TRIUMPH Bassist MIKE LEVINE Looks Back On 1988 Split With RIK EMMETT - "It's Not Because We Didn’t Like Each Other; The Tanks Were Running On Empty"

May 9, 2022, 2 years ago

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TRIUMPH Bassist MIKE LEVINE Looks Back On 1988 Split With RIK EMMETT - "It's Not Because We Didn’t Like Each Other; The Tanks Were Running On Empty"

Triumph bassist Mike Levine is featured in a new interview with The San Antonio Current about the forthcoming documentary, Triumph: Rock And Roll Machine. An excerpt from the in-depth chat is available below.

Q: Rik (Emmett / guitar, vocals) left the band after Surveillance. If he hadn’t left, where would your career have headed?

Levine: "Honestly, I don’t have an answer to that question. I don’t know. If Rik hadn’t made that decision, perhaps Gil (Moore / drums, vocals) might have made that decision. Or I might have made that decision, too. There’s some interesting stuff in the movie that addresses that, so let’s not expose it. It’s kinda fun to find out. But it’s one of those things where you go to the dentist and get your teeth cleaned and maybe you need a filling. It’s another thing when you go to the dentist and you need a root canal. We had a nice run. We were 12, 13, 14 years [in], whatever that was. It never came to the point where we went to the studio going, 'Fuck, this feels like a root canal.' And it’s not because we didn’t like each other or anything. It’s like the tanks were running on empty or something. You can only do so much, and I don’t care who you are. The Rolling Stones can do it because they’ve got Mick Jagger, you know? And Keith Richards can get his blood replaced every two years. And The Who can do their final tour for the 95th time. I went to the first final tour, and I still have my backstage pass for that. I went, 'If this is the last time The Who is ever gonna play, I have to be there.' Of course, two years later the tour was still going, and they’re back in Toronto again. And then again. And then again. And again. And again. It never ended. The problem is that those guys got so rich that they all had houses all over the world. They had huge staffs, they had airplanes. They have to keep making big dough. We never made the hundreds of millions of dollars that those guys made. We did good, but we weren’t part of the originators. They were originals. We were kind of the follow-on. You know, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, had they still been alive, would’ve been like The Who and the Rolling Stones."

Read the complete interview here., the leading music platform for live concert streams and recordings, have partnered with Round Hill Music for the global premiere of the feature documentary, Triumph: Rock & Roll Machine.

Fans can tune in for the premiere event on Friday, May 13 at 8:30 PM, Eastern Time, which will kick off with an exclusive, moderated Q&A with all three members of Triumph - Rik Emmett, Gil Moore, and Mike Levine.

Tickets for the global streaming event can be purchased starting today for $19.95, exclusively at Streaming is available worldwide, with the exception of Canada. Tickets will be available available through Sunday, May 15 at Midnight, Eastern Time.

Fans submitting questions for the Q&A can be sent to

“We are thrilled to bring this exclusive streaming premiere to fans outside of Canada for the first time,” says co-founder, Jon Michael Richter.

“As a consumer and marketer, I love what does and how many real music fans they regularly engage.” says Brian Hay from Round Hill Music.

The trailer to documentary can be viewed below. To pre save the digital soundtrack, out Friday, April 29, head here.

Triumph: Rock & Roll Machine, produced by Banger Films (Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden, Rush and ZZ Top), delivers on revisiting a band that sold millions of albums, played for millions of fans, and never put themselves above their audience.

“The Triumph story was compelling to me, Marc, and the Banger team because it was an opportunity to piece together a broken puzzle,” says Sam Dunn (who co directed the film with Marc Ricciardelli). “We wanted to know how and why the band dissolved at the peak of their powers. It was quite the ride!”

“Sam and Marc did an outstanding job documenting what it has been like to have been aboard the Triumph train for the past near-50 years,” raves Triumph bassist Mike Levine. “For fans old, new, and those to come in the future, this is all they’ll need to know about the band.”

The Triumph lineup –  Rik Emmett, Gil Moore, and Mike Levine – rocked the world, and in the process, gave us countless classic hard rock anthems (“Fight the Good Fight,” “Hold On,” “Magic Power,” “I Live for the Weekend,” “Lay It On the Line,” and of course, “Rock & Roll Machine,” and albums (Just a Game, Progressions of Power, Allied Forces, Never Surrender, Thunder Seven, etc.).

Originally formed in 1975 and hailing from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, the trio was always proud of their Great White North roots. And seemingly ever since their inception, Triumph was on the cutting edge of technology when it came to their live show – particularly lighting, sound, and effects. Sophisticated lasers, pyrotechnics and moving lighting rigs, all computer-controlled – Triumph was one of the first arena rock bands to incorporate all of these elements into their shows. Triumph’s headlining tours were legendary, and the band was featured on many memorable stadium/outdoor shows – including the US Festival, the World Series of Rock, the American Rock Festival, Texxas Jam, and Day on the Green, to name a few.

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