20 Watts

20 Watts Talks to Nils Edenloff of The Rural Alberta Advantage by Eric Vilas-Boas
Nils Edenloff (right) of The Rural Alberta Advantage talks to 20 Watts

Nils Edenloff (right) of The RAA talks to 20 Watts

PREVIEW: Download The RAA’s “The Deathbridge in Lethbridge” MP3
RELATED COVERAGE: Positive Jam: Exclusive Coverage on 20 Watts, 20 Watts Reviews The Rural Alberta Advantage’s Hometowns

Signing to Saddle Creek, releasing an acclaimed debut, and touring extensively have made this a pretty banner year for The Rural Alberta Advantage. Guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Nils Edenloff talked to 20 Watts just the other day about his experiences, the band’s origins, and our mutual affinity for The Antlers and Neutral Milk Hotel. The RAA’s Hometowns was re-released by Saddle Creek earlier this year and you can catch The Rural Alberta Advantage playing the Positive Jam at Stewart Park, on the beautiful shores of Cayuga Lake, at 1:30pm, on Sunday, Sept. 6!

20W: So to start off, why do you call yourselves The Rural Alberta Advantage? What’s the origin of the name? Did you guys ever go by any other name?

Edenloff: It’s the only name we’ve ever used. It has to do with looking back on Alberta — where I grew up — and we make a lot of references to it. The name actually comes from a play on a provincial slogan, which is now defunct, called “The Alberta Advantage,” championing the oil sands industry. My brother once emailed me the suggestion, and it stuck.

20W: How long have you guys known each other? How did you meet?

Edenloff: We’ve known each other for a long time. Paul [Banwatt], Amy [Cole] and a friend of mine used to play in another band called Clementine. Eventually Paul and I started co-hosting open-mic nights. The first year, there was kind of a fluctuating line-up, with nothing really set in stone. I think when the three of us started playing together — Paul, Amy and myself — that was when the band really started, in February, 2006.

20W: The RAA signed to Saddle Creek earlier this year after Hometowns took off. Has the experience of being signed to a major indie label changed your approach to music at all? Continue reading