MIKE TRAMP: 'The World Can Survive Without' A WHITE LION Reunion

March 24, 2015

Canadian rock journalist Mitch Lafon of the "One On One With Mitch Lafon" podcast (Facebook page) recently conducted an interview with former WHITE LION singer Mike Tramp. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On whether he could go on tour with his solo band but billed as "WHITE LION":

"No, I couldn't. And the times that I tried, I kind of regret it in many ways, when I look back. At the moment, it seemed like the right thing to do, but at the same time, it was also a little bit of a desperate move. It's kind of like when you've got a stalemate and you're just standing in the middle of your career. You've done, like, three solo albums prior to that, and you're sort of a little bit in 'nowhere land.' And then somebody comes up with the idea. I mean, the idea has been sitting in the back of my head always. But then somebody comes up, and you follow along with it. And then, you know, before you know it, you're on tour and stuff like that. And then, when you get out on tour, you, as being the one who once were on the big stage tasting the big times, suddenly realized that playing these songs as WHITE LION, regardless if it's with a new outfit, is quite damaging and hurtful when you're standing and playing for, like, 75 people in a bar, and you feel that you have plenty of life and plenty of music to still give the people, that this is not your final cry, the last roar, or something like that. You scraped a band together and you went out. So it never felt right to me at all. And I've said it over and over… Even though it wasn't planned, there is a reason why the band sort of ended. And Vito [Bratta, WHITE LION guitarist] and I have talked about it many, many times. Why didn't we fight for it? Why didn't the business people that made lots of money off us, why didn't they fight for us? It was simply like, one day you're here, and the next day you're not.

On a hypothetical WHITE LION reunion:

"Many bands try to reunite. Some bands should not reunite, because… Of course, that's not for me to tell them. But sometimes memories are greater than a reunion. Why is it that I have to be brought to this place where I have to sit and tell everyone out there that I cannot be the Mike Tramp, 26 years old, being 54 today. I do understand that there are certain people at the same age, or much older, like KISS or something like that… But the thing is I know for a fact that the frontman that I was in WHITE LION and what I stood for I cannot reproduce. It's not the reason why I don't wanna do it; because I just felt a natural change and that I wanted to go in a different direction musically, or maybe just turn it down a bit. But for me to go out on stage and even stand next to Vito and put a microphone in my hand, I feel that I have to try to live up to that show and that frontman that I was. And that my knees can't do it is one thing, that my soul doesn't agree with what I should be doing is a different story.

"I don't think that it's the entire world that cries for every band to reunite. There are some great tours… And only a few days ago did I watch the 'History Of The Eagles', probably [one of] the best documentaries I've ever seen. And, you know, when almost an original band get back on stage and they sound almost better, then there you can… that's an argument right there of why they should do it and bring their beautiful music to it. When Paul McCartney takes the stage at 70 years old with a band half his age and does a kick-ass show, yes. And THE [ROLLING] STONES. But we keep forgetting they are legends in a completely different world than where I came from. And I am okay with looking back at a few platinum records and some memories and some old tour books and some pictures with AEROSMITH and AC/DC and KISS, or Ozzy [Osbourne] or whatever, and I saying, 'Hey, I made it to the top and I had a great time. And here I am right now, you know, and I am also having a good time. It's just a different kind of good time."

"If you put me on the spot one more time, Vito and I could definitely sit down and write an album if we chose to. You would instantly have to put a different hat on and put yourself in a different world — you would have to go back to 'jurassic rock.' But for us to even think about getting on a tour bus and going out… And, again, I am almost forced to go and admit to almost the world, I don't personally think there will come a lot of people. Yeah, maybe we could hit a couple of '80s festivals, maybe we could play Monsters Of Rock cruise [in] '16. But besides that, I know for a fact the world can survive without this. So I'd like, actually, to keep the memories of Vito and I's last tour, and playing in a great band and writing some great songs that I still play today. They're just played by me. And they're a little different, but the melody and everything… nobody's gonna get lost. Everybody knows the song the second I start playing it. So the fact is WHITE LION will not be one of those bands. And it's just as simple as that."

On people that are still asking about a WHITE LION reunion:

"I think it's probably just a couple of people on Facebook that really don't know anything else to do. Because the majority has grown up with me and find a certain comfort in the music and the albums that I do. It's not like I started doing jazz. I think anybody that follows me seriously and listens to my songs will understand that this is the guy who wrote 'Wait' and 'When The Children Cry' and 'Little Fighter' and stuff like that. But the sound of my music is the sound of one person. At times there's a band behind [me], but it's still the sound of one person expressing himself. You know, WHITE LION was the sound of an exceptional great guitar player — very, very unique — and then there were me, and then there were Greg [D'Angelo, drums] and James [LoMenzo, bass]. And that's just the way it is."

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