Michael Trempenau was born in Denmark and grew up in Vesterbro with his mother and two brothers. He started his musical career singing in Vesterbro Ungdomsgård, a youth group club in Copenhagen, and appears on their first album: Vi lever på Vesterbro (1974). In 1976, now known professionally as Tramp, he joined the pop band Mabel as the lead singer. Mabel released five studio albums and were very popular in Denmark and Spain with Mike receiving teen idol status. In 1978, Mabel won the Danish Song Contest with the song “Boom Boom” and represented Denmark in the Eurovision Song Contest that same year. Mabel soon moved to Spain and changed their name to Studs, releasing a debut self-titled album in 1981, and then moved to New York City and became Danish Lions the following year. After recording demos, the band returned home to Denmark, however, Tramp decided to remain in America.
Tramp met Vito Bratta and formed White Lion in 1983. White Lion released their debut album, the independent Fight to Survive, in 1985. Soon after they signed with Atlantic records and went on to release three albums; Pride, Big Game and Mane Attraction. White Lion achieved #8 success with their hit “Wait” and #3 with “When the Children Cry” from their second album, the triple-platinum selling, Pride. The band enjoyed continued success as they toured with acts such a Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne and AC/DC. White Lion disbanded in 1992 as a result of the change in musical climate brought on by the grunge movement.
FREAK OF NATURE
Tramp went on to form the Hard rock band Freak of Nature. The music was significantly darker and harder than White Lion. The band released three albums between 1993 and 1998: Freak of Nature, Gathering of Freaks, and Outcasts. The band shared stages with Helloween and Dio in Europe in 1993. Freak of Nature eventually disbanded in 1996.
Tramp then began a solo career, releasing his major label debut album as a solo artist in 1998 titled Capricorn featuring some former Freak of Nature band mates. It would be five years before Tramp returned to the studio to record his follow-up album in 2002, Recovering the Wasted Years, during which time he would move to Australia, with the aim of raising his son away from the rigors of big city life and to plan his next career move. In 2003, Tramp followed-up with his third album, More to Life Than This, which Tramp once again produced himself but relied on producer/engineer Flemming Rasmussen (Metallica) to engineer and mix the sessions in his very own Sweet Silence Studios. Also in 2003, Tramp released the double disc live album Rock ‘N’ Roll Alive, which features Tramp performing live versions of songs from White Lion, Freak of Nature, and his solo albums. In 2004, Tramp released a compilation of unreleased recordings titled Songs I Left Behind.
THE NEW WHITE LION
Tramp reformed White Lion with a new line up under the name Tramp’s White Lion (aka White Lion II due to legal issues with former members). The band toured playing White White Lion songs touring and released a double-live album in 2005 entitled Rocking the USA in 2005. In 2007, the band was set for a summer tour with Poison and Ratt only to be dropped by the tour promoter after ex-White Lion guitarist Vito Bratta threatened to take legal action over the band name. Eventually Tramp was able to use the original band name again. In 2008, now simply known as White Lion, recorded a new studio album called Return of the Pride.
BACK TO SOLO CAREER
In 2009, Mike Tramp released a new solo studio album titled Mike Tramp & The Rock ‘N’ Roll Circuz which was also now the name of his new solo band. The album hit the IFPI, Denmark’s official top 40 hit list albums, at number 16 on November 13, 2010. In 2011, Tramp released the solo album Stand Your Ground featuring “Hyme to Ronnie,” a tribute song to former Heaven & Hell and Black Sabbath vocalist Ronnie James Dio, who died on May 16, 2010 after a six-month-long battle with stomach cancer. In 2012, Tramp completed a successful acoustic tour of Europe playing 40 shows while driving and doing everything by himself. The acoustic album Cobblestone Street was released in 2013. Mike Tramp the toured supporting Beth Hart for several concerts in France and started a solo show tour in Europe, eventually returning to North America. To wrap up 2013 Tramp released the Christmas single “The Way It Was Before” inspired by events from 9/11. In 2014, Mike Tramp released a new solo acoustic album titled Museum. The video for the first single “Trust In Yourself” was directed by his son Dylan. Tramp is presently continuing his solo acoustic tour in North American and Europe through 2015, including back to back appearances on the 2014 and 2015 Monsters Of Rock Cruise.
In March 2015, Mike Tramp has confirmed he’s at work on the follow-up to 2014 album Museum and he says the material will be solid classic rock, more akin to 1997 debut Capricorn, without the acoustic elements that featured in his recent output. He’s working with long-time producer, engineer and guitarist Soren Andersen, their Rock’n’Roll Circus drummer Morten Hellborn, keyboardist Morten Buchholz and bassist Jesper Haugaard. The album is planned for an August 2015 release.