My heroes are musicians like John Fogerty, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty: Interview with Mike Tramp
Back in the 80’s Mike Tramp was travelling around the world with White Lion and performing hits like ”Broken Heart”, ”Wait” and ”When The Children Cry”. Now we write 2019 and it’s time time to reach another chapter in the story book of Mike Tramp. Right now he’s on a North American tour and he has just released the new album ”Stray From The Flock”. I called him up a couple of weeks ago and as usual we talk about some interesting things.
Hi Mike. First of all I would like to say welcome back with the new record ”Stray From The Flock”.
-Thank you very much.
You released ”Maybe Tomorrow” back in 2017. What have you been up to the last two years?
-Writing songs which I now have closed down. The new album ”Stray From The Flock” is recorded and released. It’s now time to promote the album by talking to the press and after that it’s time to meet my fans on a new tour. When I do an album I’m 100% in that moment and that album.
You can call it that I’m sitting in a time capsule named my life and the lyrics are dealing with my personal life as well as views and feelings what’s been happening around the world, now and in the future.
I also did a lot of touring and in 2018 I had a long break. I had met my wife and children two times in four months. I also recorded demos for my new album and it seems so long ago but it was last year.
When I talked to you the last time you mentioned that the albums ”Museum”, ”Nomad” and ”Maybe Tomorrow” were sort of a trilogy. Do you start over with this new album or is this the first of a new trilogy?
-First I did ”Lord Of The Rings” and now it’s time for ”Hobbit”, ha ha ha. To be serious I remember when we talked about it and I also would like to put in ”Cobblestone Street” there as well so we can call it a quartet of albums instead of a trilogy. Now with ”Stray From The Flock” it’s a new chapter and despite the fact that it’s a continuation of those four albums it’s the first of three albums that I take in three steps.
I make all my albums in simural ways. Every time I have ten songs for the album and maybe I change the order of the songs. The first song on the album ”No End To War” is the first song I wrote after the album ”Maybe Tomorrow”. I have a sound and a style like AC/DC. What I mean is that the fans are comfortable with the way Mike Tramp sound.
I released my first solo album back in 1996 and 23 years later I removed myself from rock’n roll and went my own way, back to the roots so to speak, my heroes are musicians like John Fogerty, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty. This is also the true roots of White Lion. Back then I was recording demos with an acoustic guitar and then Vito took them and make the riffs.
You have a song on the new album called ”Homesick”. You’re singing about a coverband and Kiss. Are you tired of Kiss or what do you mean?
-I’m tired of fucking Kiss and there is no way to run from Gene And Paul. The song ”Homesick” is kind of a statement that nothing is what it used to be. ”Homesick” is when you forget where you are, instead you are on autopilot.
Music is not made for the same reason that it used to be, it’s a different agenda. Everyday I fight with my feelings because I don’t wanna do this anymore, the charade of where Rock’n Roll has become. Back then we heard the music and there was no facebook or youtube. Gene and Paul represents how the music industry goes wrong.
Did White Lion support Kiss back in the days?
-We support Kiss on their ”Crazy Nights tour” for about one and a half month. We came from a tour we did with Ace Frehley and to be honest so where this a bad time for Kiss. The ticket sales was not on top and we could play for 1200 people one night and the next night there was 5000 in the audience.
The nearest future is touring I believe. Do you looking forward to go back on the road?
-I’m always looking forward to get back on tour. I haven’t been in Usa for a couple of years and the tour in the US starts when I sit down in my rental car. I do enjoy talking to the audience and this time we might talk about where Rock’n roll has gone. Can we expect Rock’n roll to survive if we’re not producing good live shows? Figure out for yourself what is happening to a restaurant which start serving crappy food.
Are Sweden in your plans this time?
-I play in Sweden from time to time and I hope I will be back on this tour. When I play in Sweden it’s places like Sticky Fingers I visit and it’s great. It’s easier to do those kind of shows when you come closer to the crowd.
You played in Falun a few years ago and I didn’t have a clue that you were doing that show because there was no advertising at all.
-When it comes to advertising there’s nothing new. It’s a shame that there’s no advertising but what can I do?
The last time we talked over the phone we were talking politics. What would you do if you became the president of the Usa?
-I’m not interested to become the president of the Usa but I read a lot about the world, for example 9/11 that I found very interesting. And when you read non fiction you start to wonder how the politicians around the world works. Politicians around the world is not here to make it better for us normal people, instead they are making sure the 1% of the population, the wealthy people have it as good as they can.
I was gone from Denmark for about 30 years and how has Denmark changed? I don’t know when it started but the politicians aren’t interested to make it better for us, they are blinding us.
I saw you back in 1989 in Stockholm with White Lion. Do you remember which band supporting you?
-Pink Cream 69.
You have a good memory.
-I think it’s very important to remember those kind of things. That means that you have respect for people and other bands.
You have toured a lot over the years. Have you got any best friends in the music business? I’m thinking about other bands you toured with?
-Not a friend in that way. People who have both feet on the ground are people that matters to me. And to tell the truth I have that relationship to a lot of my fans. I give them the extra time that they deserve and I make it special for them.
How long will Mike Tramp releasing new music?
-I see myself releasing new music but I can’t go on tour forever. There is no problems to play but if I can’t go up on stage and sing the songs it’s no meaning to continue. I spend two hours on stage and I can’t be Mike Tramp on stage like Mike Tramp was back in 1988. And even if there is only 25 people in the crowd I want them to feel special and that’s impossible if I can’t sing my own songs.
Ok Mike, thank you for taking your time with me.
-Thank you Johan. We will here soon.