20 QUESTIONS WITH…
Ex-White Lion Singer Mike Tramp
A few weeks back, we got an email from Mike Tramp saying,
"Hi sludges, it’s Mike Tramp here. Everyone says I should do 20 questions or an interview with you guys, and I would love to.
Please let me know if you want to do something. I have a new album coming out Feb. 4th and would like to get one to you so you can check it
All the best, and keep up the good work.
And just like that we sent out 20 Questions to Mike and he had them back to us within the same day! We appreciate speedy service! So enjoy our 20 Questions with Mike Tramp!
1. What are you currently up to? This is your only chance to plug your CDs, tours, websites, etc.
I am just about to release my new album "Recovering the wasted years" on Feb. 4th and start my European tour on March 13th, to be
followed by the USA tour in July. Album can only be purchased on my website www.miketramp.com in the USA. In Europe in can actually be
bought in most stores.
2. It’s no secret that there was some tension in the White Lion camp. Tell us what divided the band and caused the demise of the great White Lion?
The tension is overrated, and not more then most bands. But what I think separated Vito and I from James and Greg. Was that we were the song writers, and from that made more money. We also happened to have started the band 3 years earlier, prior to them joining the band. I felt I was more flexible, and willing to compromise, but Vito was set in his ways and wouldn’t move an inch, he only wanted to write with me. What broke up the band was the people on the outside, the ones we paid to give us assistance and direction, and Atlantic records forgetting us for some one new, to say it in a simple way. Still at the end we were not the band who recorded Pride, we had forgotten our direction, and at times try to satisfy the wrong people, instead of being true to what Little Fighter and Wait stood for.
3. Tell us 3 reasons why Vito Bratta and Mike Tramp could not see eye to eye any longer to make White Lion work?
It wasn’t because of Vito and I not agreeing, that we broke up. Still you need a better answer than that.
1. We’re heaven and hell, except when it comes to writing songs.
2. I love sports, he doesn’t
3. Vito thinks too much about money, I don’t
4. What hard rock/heavy metal band should give it up and call it a day?
5. Rate the following singers on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being a total hack and 10 being somebody who’s a vocal God.
Vince Neil = 5 used to be much better
Phil Lewis = 6 liked his voice in Girl
Ted Poley = 5 say hi to Bruno
Stephen Pearcy = 7 Pearcy was great in the big Ratt days
Jani Lane = 8 best thing about Warrant
Bret Michaels = 4 Never liked Bretts voice
Bruce Dickinson = 8 so much better on his solo stuff than Maiden
Sebastian Bach = 9 when Skids were big, Bach ruled
Kip Winger = 8 very talented musician, and singer. But I love Springsteens voice better
Tom Kiefer = 10 Tom is a great singer, songwriter and Guitar player. I would love to play with him
David Lee Roth = 10 Roth will always be the God of Gods, even though everyone knows he doesn’t sing anymore. He paved the road we all wrote on down in glory, while getting blown in the back of the bus. Love you Daimond Dave, always will.
6. Of all the bands White Lion toured with back in the day, who treated you guys the best and who treated you like complete shit under their feet?
AC-DC, Aerosmith, OZZY, Cinderella & Striper treated us very well, and they were all great tours.
Triumph, and Kiss were lame tours.
7. Which of the following would you prevent if you could. You can only pick one:
A: An earthquake that kills 40,000 people in Peru
B: A plane crash that kills 200 people
C: A car crash that kills one of your best friends.
C, my real friends means the world to me.
8. Rumor has it you were asked to audition for Ratt when Stephen Pearcy left but turned it down. Did you think you were too good to sing in Ratt or
was there some other reason you didn’t do it?
You guys are funny. I was asked and I know all the guys in the original band and have nothing but good things to say. When I first moved to L.A. Pearcy sent a limo to pick me up, and him and I went out on the town and did the rockstar thing. I was always grateful for his, Bobbys and Warrens friendship. I said no because.
1. I don’t believe in bands where the lead singer gets replaced.
2. I don’t think you can call it Ratt with Mike Tramp singing, and Ratt don’t need to play Wait.
3. I am doing my solo career, and that won’t change, and No there won’t be no White Lion reunion.
9. Name the 3 high-lights and the 3 low-points of Mike Tramps musical career?
1. Coming to the USA
2. Pride going gold
3. Freak of Nature
1. Loosing my voice for the first time in Boston ’87
2. Big Game
3. The 2 hours before hitting the stage in Boston Sep. ’91 for White Lions last show.
10. Which do you prefer:
Hookers in Amsterdam or Hookers in the US = Hookers in the USA
1989 or 1999 = ’99
Gary Cherone or Sammy Hagar = Hagar (oh that VH 3, what shit)
Cocaine or Exstacy = Handjobs
Quiet Riot or Slaughter = QR
Little Fighters or Crying Children = Little Fighters
Pamela Anderson with Tommy Lee or Pamela Anderson with Kid Rock = Madonna
Being totally forgotten when you die or being hatefully remembered when you die = Don’t care
Ted Poley or Kip Winger = Kip, who’s Ted
Tigers or Cheetahs = Tigers
11. How did you find out about Metal Sludge and who said what?
My friend Bo Bech (who does all my layout) in Denmark. He loves Sludge and begged me to do 20 questions, and of course I am all game
12. What rock star deserves a smack in the mouth and why?
That Dexter dude from the Offspring, I really hate his voice, and if there’s ever was a sell out,well there you go.
