editor
    @ArVoiceSports / @ColinAJMurphy
    @SPVoiceSports / @ColinAJMurphy
    @PVoiceSports / @ColinAJMurphy
  • Dylan Roche
  • Zach Sparks
    Assistant Editor
  • Brian Lancione
    V.P., Operations
  • William Nauman
    Creative Director
  • Dianna Lancione
  • Larry Sells
    Vice President, Sales and Development

Latest Tweets

Events Calendar

Request an Advertising Quote

Please do not add dashes. (ex: 4106479400)
Do not enter anything here.
Search Articles
Search Authors
Search Blog