Friday, March 25, 2011

INTERVIEW WITH MIKE TRAMP

Mike Tramp is one of the most recognizable rock figures in the world! He is well-known as the lead singer/songwritter of the hard rock supergroup White Lion. With White Lion, he has released five albums, including the "Return Of The Pride". Songs like "Cry For Freedom", "When The Children Cry" and "Wait" were all big trademarks of a really huge band back then. After White Lion, Tramp formed Freak Of Nature and with them he released three very good efforts. Tramp as a solo artist released five albums and in 2009 we saw him in his brand new band 'Mike Tramp & The Rock 'N' Roll Circuz' . Nowadays, he is back in business with  'Mike Tramp & The Rock 'N' Roll Circuz'  second album titled "Stand Your Ground".

Below you are going to read a very interesting interview that Mike Tramp gave to Heavy Paradise and talked about his new release, the White Lion days and some other interesting stuff!!
Enjoy...

heavy paradise : Hello Mike, it's really a great honor that Mike Tramp, one of my favourite artists, it's here in Heavy Paradise for an interview!

 MT: All good it's my pleasure happy to be part of your magazine. We got to support each other and keep rock'n'roll alive and strong.

heavy paradise : So, Mike, a new album is about to be released later this year. Can you tell me some things about the new effort?

MT: It is a continuation and progression of my solo career that I started in 1996 when I recorded my first album Capricorn. On this album "Stand your ground" and then one before. I have added "The Rock'n'Roll Circuz" s this is a band not just Mike Tramp. My three other band members are a huge part of the sound and production of this album, I couldn't have done this myself.

heavy paradise : How long did it take you to record the new album?

MT: It didn't take very long to record as we kept it as live as possible with just some nice overdubs when needed. But the four of us track the songs together and basically complete 90% of the recording. I have returned to the way I used to record with Freak of nature and I love working this way. It is the reason I play rock'n'roll.

heavy paradise : Mike Tramp & The Rock 'n' Roll Circuz in 2009 was an overall very good effort. What are the differences between your last release and this new one?

MT: Well after recording the first album, we became a band and played about 75 shows together. So when we went into record this one and I showed the band songs i'd written. It was easy to get working on it, everybody knew how it should sound, it should sound like the way we sound when we play together, no other way.

heavy paradise : Allow me to take you back in 1983, when "Fight To Survive" was released. Did you expect that kind of success when you formed White Lion?

MT: No of course not, it was a dream come true. We hoped the album would be a success, but it took many years and we had many problems with the record company before we finally got it out, a year 1and 1/2 after recording it.

heavy paradise : What is the thing that you miss most from those days?

MT: I don't really miss anything, because I have learned to live with that today is a different time. But there is no doubt that it was the time when Hard Rock were at the top everywhere, radio, Tv, concerts around the world and rock fans were having a great time and so were the bands.

heavy paradise : I read somewhere that you wanted to do a reunion with the original White Lion members. What went wrong and it never happened?

MT: No I never wanted it, but i was open to it. But everyone has to understand like Vito is like big sleepy Elephant standing in the middle of the road, preventing anything from happening. He is the single and only reason why it will never happen.

heavy paradise : With Vito Bratta you were a very successful duo! Do you keep in touch with Vito?

MT: No I just answer his lawyers letters... But I think it must be a miserable life to live the way he does. Never done one thing musically since White Lion broke up 20 years ago. No albums, no concerts, not even one little club show. Wow it is amazing one can live like that.
heavy paradise : "Return Of The Pride" was a good comeback album. Do you think that it reached the expectations of the band's earlier releases?

MT: When I look back, I think it should have been listed as a new band. I really like the album and the songs I wrote. But I agree that it is difficult to call it a White Lion album.

heavy paradise : If you had the chance to change some things from the past which would they be and why?

MT: It would for sure be that we could have taken a break to think it over, before we broke up White Lion, it all became so rushed, unplanned and never discussed. i am not saying that I would want to play in White Lion today. Just that we had parted in better ways. At the same time I would also have like a big break together our thoughts before we wrote and recorded "Big Game". It is something I blame on our old managers and record company. They never thought of us, only to get an album out quick.

heavy paradise :So, the big question is if we are going to see a White Lion reunion with the original members in the near future?

MT: NO, it won't happen.
heavy paradise : Freak Of Nature was your big musically step after White Lion. I personally liked this band a lot! What went wrong and the band didn't continue doing more records?

