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Tramp's Lion's MIKE TRAMP
Submitted By Caroline Walsh on 09/06/08

This is James and Cassie here for the Metal Epicenter. We're being joined by Mr. Mike Tramp from Tramp's White Lion. How are you doing today?

Thanks I am doing just fine. Right now I am on the flight from Melbourne to Singapore. Going to do a tour of Indonesia.

Lets start out with the ability for you to plug whatever you wish to plug. What should we be on the look out for from your camp?

Well I am just on the last week of rebuilding which now gives the visitors a bit more insight on Mike Tramp.

Also I am preparing a Tramp's White Lion (which in the rest of this interview, will be referred to as TWL) of Europe, November-December, where crazy, as it seems. We will start recording our first album of this new adventure.

We mentioned it's 'Tramp's White Lion. What's the deal with the White Lion' name? Who owns it and are you trying to obtain it?

Well it's no so much as who owns it. It's more that I am not about to start going to court with Vito, just so I can use the name. We both own it, and there will be a day, where I will be using it. At the same time, I do feel pretty good about calling it TWL, cause it's what it is. A continuation of the band that once was. I am as much White Lion as Whitesnake is Whitesnake. Both bands only have the lead singer.

And there are many others. So yes I am fine with that, I am not going to be the next U2 with this. Just delivering some first class rock'n'roll, and giving the people the songs they are calling out for.

Who is in the current band?

Tramp-Vocals. Claus Longwood-Bass. Troy P. Farrell-Drums. Jamie Law-Guitar. Henning Wanner-Keyboards. The boys are all people I have met over the many years of touring and I have handpicked them for this band.

Just the other day, my brother in law came up to me and said, 'Why doesn't White Lion come around here?' With all the package tours going around such as the somewhat yearly Poison summer tour, which usually has bands from their genre, the 'Rock Never Stops' tour, and so forth. Might we see Tramp's White Lion hit the United States or United Kingdom?

You will definitely see TWL on both shores. But I must say it's amazing that I haven't been approached even once for any of those shows. Are they really that blind, or do they just not like me.

How does a kid from Denmark come to front one of the more famous bands to come out of the 80s?

Dedication, determination. Improvise-Adapt-Overcome.

I never gave up.

When you were a kid, what band or musician did you hear that made you say, "I want to do this for a living!'?

To tell you the truth, none. I loved Queen and Slade, but I never wanted to be a musician-performer or dreamed about being a rockstar for that matter.

At what point in White Lion did you realize, 'I've made it! I'm a HUGE Star!'

When Wait became the#1 most requested video on MTV, and both Aerosmith and AC/DC offered us months and months of touring with them. But never once did I say I was huge or we were huge. We were just hot, while it lasted.

Are you surprised by the success of the recent 'Monster Ballads' compilation which scored #18 on the Billboard charts and it wasn't even available in stores which means thousands and thousands ordered it either online or on the phone?

I didn't even know it existed; there must be a thousand different cd's with rock ballades. I just think people love to step back to great and awesome time. The 80's were the best time for Rock'n'Roll. Touring were fantastic and the fans were great, and so was Radio. But this again is all behind us.

With songs like 'When the Children Cried' and 'Wait' being such huge radio hits, does it ever tick you off that some songs that weren't so good continue to get play as well as new songs that plainly suck do as well while the great songs that you were part of seem to be hidden away despite their obvious popularity with consumers?

No not at all. I can make that call. It's up to the individual to decided what songs they like. But I am happy that I am the one who wrote my own songs.

One of our complaints about rock bands in the current state is that few of the new bands seem to be having fun and nobody seems to have much by way of a personality. Do you think the "Rock Star" is an endangered species?

I think the mistake we make here is. Comparing 1985 to 2005.

Look at how the world has developed in 20 years. iPods, Internet, Lord of the rings etc, etc. You can't say it hasn't influenced or have had an enormous impact on the mother's milk. The new generation are growing at the speed of lighting. My son is 12, and what he has seen and learned and been exposed to is mind buckling. Nothing is the same and it will only go that way. Man what about the Big Mac. It has nothing to do with what I tasted for the first time in 1978.

