metal talk
facebook
Type band name, album name, artists name etc here...
Search all our articles by typing band name, album name, artists name etc here...
news now
metal talk


  MICHAEL SWEET
IN CONVERSATION ABOUT STRYPER


Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus



stryper

A band that is notorious for both their public and personal faith in their religion while simultaneously releasing some very well received Hard Rock music since adopting their band name of Stryper back in 1983, they've sold in excess of 10 million records worldwide and have accumulated some impressive statistics in the process.

Whether you were smitten with 'To Hell With The Devil' back in 1986, or dazzled by their 2009 modern-sounding album 'Murder By Pride', Stryper have been on the radar for many, many years plying their trade with the best that they have to offer.

Generally acknowledged as showcasing their talent in two chapters after initially calling it a day back in 1992, only to surface again with their 'Reborn' album in 2005, Stryper are enjoying a second chance to improve their status.

Article continues below...



Within the world of Stryper, this year is a special year as they have unleashed for their fans not one album, but two albums! Earlier this year in March they released 'Second Coming' which contained 16 tracks, 14 of them were re-recordings taken from material that featured on their first three albums. They added two brand new songs which set the tone of what was going to appear on their most recent album, 'No More Hell To Pay'.

So when MetalTalk was given the opportunity to talk to the main man in the band, they looked around and were unable to get their hands on their top scribes. Instead, they sent me out on the mission to get whatever morsels of insight I could from him, and this is the result.

stryper

This year is all about celebration according to Michel Sweet, lead vocalist and frontman for the Hard Rock band Stryper. Not only is the band celebrating their 30th anniversary, but they are also extremely proud of their latest studio album 'No More Hell To Pay'.

"I don't know how we did it, but I believe that we did make the best record of our career, I think it's our best record ever", states Sweet with genuine conviction when I was fortunate enough to link up with him across the Atlantic. "It's quite an accomplishment and it's really something incredible to be able to say 30 years after we formed, it's really remarkable."

Knowing how most artists and bands tend to state such positive overtures about their latest work, I pushed Sweet to elaborate on the elements that made this their best album thus far. "Just striving to give everybody what they want, what they've been asking for, you know, get back to our roots. Give us those guitar solos; give us those screams; give us the melodies; give us the big choruses; all the stuff that Stryper is known for."

stryper

On a roll to clarify his point, Sweet continued, "Records like 'To Hell With The Devil' that was our biggest album, so you know we kind of went back to that. It is easy for a musician and the band to say oh this is our best record, but you know; its one thing to say it and it's another thing to back it up. I feel like we're backing it up, we delivered the goods. We're not just going on a crappy record and you know, talking it up hoping that people will believe our crap. We've actually delivered I think the best record of our careers."

With his justification quite clearly articulated, and any tension in the virtual air dissipating, Sweet continues with his momentum. "I'm not gonna say it's the best, amazing record if I produced it and it's really not. I mean, I'm kind of embarrassing myself if I'm gonna do that, and there's been records I have produced that I haven't said anything about because they didn't turn out as planned for lack of money or the guys in the band didn't deliver, or whatever."

Tempting as it was to enquire further about those occasions where Sweet wasn't so satisfied with the recorded results, I was more intent on trying to explore other avenues in the time that we had together. Acknowledging the release earlier this year of 'Second Coming' was one of those avenues.

"The initial idea behind it when we first started recording it was not to even make it available to the fans. We were making that record for ourselves and for our publishing company because we wanted to cut the middleman out of licensing for film and TV, middleman being the company that owns our catalogue."

Sweet referred to how whenever the publishing company approached these forms of media ouput, their enquiries were either left unresolved or dismissed. "We'd have to go through Disney and Hollywood to get their approval and they either would not get back to us or they would say no and it became a bit of a nightmare at times."

stryper

Motivated by such restrictive and problematic red tape proved to be a positive turn of events as Stryper found themselves really pleased with the re-recorded results; "Once we got into it, we started realising how good it was turning out. We thought y'know what, the fans would love this, let's make it available to them."

His enthusiasm and energy are tangible as Sweet highlights how it was at this moment they hooked up with a record label and signed a multi-album deal. He informed me that this deal was for three albums. "Those three albums were 'Second Coming', 'No More Hell To Pay' and then we're doing a live album in a week and a half at the Whiskey in Los Angeles. That's a live DVD/live album and that'll be released sometime next year."

Stryper are proud of their accomplishments during those glitzy and glamorous days of MTV and achieved four number one videos. Maintaining their love of such promotional tools, they have two official videos so far connected to their current album 'No More Hell To Pay' that includes one for the title track and another for the song 'Sympathy'.

"Videos nowadays are so different; we don't live in the time where you make videos for one hundred and fifty or two hundred thousand dollars like we used to. You know we made the videos in the past, like 'Always There For You' you know, that was a three hundred and fifty plus thousand dollar video! Now we made these two videos 'No More Hell To Pay' and 'Sympathy' for under ten thousand dollars plus a documentary."

