Mike Tramp Discusses His New Solo Album, Vito Bratta & White Lion

By Andrew Catania

I haven’t seen Mike Tramp since I was a kid attending an Ozzy Osbourne show when White Lion was opening. Mike was always friendly and super nice.  I’ve waited a long time to talk to him about one of my favorite guitarists Vito Bratta, the super guitarist for White Lion.

The big question many people ask me is, have you had any contact with Vito Bratta?

MT: Yes! We have a longterm relationship; It depends on many times we talk.  We just shared some emails last week, and we spoke about the current situation with COVID-19.

It’s great that all issues have been settled, and nobody’s going to be talking wrong about each other. the little time when I attempted to, to create a new version of White Lion and that got put to sleep

We’re both are 100% in agreement. That there will never be a continuation or White Lion reunion.

It’s been reported that Vito can’t play guitar due to an injury to his hands?

MT: You know, that has never really been proven.  A lot of people say that, but it hasn’t been confirmed, and he hasn’t said anything to me about it.

At the same time, people say Mike Tramp can’t sing as he did in 1987-88.  The White Lion songs are sung very, very high. I have a different way of singing these days as we get older we can’t be like we were 30 years ago.

Vito did have an interview with Eddie Trunk back in 2007 and stated he couldn’t play due to hand issues.

MT:  I remember that.  In Vito’s defense, he’s always come out with some excellent answers.  When Vito and I have spoken, he’s always had the right answers and statements. Vito has said to me, why is it so crucial for people to think I should go on?  And the thing is like, he says, do you know why? Why is it so vital for people to feel that I should go on? People think rock “Stars” should go for the rest of their lives, singing, etc.  I see some rock singers that should’ve stopped because they sound like shit.  I don’t want to be like that, Vito doesn’t want to be like that. We want White Lion to remain on the album.

I like your solo record material. It’s different from White Lion and shows a different aspect of your creativity.

I’ll take it one step further because you know, if you pat me on my back, I’ll add one more.

You know, the thing is,  of course, I’m not aware of this, and that’s not their fault. Do you know, a lot is going on in every person’s state you live in, isn’t it? It’s just impossible to keep up with everything. From the day I recorded my first solo album in 1996 and came out in late 1997,  up until now, I have been as consistent as AC/DC recording my solo work.  I decided that is how I sound, and that’s the journey I will continue.

Each album is basically a chapter of this ongoing saga, following the same character, and it could have a sticker down in the corner of the record, saying more of the same just a little bit different.  The person that I’m singing about on all these albums is myself. The people that have taken onto that and follow along this journey are ok being a part of that, and that’s where they’re at in their lives.

How do you feel your songs which some of them are political vers some of the other bands that came out of the ’80s?

MT:  One of the many differences between Jon Bon Jovi and me, Vince Neil and Brett Michaels, nothing against them in any form of matter. I came from a little different background. We might’ve had the same haircut, and we might actually have the same goals at one point.  Very early in my career, I knew at times that I was uncomfortable with the party-hardy dude world where everything about rock n roll wasn’t serious, who can get the most girls and use the most profanities.  I was raised and grew up in a European country that was at the frontiers of information for people in the country.

I’ve grown up with the knowledge of the world. And when I came to America in 1982 and started the band with Vito, I notice that, that most people around me, possibly the entire country concentrated just the United States and wasn’t very aware of what when on in the rest of the world.

Songs like When The Children Cry, Little Fighter, and Cry For Freedom have stood the test of time 35 years later, and that’s a great accomplishment.

Has your tour plans been canceled or postponed?

MT: I was to be playing in the US from April to the end of June has been postponed and moved to start August 26th and to go to early October 2020.


Mike Tramp will personally sign all pre-orders. The album will be released in an LTD 500 copies, only RED vinyl, black vinyl CD, and digital. And exclusive “Second Time Around” t-shirt in 100 copies only available at Targetshop.dk can be pre-ordered along with the album,

01. All Of My Life
02. The Road
03. Anymore
04. Come On
05. Between Good And Bad
06. Lay Down Your Guns
07. Highway
08. No Tomorrow
09. Back To You
10. When She Cries

Mike Tramp: Vocal, Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Piano
Oliver Steffensen: Main Guitar all songs
Claus Langeskov: Bass
Morten Hellborn: Drums
Soren Andersen: Additional Guitar
Jay Boe: Hammond B-3
Marcus Nand: 12 String Acoustic Guitar, 1st solo on “Back To You.”
Emily Garriock Langeskov: Backing Vocals
Lars Rahbek Andresen: Piano on “Highway”

7 thoughts on “Mike Tramp Discusses His New Solo Album, Vito Bratta & White Lion

  1. I think I should convince Vito and play together with White Lion. Greetings to the greats of Vito Bratta and Mike Tramp

  2. Everyone else does shows like a reunion why not I love the music but never got to see you live don’t be quitters to the fans we deserve better! Your owe it to the fans!

  3. As a guitar player who was inspired to learn guitar by Vito and am still amazed 30 years later about his plating, I was unfortunately too young to see him. I have been fortunate enough to see Mike tramps white lion a few times and enjoy the new music. But what I’d give to see the original lineup. I think James lomenzo isn’t with Megadeth anymore, so there’s that!

  4. No sad ending.

    Vito and Mike agreed that the reason White Lion was left without support was because of the next best thing…grunge. Once grunge hit, it was the end of WL and groups line skid row.

    Vito and Mike had very different personalities. Vito the introvert would never had gotten his big break without Mike pushing him. Mike’s persona would not have been as matched up without Vito’s guitar playing.

    Mike wanted WL back again. It was about the time they had together and the music they created. He was hurt they couldn’t go on. Vito has hurt his hand and his dad was sick. To this day I’m not sure Vito can play electric guitar anymore. He described it as a shocking pain with electric guitars. Play in pain or let it heal (50/50 chance he said).

    Today Vito lives the pedestrian life. GF, mom and hangs out at the mall. Mike is an awesome story teller (theatre). He can resurrect WL by telling about the band’s history. He’s just amazing that way. He had a great voice. They just missed their window because the era came to an end.

    Some cool to know facts:

    Vito talked about going to a guitar store and some young kid with his dad walked up to introduce themselves. The kid wanted to jam with Vito. Vito went to the back of the store and while the kid played the solo to wait. Vito said it was better than how he played it! It was so good, Vito went out the back door and never jammed with the kid. Better to be thought of a legend and walk away then to try and resurrect playing w d get blown away by a kid.

    Mike carries the band. He would lead them as a in lieu of manager and lead singer. Mike shared how he had be the guy in charge and found out WL had been abandoned by their label. No one from the record company showed to one of their last shows. So he goes to the record label company to see his manager after calling and was told the manager was not in the OC or. When Mike gets there, he tells the receptionist he’s Sebastian Bach. The manager comes out! Mike leaves knowing that was the end.

    Vito said after their first album, they were asked to write hit singles for the next album. They had written their first album as songs they wrote with the pressure of hit song writing. Vito said although their are writers who do that, WL’s attempts were not so well received. Their last album has a half million dollars spent and took 1.5 years to finish. By the time it was done, grunge was here. Too late.

    I really hope one day they make an album together. Problem is, just like Van Halen, the era ended and I’m not even sure their reunion helped.

  5. I’m in my mid 40s & started playing guitar when I was 5. Playing guitar gets old. I have to force myself to practice. Another fact about Mike & Vito is that they owed several million to the IRS. Mike had a lean put on all of his royalties for over 20 years. The same happened to Vito.

  6. Dang! That’s a lot of information about WL your guys shared! Never got to see them either. Love bratos first work and style.

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