Mike Tramp has spent a significant portion of the last twenty years studiously carving out a solid solo career for himself as a singer/songwriter. Having long turned his back on the temptation to dwell on former arena-filling glories and extremely comfortable with his chosen path, it matters not to the Dane these days, whether he’s playing a small café in some far flung town in France or a large outdoor Summer festival in his native Denmark. Mike Tramp is happy being Mike Tramp.
“Many years ago I realized that going back to basics, demanding nothing and being surprised if there was a tray of sandwiches in the dressing room was the way forward,” he smiles.
“I’ve played a role on stage in the past – my upbringing on Freddie Mercury and David Bowie allowing me to stand on stage and perform – but you can’t carry that rock star stuff off in tiny clubs. You have to be the same guy on stage who came in the front door, went through the crowd to get to that stage and leaves through the same route afterwards.
Maybe,” he laughs, “selling a T-shirt on the way out”
“The audiences embraced that approach” he adds. “It was the real deal. Besides, I’m just a kid from Copenhagen who never really felt comfortable in the back of a limousine. I want to be the guy who goes out on stage and is simply the person I am, with the ability to pull the songs out of my pocket in the spirit of the moment and not just the songs
I have to play.”
Since first embarking on his solo journey in 1997 with the excellent “Capricorn” album, Tramp completely re-invented himself as a singer/songwriter in his own right with 2002’s “Recovering The Wasted Years”. “More To Life Than This” and the double live album “Rock ’N’ Roll Alive” both followed a year later; with “Songs I Left Behind” appearing in 2004. However, in 2009 Mike reappeared seemingly fronting a new band with 2009’s “Rock ‘N Roll Cirkuz” project.
2013’s “Cobblestone Street” began a run of albums that has subsequently included “Museum” (2014), “Nomad” (2015) and “Maybe Tomorrow” (2017) that have been consistent in their look, feel and a sound that although centres on some of the finest, acoustic based yet hauntingly melodic songs you’ll ever hear also – refreshingly so - make the odd diversion into previously unexplored territory. In the case of “Museum” that just happened to be a fantastic slice of funk rock in the brilliantly rendered “Down South”.
Mike’s new album, “Stray From The Flock”, essentially takes that “Cobblestone Street” template one step further. It’s also an album that pretty much wrote itself. “I picked up the guitar and the songs just started flying out of me. I thought ‘fuck! There’s an album that wants to come out of here!’”, Tramp laughs. Mike will, of course, be touring in support of “Stray From The Flock”, but as with his previous solo excursions there won’t be any explosions, moving drum risers or confetti bombs on stage. There will just be a guy standing in the middle being the real deal. That guy is Mike Tramp.