Triumph just presented Greatest Hits Remixed and when I got the chance for a quick interview with bassist Mike Levine, there was no doubt it was time to learn a bit more about Triumph 2010.
Why the decision to release Greatest Hits Remixed now?
Well, we have been working on this for a few years. We finally got it finished.
How did you choose the songs? What made a song 'worth' being on Greatest Hits Remixed? Sales figures? Fan reaction?
When we played Sweden Rock in 2008, the promoter ran a fan poll as to what the Triumph set list should be for that headlining appearance. That helped us a lot. And we also polled our website regulars. So, at the end of the day we picked the 14 fan favorites.
I think a surprise for many is the cover version of Everly Brother's Love Hurts. Why did you choose to cover this song back in 1991? And why did you add it to GHR?
Love Hurts was recorded back in 1993 or 94 in what we call Triumph V2..with Phil X on guitar. It was not used on the Edge Of Excess album, so it was in the archives. We used the Nazareth version as a guideline, slowed it down and made it heavier on the bottom end. It was unrealsed material and still part of the Triumph legacy.
You already released some compilations and live albums through the years... In 2008 you returned to the stage reunited at Sweden Rock Festival. Have that show been recorded for a future release?
Sweden Rock was recorded and we have the tapes from the screen cameras. We have been editing the video footage.... Maybe next year it will be available on DVD/CD....
It seems that everything started with the induction to the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame somehow.... Even as at that time a reunion seemed impossible. Looking back, was the event special in more then one way to you?
That Hall of Fame induction was the beginning of the healing between Rik, and Gil and I. The end result is that we are fast friends again and that is the most important thing.
In 2008 you've been inducted to the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame. Rush got inducted in 1994. What does it mean to you to get this recognition now?
At least we are not in wheelchairs or dead... it was quite an honor for us and our families.
Lay It On The Line was chosen for Guitar Hero 5, a good way to introduce young rock fans to Triumph?
Sure, a classic Triumph song..and an incredible guitar solo…great chord changes, movement, and melody.
What about the world tour? In late 2008 there were talks about it....
That was in the works for 2009, then the economy imploded and the touring business was a disaster... Kinda still is. We are sitting on the sidelines waiting for the right opportunity.
In the past Triumph didn't toured Europe frequently, but Sweden Rock Festival 'reunited' you. Can European fans look forward to see Triumph live again?
We actually never played on the continent b4 Sweden Rock. One of our biggest regrets. A phone interview would tell the story of why.
Triumph's last studio album was released back in 1993. Any chance for a new studio album?
New studio albums by 1980's bands are not well received. Unless we have absolutely spectacular songs and concepts, I doubt you will see an entire Triumph album. But you just never know!!!
Something off topic... Just a little ago the rumors got confirmed that Ronnie James Dio passed away. He was one of the most charismatic singers in rock; I don't know, if you ever shared the stage... But perhaps you have memories / thoughts you would like to share with us?
This is not off topic at all. We heard on Sunday of RJD's passing. He used to show up at our shows now and then, unannounced... and there he would be, in the dressing room. Shared some special moments with him. A small guy, with a big voice, and even a bigger heart... one of the great voices and a pillar of the rock community. He will be missed by all of us.
What's coming next for you?
Who knows for sure. The Triumph official plan is that we have no official plan. Stay tuned.
Fans will love to hear that the Sweden Rock show will be released and that there is the chance for some live shows in future... So let's keep our fingers crossed that they will return to the stage for a full tour - and also return to Europe.