Today while hanging out at the Spin Loft on 6th street, a veritable oasis of rum drinks and free schwag amidst the St Patrick's Day/SXSW double whammy, I had the chance to chat with Nils, Amy and Paul of the Rural Alberta Advantage. As one of the bands HP has followed down to SXSW this week, they told me about how technology has really changed the dynamic of what it means to be a band on the road.
Keyboard player Amy praised new technologies and social media in particular for helping really garner a lot of the support and love the band has been seeing lately as they set off to tour in support of their sophomore effort Departing. Amy also related that the experience of being documented while on tour has been an interesting one as she used to watch Almost Famous and think that the whole being followed on the road by a reporter would be annoying, but in fact has found being on the other side of the spectrum to be a positive experience for the band as a whole and hopefully will introduce them to a whole new community.
The band especially appreciates the merits of social media as a way to connect with their fans, although drummer Paul did relate a funny story of when a fan posted a photo of him juxtaposed with Gerard Butler in the film "300" on the band's Facebook page. Here is the photo for you to judge (Amy jokingly mentioned that Paul only told me this story so that I will always relate him to Gerard Butler in my head... mission accomplished, Amy!).
Really though, the band more than anything love technology because it's the best way for them to keep in contact with their loved once while they are on the road - instead of falling off the grid as bands might have done in the past they are always able to be connected with both family, friends and fans.
Check out this video with Rural Alberta where the trio discuss their recent emergence as a top indie-band on the scene and their feelings of excitement and a bit of anxiety too as they head out on the road to SXSW 2011.