MIKE LEVINE Rules Out TRIUMPH Reunion: 'I Don't Think We're Physically Able To Do That'

May 31, 2023

During an appearance on the latest episode of the "Let There Be Talk" podcast with rock and roll comedian Dean Delray, bassist Mike Levine of legendary Canadian rockers TRIUMPH was asked about a possible reunion of the band's classic lineup. He responded: "I don't think we're physically able to do that. We did three songs for the ['Triumph: Rock & Roll Machine'] documentary, and it was rough tooling up, 'cause Gil [Moore, drums] and I hadn't played in a while. But Rik [Emmett, guitar/vocals] is always playing; he's on the road a lot. So he had good patience, while we were hacking around. I was trying to figure out, 'Where is my hand going there?' And Gil's going, 'What's a drum?' [Laughs] But Rik had good patience. And after three or four rehearsals, we started to find a groove. And then when we actually did the gig for the fans for the documentary, [after] three songs we were [exhausted]… So the idea of a whole show… I don't think so. Rik can't really hit those notes like before. Even when you drop the key a bit, it's still not easy… So it's really tough, as you're getting older."

A year ago, Levine was asked by San Antonio Current what would have to happen to get the three members of the band to reunite for a full tour. He responded: "We would need to have the best medical people around us. [Laughs] All the ails of 70-year-olds that have been on the road to rock 'n' roll — playing loud music, sucking in flash powder smoke and dry ice smoke for years — to try to get us well enough to do 30 shows.

"In 2008, we had 30 shows done in Canada. That were already booked. And there were like 40 shows booked in America at that point. And then the recession hit. And it lasted through 2008, 2009 and most of 2010. When 2011 came, Live Nation called and the individual promoters said, 'What do you think?' We went, 'Eh, probably not.' We're now three and a half years older. We've got whatever ailments we've got, and it was never about the money. It was always about the legacy more than anything. Could we have made a bunch of money? Yes. But it would've been embarrassing if we only did half houses with the recession, with the Rust Belt in the Midwest, even San Antonio. You name it, everyone was hurting. No one can afford to go to concerts when they've lost their jobs. It's horrible. So, we just went, 'Let's take if off the table.' And every year the offers would come in to go do some stadium shows. And it's way too much work to do that, to get a crew, rehearse, to go out and do four shows. And it wouldn't be our show. We'd just be part of a package. It would be like doing another US Festival or something. The fans would want to see us indoors, with the big show, and if we didn't do it that way, then there's no point."

Levine previously touched upon TRIUMPH's aborted reunion tour in 2021 in an interview with Rock History Music. At the time he said: "Well, we [reunited for] a couple of [shows] — in the 2000s. In 2008, we played over in Sweden — we did a festival there — and a show in Oklahoma, I think called Rocklahoma. And we were gonna go on the road, and then the recession came. There was plans, there was buildings on hold, everything was starting to fall into place. And then when the recession [came], we talked to the promoters, and everybody just said, 'For you guys, it would be embarrassing if you go out and do three quarters of a house instead of selling out.' It was horrible. Concerts were dying everywhere. You couldn't sell a ticket in the Midwest. It didn't matter who you were. THE BEATLES would have had trouble selling tickets. So we just [put it on hold]. And then the recession lasted a couple of years. And then we decide, you know what? We're a couple of years older. Maybe we can't do it — the idea of a big tour. 'Cause we were looking at maybe doing 60, 70 dates over the course of a year and a half or so. And the investment and the production and all that, to put it all together, and the time — just rehearsal time and everything else. So we decided, you know what? It's probably not in the best interest in all of us. It's not like everybody was going, 'Yeah, we've gotta do it.' We all just went, 'Not a good idea anymore.'"

Released a year ago, "Triumph: Rock & Roll Machine", produced by Emmy and Peabody award-winning Banger Films (ALICE COOPER, IRON MAIDEN, RUSH and ZZ TOP),covers TRIUMPH's humble beginnings as staples of the GTA circuit in the mid-'70s to their heyday as touring juggernauts, selling out arenas and stadiums all across North America with their legendary spectacular live shows — and way beyond.

Moore, Levine, and Emmett formed TRIUMPH in 1975, and their blend of heavy riff-rockers with progressive odysseys, peppered with thoughtful, inspiring lyrics and virtuosic guitar playing quickly made them a household name in Canada. Anthems like "Lay It On The Line", "Magic Power" and "Fight The Good Fight" broke them in the USA, and they amassed a legion of fiercely passionate fans. But, as a band that suddenly split at the zenith of their popularity, TRIUMPH missed out on an opportunity to say thank you to those loyal and devoted fans, a base that is still active today, three decades later.

Back in 2016, Moore and Levine reunited with Rik as special guests on the "RES 9" album from Emmett's band RESOLUTION9.

After 20 years apart, Emmett, Levine and Moore played at the 2008 editions of the Sweden Rock Festival and Rocklahoma. A DVD of the historic Sweden performance was made available four years later.

Find more on Triumph
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).