Still you can put a CD on and it will take you back, you can go see a band and it will take you back, and that is what some of us are giving to the fans who supported us back then.

If you could turn back the clock and change one aspect of your career, what would it be?

I really hate to look back and say I regret doing this. By changing one thing you change another. If I had taken a left turn instead of a right. Not just would I not have had long blond hair, but I might have been a disappointed soccer player who never made it to top.

When you play live, do you ever dip into your Freak of Nature catalogue?

As a solo artist I have played a few Freak songs.

With the success of a few, newly reformed '80's' bands, is a reunion with the original members of White Lion a possibility?

No it will never happen. I gave Vito the opportunity he said no. And James doesn't want to play with Greg. I really don't give a f***. This is my time now and I am going with it

Metallica blew the whistle on 'illegal downloads' on the Internet. But, on VH1's Top 100 Most Metal Moments, bands from your genre seemed to take the opposite side of that coin. In addition, people we have interviewed also have come out in 'support' of the Internet. Where do you stand on the issue?

Yeah Metallica did a lot of things, and they weren't all good.

Who the hell can go against the Internet, why not wage war on God. When bands like U2. Stones and Madonna cater to the Internet. What are the rest of us going to do, protest?

We see from your web site that your Biography has been available for a while now. 'Are there any plans for it to be translated and released into the wider market?

It would really be for a publisher wanting to do it and pay the little fee for someone to translate it.

Speaking of your genre, it is a little irritating as a fan to read some reviews from either the band management or editorial writers about bands from your genre as they spend half the review explaining why that band was 'not a hair band.' As a musician who is considered to be a hair band, do you deny your past? Why or why not?

The answer is yes. But then again, if that is all the can come up with for title of their show, story or what have you well then, you only can take it for what it is. I don't read it, or listen to the likes.

We're interviewing some up and coming rockers like a new band called Kid Ego. Any words of advice for any aspiring musicians trying to get into the business?

No not really cause they are from a new breed, which I don't really relate to or understand. I paid my dues for many, many, many years, I am from the old school and I stick by that way of life.

If you were to put one song you performed on in a time capsule to be preserved for people to hear 1,000 years from now, what song would you pick to sum up your contribution to rock 'n' roll?

By the same token, what song, if any, do you wish you hadn't performed and wish you could erase from your catalog?


What's next for Mike Tramp the man and Mike Tramp the musician?

Like I said doing a month of touring in Indonesia. Then working on my next solo album (which another bowl of soup). Then November-December, TWL tours Europe and start recording our album.

Word Associations:

If you have a one word answer that sums the person up, that will do. If you'd like to share a thought or memory, we welcome that as well!

One word is impossible to describe or comment on the people below

Vito Bratta

We made it to the top together, and the only one I have no contact to.

Oliver Steffensen

Right now he's having of his little hussy fits.

Bruno Ravel

I see Bruno from time to time always liked him. But you can't really put him in the White Lion bio. He played two gigs, then left.

David Coverdale

Way before I met him and he became a friend. I always thought he was one of the best Rock'n'Roll singers of all time.

Bruce Terkildsen

Nothing to say

Lars Daneskov

Lars has become my closest friend. I have tremendous confidence in him, and I have told him my entire life and secrets. He is the shoulder I lean on when I enter into darkness and depression, and he never leaves me in despair. He always comes back with supporting words, suggestions and advice. There are none others on this earth that does that, all stick their tail between their legs

Mike Arbeny

Nothing to say

And, if we may, Mike Tramp yourself?

Dedicated & Loyal and tired

I'd like to thank Mr. Mike Tramp for spending this time with us at the Metal Epicenter. Do you have any closing words you'd like to share with your fans, site links, or anything like that?

We are all in this together, we all benefit from each other, so let's support each other and work together.

Once again, thank you for doing this.


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