Vito Bratta Won’t Shut the Door on Performing: ‘I Do Miss It’
Vito Bratta, the guitar virtuoso who found fame in the ‘80s with White Lion but has remained out of the public eye for over 20 years now, admitted he hasn’t fully closed the door on performing again.
In a newly published interview with Guitar World, conducted in 2019, Bratta said he “couldn’t ever, ever say no” to the possibility of a return to performing, “because it hurts not doing it.”
“It’s difficult, you know, because I do miss it,” he explained. “And I regret that I was given a certain amount of talent to do something, and I don’t use it.”
Bratta co-founded White Lion with singer Mike Tramp in 1983. The group enjoyed major success in the ‘80s behind hits like “Wait” and “When the Children Cry.” The band’s biggest album, 1987’s Pride, was certified double platinum and helped cement White Lion as a glam-metal band to be reckoned with.
His distinctive style and otherworldly soloing made him a hit with fans and fellow musicians. Still, as the ‘90s dawned, it became clear that White Lion’s brand of rock was getting left behind.
“I knew what decades mean to people,” the guitarist admitted. “So I knew what was coming down the pipe.” Bratta recalled one conversation in particular that infuriated him: “One of the record company guys says, ‘You know what your problem is? You play too good. You need to start playing sloppy because that’s what the kids are into nowadays,’ and I took that as my exit. You gotta be kidding. You want me to suck?”
The experience soured Bratta on the entire music industry. White Lion's classic lineup played its last show together in 1991 and broke up in 1992. Five years later, Bratta suffered a wrist injury that made guitar playing painful. As a result, he stopped performing and stuck to playing only classical guitars around the house. The Guitar World interview noted that he started playing electric guitar again in late 2019.
Bratta conceded “a lot would have to change” for him to return to the stage, but he expressed appreciation that fans still enjoy what he recorded. “I’m just happy that I left it all out on the field,” he declared while looking back at his influential career. “Sometimes I really feel like I exceeded my ability.”