Bang on // Secret Life

Meet the lawyer who plays sold-out concerts across the continent

By Jennifer Marston

On Tuesday March 11th, 2014


Paul Banwatt of The Rural Alberta Advantage

Paul Banwatt
Matterform Inc.

Two days before writing the New York State bar exam, IP lawyer Paul Banwatt put down his books and drove to Guelph to play the Hillside music festival. “It was booked months in advance — I figured I wouldn’t be studying two days before the exam,” he says. Alas, he totally was, and backstage makes a poor study hall.

Heroic juggling acts are typical for Banwatt, drummer for Juno-nominated indie rockers The Rural Alberta Advantage. The band squeezes in evening practices at a Dufferin and Dupont studio, and books off time for sold-out tours across North America and Europe. Their third album drops later this year.

“We’ve tried our best to commit fully to everything we do,” says Banwatt, who worked at Gilbert’s LLP before recently joining Toronto-based 3D scanning start-up Matterform as chief legal officer. His commitment to both law and music extends even further: he blogs about 3D printing law and plays drums in another band, Woodhands. Fitting it all in can be exhausting, but it has its perks. “Playing drums after a day of law is the best feeling,” says Banwatt. “I can really take it all out on the drum set.”

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Behind-the-scenes at the photoshoot

Photography by Daniel Ehrenworth; Hair and makeup by Shawna Lee