MT: Yes it was very special to me, it was my return to love playing rock'n'roll again and play in a band, something that White Lion had forgotten. The reason why I ended the band was, that to my surprise I saw that the other band members lost the passion and fight break this band and I was very surprised to see someone 10 years younger than me, loose the love for touring and recording, but most of all be in a cool rock band. And as you can see, no one from the band ever made anything else after FON, but I am still going strong with almost 10 albums since.

heavy paradise : The sound of Freak Of Nature was more aggressive and dark than White Lion. Was it 'cause of the grunge revolution or you just wanted to do something different?

MT: It was the sound of 5 guys playing who were not White Lion. But there is no doubt that were heavy influenced by the sound of grunge and and at the same time classic rock, like Thin Lizzy, UFO and Zeppelin.

heavy paradise : Your lyrics were always about social or political issues.What are your inspirations when you are writing a song, Mike?

MT: I prefer to write about real issue than pussy, beer and cars. I don't know why and where my influences come from. But I know growing up as a kid in Denmark, I was exposed to the world and it's problems and issues and not narrow minded only looking at what was close to me. I grew up in a low income divorced household with very little. And I feel the strongest when life is simple and I have my feet on the ground. My love for rock'n'roll is the sound and friendship of a band.
Not Limousines, groupies, sports cars and mansions. I am very happy n my life and I have very little. But I have three great children a wife that I love, some great guitars and I don't need anything else.

heavy paradise : Which is your most valuable album that you have ever recorded?

MT: "Pride" , we worked on the album for many many years before we got to record it, and it was the time when White Lion were still a band. But it is not my favorite album, for sure that is Freak of nature.
heavy paradise : Which are your influences?

MT: All great rock'n'roll from 60's and 70's and also a lot of folk-music, it is after all my foundation.  Zeppelin, Stones, Queen, thin Lizzy, AC/DC, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and so many more. I love real music, no electronics or dance.

heavy paradise : Tell me the first thing that comes in your mind for the following :

WHITE LION: MT:   MY Dream of living and playing rock'n'roll in the USA becomes real and we make it big.
FREAK OF NATURE:   MT: My salvation
THIN LIZZY:  MT: Phil Lynott, one of my all time favorite songwriters and singers
VITO BRATTA:  MT: Somebody I worked with long time ago
ROCK N' ROLL:  MT: My faith, my religion, my life
GOD:  MT: The creation of smart men long time ago
DEVIL:   MT: The creation of smart men long ago
SUCCESS:  MT: When live and do what you love
LIES:  MT: When you can't tell the truth

heavy paradise : Are you going to perform live in the near future?

MT: Yes I will for sure tour in the fall, after the summer

heavy paradise :Do you want to send a message to your fans?

MT: I am always grateful that they don't forget me, even though I sometimes disappear or don't tour much.

heavy paradise : I would like to thank you once again for accepting my invitation for this interview Mike! All the best!

MT: I am the one who says thank you.
 Mike.

9 comments:

  1. I just wush they could work it out for the fans, because White Lion was awesome and there music is still amazing. I think a reunion should happen and that it would be a huge success all over the world.

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  2. Yes, White Lion was an excellent band but, also, Freak Of Nature was a very good one too! I also hope to see someday White Lion back together. For now let's enjoy Tramp's new album!!!
    Vassilis (Heavy Paradise)

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  3. Love this interview, greetings Arie
    w w w . m i k e t r a m p . w e b s . c o m

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  4. It really is an odd thing that Vito just disappeared. I'd love to know the real story there. He is/was a brilliant guitar player. Had a real shot to go down as a legend.

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    1. Totally agree, Mike, if you are reading this (doubt it) I think that there are strong feelings that wont let you live friendly with Vito and viceversa. You both should give a little and finally rise again like the little fighter, shine again like the little fighter because you both promised once, many years ago when you said But I know that I'll be back again I dont know just how soon my friend. Well, it's about time guys!!

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  5. I think that everyone would love a WHITE LION reunion. But sometimes I'm wondering why a guitarist such as Vito Bratta is nowhere in music sight? At least Mike Tramp stayed in the music scene and with albums like this new one can rock our world once again!
    Vassilis (Heavy Paradise)

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  6. I've met Mike after numerous shows when he lived in Melbourne and found him to be very down to earth and friendly. I have all his solo albums and will get this new one for sure. His songwriting and content is excellent and I wish him all the success he deserves. tahir bise

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  7. I did love the "Return of the Pride" album. They are such a great group. I actually got to see them on a live show in Argentina. I was staying in an apartment in buenos aires and found out somehow that they were there. Fortunately, I met Argentineans who liked that kind of music so I had company.
    Cheers,
    Kim

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  8. I'm a rarity did not like White Lion but I loved Freak of Nature. Only missed 1 UK show, now looking forward to seeing this band

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