Ex-WHITE LION singer Mike Tramp says that he regrets trying to resurrect his former band without his onetime songwriting partner and bandmate, guitarist Vito Bratta.
The Danish-born singer hasn't played with Bratta since WHITE LION performed its last concert in Boston in September 1991.
In the 28 years since WHITE LION broke up, Bratta's public profile has been virtually nonexistent, while Tramp has remained active, recording and touring as a solo artist and with the bands FREAK OF NATURE, THE ROCK 'N' ROLL CIRCUZ and, more recently, BAND OF BROTHERS. Tramp also attempted to revive WHITE LION with the 2008 album "Return Of The Pride", featuring new members. Two years later, Tramp ceded ownership of the name WHITE LION to Bratta in an out-of-court settlement.
Speaking to the "Cobras & Fire" podcast, Tramp said about his ill-fated attempt to bring back WHITE LION more than a decade ago: "First of all, I've gone out and I have both apologized and said with much regret this was something that I shouldn't have done. I did not want to do WHITE LION again. When I broke up WHITE LION in '91, I was done with that thing. And the four albums that the band has made is a history of that band. This was a moment in time where I thought that this was actually gonna be a bigger financial success. And I went out there and very, very quickly, I realized that it was something I didn't wanna do, because I started changing the sound of the band. I actually started making WHITE LION sound more like UFO or something like that. And obviously, Vito came out and said, 'I don't want anybody besides us to be WHITE LION. I don't wanna turn on YouTube and see a clip saying 'WHITE LION live in Arkansas' and then see another guitar player. Mike Tramp and Vito Bratta was WHITE LION and that's the way I wanna see it.' And it took me a lot of years to realize that and respect him and understand that. And over the last couple of years, he and I speak once a month and we're on really good terms and we're happy and we know that WHITE LION will never happen again. The memories are on those four albums, and that is the way it will be till the end of time."
While Tramp continues to perform some of WHITE LION's best-known songs in an intimate acoustic setting, he has no desire to reform the band and cash in on the recent resurgence in '80s-esque rock and roll.
"The thing is, life goes on," he said. "And there are a lot of artists out there that wanna dwell in the past and wanna try to keep the past with them today. It is simply impossible. Most of us don't look the same way we did in 1988. I mean, it's 30 years ago. Some people actually decide to change, some people actually decide to move on with their life. Musically, I followed what was in my heart. And when Mike Tramp went solo, he went solo, and this is how Mike Tramp sounds when he writes the songs by himself and when he stands on his own two feet. And now, 11 solo albums later on, it is as crystal clear as anything of who Mike Tramp is as an artist, and he will remain there."
Mainly active in the 1980s and early 1990s, WHITE LION released its debut album, "Fight To Survive", in 1985. The band had its breakthrough with the double-platinum-selling "Pride" album, which produced two Top 10 hits: "Wait" and "When The Children Cry". The band continued its success with the third album, "Big Game", which achieved gold status.
By the time WHITE LION released its final album, 1991's "Mane Attraction", alternative rock was in the ascendancy, leading to a swift decline of the so-called "hair metal" scene in terms of sales, popularity, radio play, and most importantly, relevance.