Mike Tramp: Return of The Lion

By Keith McDonald, Contributor
Friday, April 26, 2002 @ 2:05 PM

Former White Lion Frontman Ret

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White Lion made a name for themselves with the release of their Atlantic Records debut Pride. Riding high on the hit single “Wait,” the band found themselves the center of attention of MTV and rock radio. They continued the forward momentum with the singles “Tell Me” and the Top 10 hit “When The Children Cry.” Opening slots for AC/DC and KISS helped Pride reach platinum sales as the band found themselves regulars on MTV and playing to larger and larger crowds.

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The joy ride did not last forever. With the release of their follow up, Big Game, the band released as a first single, “Little Fighter,” that although a good song, did not have the staying power of their previous hits. The album did sell respectfully, but not as much as Pride, as the label heads at Atlantic Records began to turn their sights on the newer bands that were starting to make a name for themselves.

White Lion did not give up as they released their third and final studio album, Mane Attraction, in 1991. Packed with the guitar driven songs “Love Don’t Come Easy,” “Lights And Thunder” and “Warsong,” the band finally elected to call it a day as they found it harder and harder for bands from their genre to carry on.

Guitarist Vito Bratta, the other half of White Lion, has since disappeared from the musical spotlight, but Mike Tramp has quietly continued on with his Freak of Nature albums and the recent release of his solo album, Capricorn, that sold moderately well. Now as 2002 is upon us, we see Mike release a new solo disc, Recovering The Wasted Years, that’s available via his website www.miketramp.com. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Mike who filled me in on what’s been going on.

"If the people chose to let [rap-metal] replace rock'n'roll, then it's their own fault. I stick to my rock'n'roll, and don't follow the fashion..."
KNAC.COM: Tell me about the new album. How can fans get it? What style of music is it?
MIKE: It is truly a great album. In the USA you can only get it at miketramp.com at this moment. In Europe it's out in the shops. My website will have all the info.

KNAC.COM: What are your tour plans? Where will it take you?
MIKE: Australia & Indonesia in June. In July-August USA and Canada. Miketramp.com will have all info.

KNAC.COM: What about the Freak of Nature Box Set. When will that see the light of day?
MIKE: It's going to be awhile, but it will happen.

KNAC.COM: Are you planning on releasing a DVD? Will it contain solo material, White Lion material or both?
MIKE: White Lion belongs to Atlantic, and it's the past. Hopefully the 4th CD in the F.O.N box set will be a DVD of the band.

KNAC.COM: What do you think of the rap/metal scene that seemed to replace the hard rock/metal genre?
MIKE: If the people chose to let it replace rock'n'roll, then it's their own fault. I stick to my rock'n'roll, and don't follow the fashion, which is what this is.

KNAC.COM: How do you feel about the lack of respect bands like White Lion received in the early '90s?
MIKE: I didn't bother fighting that fight. I have a new album today that speaks for it self and what I am and where I've been. No interest in going back.

KNAC.COM: Why did White Lion break up anyway?
MIKE: I made the decision. We had lost track of our own destiny and times were changing, and record companies needed new blood.

KNAC.COM: What do you think caused the end of the '80s Glam rock? Was it MTV, the record labels or a little of both?
MIKE: An overload of the same. Too many clones, that every time they were cloned got worse and further away from the original.

KNAC.COM: What's up with Vito Bratta? It seems he has disappeared. Would you ever consider working with him again?
MIKE: I will always be here for Vito. But he has chosen to stay out of everything regarding music.

KNAC.COM: It seems you and Vito had a great chemistry when it came to writing music that so many other collaborators fail to find.
MIKE: I loved writing with Vito. It was our happiest time and we never disagreed there.

KNAC.COM: Does the White Lion catalog still sell well to this day?
MIKE: Sure does, but not as much as Led Zeppelin.

KNAC.COM: Weren't you going to do a "Mike Tramp Presents White Lion Tour"? What ever came about with that? How did the album sell?
MIKE: I would have done a tour based upon the Mike Tramp Remembering White Lion album. But Cleopatra records screwed the album up and the rest isn't worth history.

KNAC.COM: Would you consider getting the original members of White Lion back together for a tour or just to record another album? What about a possible VH1 Behind The Music?
MIKE: It will never happen.

KNAC.COM: What's the future for Mike Tramp?
MIKE: I will tour and record till I can't any longer. Check out miketramp.com it will all be there.

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