13. Which songs by White Lion should go in a vault of songs that suck and why?
Where do we run, from "Fight to Survive".
14. Who’s the most overrated band today and why?
Are there any real bands left. Anything that dance more than they sing, anything that have to spend millions on a video, to sell a shit song.
15. Has Mike Tramp ever..
Shoplifted = yes
Shaved his chest = no, I leave that to Jon
Stepped in Kangaroo shit = it’s always under my boots, nasty stuff
Drove the tour bus = yes, but not drunk
Punched a band member in the face = I missed, but came close. I would have regretted it. Friends don’t hit each other. Then again friends don’t sue each other either.
Tried to commit suicide = No way
Laughed at Warrant = never seen them live
Wished to be in a boyband = my first girlfriend said I should drop White Lion and try for Duaran Duran
Lip synched to a tape = too many times
Refused to sign an autograph = once or twice
16. How’s it feel to play clubs in front of 100 people, when just 10-12 years ago, you were playing arenas in front of 15-20,000?
It’s easier to pick out the good looking babe in the crowd, or the dude who threw the bottle on stage. There’s only a difference, it you don’t want to be playing in front of 100 people. I have no problem.
17. There seemed to be a big backlash on all eighties bands after the arrival of Grunge. Some bands suffered more than others especially the great "W" bands. Whitesnake, Warrant, Winger & White Lion. Why do you think Grunge made such a big and brutal effect on your era so quickly?
My take on the fall of the ’80’s, is that it had become a joke of it self and been diluted till there were nothing of the original left. What I mean is, kind of how the surfers count the waves. Once the big ones have ripped up the beach, and all that’s left is some white water, and bands like Trixter hang around in knee deep water with their sand toys, it’s over, and there’s nothing left of Roth and Shout at the Devil. It was time for Tyson to hit the floor. You know the same happened to the ’90’s too many Cobains and Wedders.
18. In the summer of 2001 you did your first U.S. Club tour in years. You took a back up band of no-names with you who looked like accountants. Why was this and who was the Elvis Costello looking guy anyway?
I don’t know who was he. At least he didn’t wear a wig. The few people who came and saw me and my friends play, left knowing who Mike Tramp is. Someone who is O.k with driving the van all night to get to the next gig, someone who’s doing what he loves.
19. Why are you so bitter about playing past White Lion songs when it’s those White Lion songs that gave you all your success?
I ain’t bitter (and that’s a beer in England and also here in Australia. White Lion broke up in ’91. This ain’t a White Lion show. I play a few songs, but I am moving on. I get pissed off, when a fucking club owner promotes the show as White Lion, sells out the show, but still pays me only $1250- for 2 hours of ass kicking rock. Wouldn’t you.
20. Time for Metal Sludge’s Word Association. We mention a name and you give us your thoughts.
Yellow stage pants = Looked good on stage, wrong for the Little Fighter video
James Lomenzo = He is my friend
Greg D’Angelo = fro years we didn’t talk, now we do and I am happy about it.
The Crocodile Hunter = What a great way to make a living
Michael Wagener = my good friend, nicest guy on earth.
Brian McEvoy = Hey mother fucker where’s my royalties from "Fight to survive"
Jason Flom = Like MTV, forgot the bands that gave him the big office at the top.
Nikki Sixx = too many contradiction, what happened to the real bad boy
Sebastian Bach = He loves what he’s doing, and does it well.
Gene Simmons = How can I squeeze anymore money out of the fans
Vito Bratta = The solo on Wait, is one of the best solos ever played and written.
I love Vito he is my brother forever, and I am grateful for ever meeting him, not to forget playing him. We made it to the top together. But along the way wounds became scars for life. I wish he would call me, that meant he would want to talk.
No need me calling him, I’m not the one who doesn’t want to just shoot the shit.
Anyway I love you Vito, may you find happiness in what you’re doing.
Thanks guys for giving me an opportunity to practice my typing skills.
Keep rocking and rolling.
Thanks to Mike for dropping by and requesting to do 20 Questions! Pretty good, actually.
For more info on Mike Tramp and how you can order his new CD, you can go to www.miketramp.com.