National Divide
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National Divide

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | SELF

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | SELF
Band Alternative Americana

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‘We have a few slow songs, but we don’t tend to play them live very often,” begins Jordan Slator, guitarist/banjoist for the Plain Dealers. “At that point in the night, everyone’s up and having fun, and who wants to bring ‘em down?”

The Plain Dealers’ genesis was about a year and a half ago. After playing in a string of cover bands at too many weddings and parties, Slator and guitarist/mandolinist Gene Klenke managed to round up the talents of vocalist/guitarist Darren Weir, bassist Dave Visser and drummer Brent Beaudry and settled down to write as the Plain Dealers.

In a nutshell, the band is made up of five indie rock professionals playing outlaw country with a heavy metal drummer.

“That’s what it comes down to,” Slator says. “Brent keeps us from getting too folky or too twangy. He keeps it balanced. Brent in particular was really a hard rock and heavy metal guy—I wasn’t sure he’d be into it.

“Anyone can be coerced into country music,” he continues, laughing. “Ultimately, you’re playing, you’re having fun and as long as the music’s good it doesn’t matter so much what kind you’re playing.” Slator admits that people always ask him what kind of music they play, explaining that he’s resigned himself to saying roots rock.

“It’s not terribly descriptive,” he says. “It’s kind of a cross section of outlaw country with more rock influences.”

Currently, the band is delighted that its self-titled EP is finally going to see the light of day.

“This took an embarrassing amount of time to record for five songs,” Slator notes. “Particularly when everyone’s got day jobs and families. We practice in my basement, so my wife hears a lot of noise. My two-and-a-half-year-old is by far our greatest fan ... potentially an untapped market!

“I think the album captures what we do fairly well,” he concludes. “We recorded it in my basement, did all the tracking down there and then a friend of mine mixed it for us with a fresh set of ears. We’re happy with the way it turned out.”

Fri, Apr 27 (8 pm)
The Plain Dealers
With Cordoba
Velvet Underground, $10 - Vue Weekly


Discography

"Misunderstood" (single)
"Misunderstood" (video)
"Think You Better Know" / "Hard Money" (single)

All available from iTunes, eMusic, Amazon and most other major digital retailers.

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Bio

After having their debut EP reach "Top 10" on Canadian campus and community radio charts, garnering rave reviews across Canada, the U.S. and Europe, and becoming a first-call act in country bars and saloons across Western Canada, Edmonton alt-country favourites The Plain Dealers ended an amazing run. With two members leaving due to family and career decisions, the three remaining original members, Gene Klenke, Jordan Slator and Brent Beaudry, together with new addition Tyler Wagner, decided to move ahead and twist their traditional Americana sound into a totally new direction.

Now known as National Divide, the band has all new songs and a new sound that’s hard to pin down. “We definitely still have that dusty, whiskey-soaked undertone” says Beaudry, “But with the addition of rock guitars, analog synths, electric piano, handclaps, xylophones and other oddball sounds, nobody would ever mistake us for being a country band. Not in the traditional sense, anyway.”

The new sound wasn’t exactly planned. Nor was it an accident, though. “When we started writing, we decided to throw out all preconceptions of what we should sound like. We weren’t aiming for any genre. We just wrote what we thought sounded good.” says Wagner, “We ended up with a mixture of styles that, above all, is just fun to play and to listen to. And that should be the point.”

National Divide are Gene Klenke, Jordan Slator, Tyler Wagner and Brent Beaudry.