A true celebration of the grandiose, anthemic and breathtakingly fun hard rock music of the 1980s, Trapper brings together two of Canada’s brightest creative lights in a project that neither parrots nor parodies the genre that left an indelible stamp on millions of fans and pop culture.
Already aware of one another’s impressive careers and credentials as artists, all it took was a few social media exchanges to lead to what is now a blossoming musical partnership between guitar hero Sean Kelly and critically-acclaimed songstress Emm Gryner.
Kelly boasts an impressive, genre-defying pedigree as a player and songwriter that includes a host of classical guitar albums, a popular retro-glam band called Crash Kelly, as well as recording, writing and/or live work with the likes of Helix, Honeymoon Suite, Lee Aaron, Carl Dixon (Coney Hatch), Gilby Clarke (Guns ‘N Roses) and Rudy Sarzo (Whitesnake, Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne).
Gryner is a powerfully evocative singer/songwriter with 18 solo albums to her credit and admirers around the world, including the likes U2s Bono, Def Leppard singer Joe Elliot, David Bowie (for whom she performed as part of his backing band for a number of years) and Nelly Furtado. Coincidentally, Kelly has also been Furtado’s guitarist since 2009, so it seemed as though serendipity played a huge role in the meeting of these two musical minds.
Both Kelly and Gryner have happily embraced a variety of styles throughout their respective careers, but found they both had a desire to immerse themselves in the music that was so impactful in their own youthful musical journeys.
“I knew of Emm and her name has been resonating within a circle of friends for some time. One night I heard her song North on the radio and Tweeted about it. She Tweeted back when she saw that I have been playing with both Nelly and Helix. The conversation started right there and here we are today,” said Kelly.
“We started talking and that quickly turned into us sending song ideas back and forth. It turned out that we both love the 1980s era of music so much. And there are a lot of forgotten songs from that time period that we want to revisit,” added Gryner.
“We felt we could also write some songs that sound as though they came straight out of 1986. And that’s what we have done.”
Towards the end of 2014, Trapper released a cassette single that featured a cover of the Scandal hit The Warrior as well as an original song that was a playful ode to the southern summer party scene of the 1980s – Grand Bender.
“I want Trapper’s music to kind of represent that summer lifestyle – that experience that so many of us had growing up. There were all the great outdoor concerts, trips to the beach, bush parties. People remember that time in the 1980s with such fondness,” said Gryner.
Trapper is neither a tribute act nor a cover band, but a truly organic creative force that will continue to write and record original material with that distinctly 1980s hard rock vibe, as well offering up their interpretations of other ‘lost’ 1980s rock gems. And the 1980s mentality is going to permeate every aspect of the band’s presentation.
“We grew up with this stuff and we learned it well. We have the chops to pull this off like few other bands could. With my experience with Nelly and Emm’s time as part of David Bowie’s band in the early 2000s, we have developed a certain acumen with our stagecraft and showmanship,” Kelly asserted.
“We want to bring that sense of grandeur and energy that made 1980s rock so much fun and such a positive experience for so many people.”
Trapper adds yet another dimension to Gryner’s prolific and remarkably diverse and enduring career. Her solo material has always been eclectic, melodic, highly literate and refreshingly unfettered by formula or slavish trendiness. She has garnered a loyal, worldwide fan base as well as two Juno Award nominations.
Besides this solo work, Gryner is also 1/3 of the Canadiana-roots trio Trent Severn, and will soon be embarking on a new musical project with the aforementioned Joe Elliot.
Perhaps her best-known musical collaboration was with Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield on h is wildly popular version of Bowie’s Space Oddity, which he performed from the International Space Station and became a viral sensation on YouTube.
Kelly continues to write, record and perform with a host of acts, including 1980s Canadian rock icons such as Honeymoon Suite and Lee Aaron. In 2014 he penned the book Metal on Ice which looked at the largely under-appreciated hard rock and heavy metal scene in Canada.
Much like The Eurythmics and Roxette (to reference a couple of wildly successful 1980s bands), Trapper is a duo, but both Gryner and Kelly say they will be mining their impressive array of musical pals to populate this musical juggernaut once they hit the road.
“I know a lot of people who would see this as a lot of fun and would want to dive right in with us,” said Kelly.
“I can’t wait to bring Trapper to life on stage. At 14 I wanted nothing more than to be a bass player in a kick-ass rock band. So my 14-year-old self is on cloud nine right now,” Gryner added.
With a repertoire of dozens of covers and new original music just bursting forth from this serendipitous musical pairing, Trapper is poised to be nothin’ but a good time for fans who love their rock loud, fun, sexy and unforgettable. -Jim Barber
For more information contact: [email protected]