Haven Interview w/ Mike Tramp
can we lay to rest all of the rumors about White Lion finally getting back
together? And, is this mostly Vito vetoing the reunion, or is this a consensus?
Mike Tramp: "No it is a fact and yes it is because of Vito mainly, and
so we end it right here. I have now formed Tramp’s White Lion that will
at times go out and play the music of White Lion 100%. It will be the only
White Lion that will exist in the future."
HRH: Recently, White Lion's "Wait" was listed as one of the "Top
40 Most Awesomely Bad Heavy Metal Songs" on VH-1. Obviously, it's not
a bad song, because it helped catapult White Lion into the spotlight, but
also, people watching that show are probably going to go out and buy that
CD if they don¹t have it already -- so you can thank VH-1 for reminding
them. Looking back, what are your thoughts on "Wait" and its impact
on your career?
Mike Tramp: "So much I could say about this, but so little I will. Let
the people decide for themselves. VH-1 just asked me to record a new unplugged
version of “When the Children Cry” for a future release of some
HRH: What do you enjoy more -- doing the solo thing, or having the comradery
of a band?
Mike Tramp: "I prefer to be in a band, but that time is over."
HRH: You have been touring Europe extensively, with great success. What are
the chances that we'll be able to see you in the States anytime soon?
Mike Tramp: "I think the chances are good."
How do you write your songs? Is it with acoustic guitar, do you just start
with a melody, and how important are the lyrics to you?
Mike Tramp: "I write mostly on my guitar. Look at my lyrics, and ask
yourself how important they are."
HRH: One of my favorite songs of your solo career is "Better Off."
How much do you think you have matured as a songwriter since your early days
with White Lion?
Mike Tramp: "I have matured a lot, but many, many great songs were written
by Vito and I, and I would be proud to have another “Wait” in
me in the future."
HRH: When you go out and play live, do you ever dip into your Freak of Nature
Mike Tramp: "On the last European tour I played two Freak of Nature songs.
But the whole thing about forming Tramp’s White Lion is so I can perform
my solo music without having to change the sound or band just to play some
Freak or White Lion songs. They will now be a separate thing."
HRH: Do you think that with bands like Tesla and TNT finding success with
their recent releases, the industry might be realizing that there is a base
of fans out there for melodic hard rock, and this kind of music may receive
more focus and push from the industry? Or is that just wishful thinking?
Mike Tramp: "Yes, it's wishful thinking. But bands should still be able
to tour and record albums, it just won't be on that level it used to be, mostly
thanks to MTV for turning their back on the music that built MTV."
HRH: Are there any new bands that you listen to and think "wow, these
guys are on to something?"
Mike Tramp: "There are a lot of great albums out there, but few bands
that will sustain a long career. Now it's more like WOW that's a great song.
But every band now looks like they are copying the ‘60s and ‘70s
so there isn't anything new. But let music be music and who cares what I think."
HRH: What's next?
Mike Tramp: "Australian dates and planning big things for 2005."
HRH: Is there anything I left out that you'd like to share with HardrockHaven?
Mike Tramp: "Check out my Trampshop on www.miketramp.com."
-- Derric Miller