Niagara musician Grant Redman has just released the debut single from his solo project, Okay Camper. Enlisting the help from Amanda Lyn Parker and Mark Hoerdt, the trio have created a style that blends melodic folk, alt-country and indie rock music with pop-oriented hooks. The new single, “Garden Party”, is the perfect introduction to their sound – we caught up with Grant to chat about the song, where the name Okay Camper came from, and his deserted island album picks.
From The Strait: Tell us about the new single, “Garden Party”.
Grant Redman: Garden Party isn’t about a real party I attended, but it is an honest song about my social anxiety. It’s a battle a lot of people fight when trying to be social and out in public. We decided to record and release this song as our first single because it’s the song most people say they could relate to after hearing us play it live at one of our shows.
During the COVID quarantine when everyone was baking bread and doing puzzles, I decided to teach myself how to play the piano.
Although it didn’t end up as a piano song, Garden Party is the first song I ever wrote on the piano.
The song came about pretty quickly. I was fooling around with a little riff and changing the bass notes, and the first verse and chorus just kind of came to me. I wrote the second verse the following night. I then worked it out for guitar before bringing it to the band, for them to work their magic.
FTS: How did you get started as a musician?
Grant Redman: I started playing guitar in highschool and played bass guitar in a few bands in my teens and early twenties. After that I didn’t play music in front of people for a number of years and focused mainly on painting and visual arts.
I began performing again about eight years ago, playing mandolin and banjo with Charles J Hunk and the Trainwreck as well as a few solo acoustic cover gigs here and there. All the while I was quietly writing my own songs. I had only planned on recording an album, but after playing my songs with Mark and Amanda preparing to record, we decided it would be fun to form the band and share these songs with others.
FTS: Do you remember the first song you learned to play on guitar?
Grant Redman: It was either Glycerine by Bush or Wonderwall by Oasis. hahaha. Is my age showing?
FTS: How did you come up with the name Okay Camper?
Grant Redman: I’m a pretty big Bill Murray fan and have a large collection of almost all of his movies on DVD. Remember DVDs?
Anyway, Okay Camper came from one of his iconic movies. It’s repeated a number of times throughout the [Groundhog Day] film.
FTS: If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only have 4 albums with you, which albums would you hope to have?
Grant Redman: This is the hardest question of them all. Ok let’s give it a shot:
Never You Mind by The New Amsterdams
Control by Pedro the Lion
Lemonheads by The Lemonheads
Bring It All Back Home by Bob Dylan
Check out “Garden Party”, the debut single from Okay Camper!