The Rural Alberta Advantage

The Rural Alberta Advantage Selected By eMusic

I have heard only good things about the three people that constitute The Rural Alberta Advantage (RAA) and even better things about their live performances. In fact, this is the second interview that this website has done in 2008 with frontman Nils Edenloff.

In March, Nils met up with us to discuss RAA's debut record, Hometowns, and to provide some background information on the band's beginnings and development. Now, he's back to talk about how the talented trio was selected as one of eMusic's two November bands to be profiled, and what, if any, impact that this has had.

We met in the Green Room, a dark Annex cafe, only accessible by a back alley that runs off of Brunswick Ave. It's a very student friendly environment, which is my way of saying that it offers an affordable menu of food and beverages. I ordered a Steamwhistle, because it reminds me of the keg parties I used to host and attend in my days of yore. Nils ordered a Creemore because it was what he wanted.

Then we got down to serious business, starting with an explanation of how RAA came to be selected by eMusic.

"It really sort of happened out of the blue. Basically, they [eMusic] shot us an e-mail, that said that someone on their message board had recommended us and they thought we might be a good fit. So, they gave us a listen and sent us the e-mail. I think they've been doing it for about a year now. They just choose two bands who they feel should have a little more attention paid to them. It was really kind of crazy, because it just came out of nowhere."

Their record, that is being sold through eMusic, was actually released last February. It can now be purchased online at the eMusic store. On the website it even states that RAA is on the "eMusic Selects" label. I wondered if the website had exclusive rights to selling the album.

"That was one of the things we asked them about, and they are the only place that can sell it online for this first month. But, we're totally free to sell it on our own through our website, which has been really great because we've gotten a lot more attention."

So, it's paying off?

"Oh yeah, the first day we went on eMusic our MySpace plays just kind of went through the roof. There was more blog activity from places that we had never heard of before. There has just been more people finding it. We've been pretty pumped about all the response we've received. We've had orders from places like Switzerland, Ireland, Germany, and Australia."

WIth the album being almost a year old, I wasn't sure if RAA would begin a tour or plan to release a new album beforehand.

"We're not really sure either. We're so pleased with how this eMusic thing is going that we'll probably just ride this out for a bit. We're looking at playing some shows in the States, so we're trying to get the paperwork done for that. We're definitely looking at touring and touring for as long as we can. So, we'll see. We'll see."

It's really refreshing to see an unsigned band given such great exposure without being exploited or conned into a long term contract. Right now they are on stage at Lee's Palace and, as much as I enjoy writing this, I would much rather be at the show.

Photo by Vincent Wong.

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