WHEREARETHEYNOW?:MIKE LEVINE (TRIUMPH)
From page 16 of Classic Rock Magazine Christmas 2003
IN THE LATE 1970S AND EARLY 1980S, not one but two Toronto-based hard rock trios were taking the world by storm. Yet while the legend of Rush has continued to grow, that of the other lot, Triumph, didn’t really make it out of the 80s. But for a while Rik Emmett (guitar/vocals), Mike Levine (bass) and Gil Moore (drums/vocals) were one of the bigger bands around.
From their self-titled debut album in 1976 until ‘The Sport Of Kings’ in 1985, the threesome were a major name in the US and their native Canada. In the UK, Triumph’s finest hour was in August 1981 when they appeared at the Heavy Metal Holocaust festival at Port Vale football ground, which was headlined by Ozzy Osbourne’s Blizzard Of Ozz. Triumph split up a decade ago, and seemed consigned to the annals of history, never to be heard from again. Until now.
Triumph have just released a live CD/DVD called ‘Live At The US Festival’, featuring their performance at that massive Californian event in May 1983.
And it’s got Levine enthused again.
“It was one of the best shows we ever did,” he recalls fondly. “There were about 500,000 people there going crazy, with us, Judas Priest, Van Halen, The Scorpions, Ozzy Osbourne, Mötley Crüe and Quiet Riot. And, believe me, the partying that day was heavy!”
Levine and Moore have spent two years working on this release. He says: “We’re doing a DVD of our long-form video The Night Of Triumph. We’re also remastering songs for a double CD compilation. I’m having fun!” Triumph imploded after poor sales of the 1993 ‘Edge Of Excess’ album. Moore now runs Toronto’s Metalworks studio complex, and Emmett has a solo career.
Outwardly, little has changed in Levine’s world, and he still favours his trademark handlebar moustache. He’s now working with a young Florida musician called Jeremy Thomas.
“He’s an alternative type of rock performer who writes strong songs,” Mike says. “We just showcased for some labels. I’d love to work with other young artists, the problem is finding the talent.” And as for the inevitable question...
“A Triumph reunion? Right now that’s not on the cards, but if the three of us are in the right frame of mind at the right time... never say never, eh?”