Knowing how notorious the band were linked with Christianity and their public displays of faith, I wanted to know how Sweet felt about people judging the band more on their religious beliefs than their actual music.

"It is quite frustrating, it's pretty sad you know. It is something that I've lived my life trying to overcome and rise above, and usually I'm able to but sometimes I'm not."

He puts his ideas into a visual example: "It's like somebody looking at a piece of art, a painting that's beautiful and they look at the name of the artist and they say oh I hate it because he did it."

Sweet is keen to express his thoughts on this specific point, and elaborates. "Instead of looking at what we do musically a lot of times people will look at the name Stryper and because we're Christian, that label, that tag, they'll instantly assume ahh they suck! It can't be good 'cos it's Christian. It's really sad because that doesn't apply to the other side, to the other extreme. Why isn't that applied to bands that are Satanic?"

He then provides his resolute response to this line of thinking: "I mean, I don't get it. I tell you what, if anybody sucks in the batch between Satan or God, it's the Devil." Sweet lets out a suitable chuckle after delivering his viewpoint.

With time disappearing so quickly, there was sufficient time for Sweet to hypothesise over the possible reception to 'No More Hell To Pay' if it was released after their commercial high point 'To Hell With The Devil'. "I really believe if this record had come out in 1988, following 'To Hell With The Devil', I think that it would have taken Stryper to a whole different level and we'd be a household name today. That's my opinion. We would have been on a whole different platforming level in the category of the Bon Jovis, and the Kiss' and the Mötley Crües of the world."

Despite stating such hypothetical claims, he still retains the air of a humble guy, a human being with his own belief system and an almost fragile sensibility.

Opinions and perspectives are always subjective and relative in their own context, but when you're the creative element of a piece of work and know how much has been invested in it, does that mean you have the ultimate perspective and insight to the level of quality on show?

Does that mean your view point has the utmost clarity and therefore your verdict depicts with undisputable accuracy the most insightful interpretation? Whether you know the answer to this philosophical curiosity or not, one thing is for sure, Stryper are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year in style and are very excited about this second chapter of their life.


11.11.13











 

scorpions EXCLUSIVE: SCORPIONS TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM IN EARLY 2018 AND CONTINUE TOURING
Brand new opus will be their first with Mikkey, who was Motörhead drummer for twenty-three years...

nidingr EXCLUSIVE UK PREMIERE: NIDINGR RELEASE FIRST SINGLE FROM FORTHCOMING NEW ALBUM
"To me this song solidifies a thing that is fucking great about Nidingr - no rules..."

iron maiden BREAKING NEWS: CELLAR DARLING SIGN WITH NUCLEAR BLAST
"We are proud and excited to have found partners who understand our music and share our vision..."

iron maiden BREAKING NEWS: IRON MAIDEN TO TOUR NORTH AMERICA IN JUNE/JULY
Support on all North American dates will be Ghost and tickets go on-sale from next Friday...

iron maiden HOME OF METAL TO JOIN BLACK SABBATH ON THEIR FINAL DATES
"Fans are our lifeblood, they've always been there to support us. The audiences have been getting bigger as the tour progressed..."

hammerfall EXCLUSIVE WORLD PREMIERE: HAMMERFALL UNLEASH NEW VIDEO FOR 'BUILT TO LAST' TITLE TRACK
Hammerfall are currently on tour throughout Europe and there are plenty of dates left to catch their new epic show...

grim reaper GRIM REAPER'S STEVE GRIMMETT SEVERELY ILL IN ECUADOR
"Unfortunately the operation didn't work and Steve is currently in the operating theatre having limbs removed..."

bill price GUNS N' ROSES AND SEX PISTOLS PRODUCER/ENGINEER BILL PRICE HAS SADLY PASSED AWAY
Price worked with Rod Stewart, INXS, Pete Townshend, Elton John, The Jesus And Mary Chain and Big Audio Dynamite...

fish marillion FISH CELEBRATES 30th ANNIVERSARY OF 'CLUTCHING AT STRAWS' WITH UK TOUR
"These are the only dates this year as because of my shoulder operation next month with the extensive recovery period..."

ross the boss UK EXCLUSIVE: ROSS THE BOSS ANNOUNCES TOUR DATES AHEAD OF SPECIAL GUEST SLOT ON MetalTalk RADIO THIS WEEK
"We are going to devastate every audience, every night, without mercy..."

dokken WAS BREAKING NEWS: CLASSIC DOKKEN LINE-UP CONFIRMED FOR RAMBLIN' MAN
Dokken, Lynch, Pilson and Brown will play together in England for the first time in around a quarter-of-a-century...

grand magus DEF LEPPARD AND POISON ANNOUNCE NORTH AMERICAN DATES
"I could not be more excited. I know all of us will give one thousand percent on stage..."

grand magus VIKINGS TO INVADE YORKSHIRE: GRAND MAGUS TO HEADLINE KEIGHLEY FESTIVAL
"Get your tickets now and prepare to raise your fists and bang your heads for the glory of Metal!"

armored saint ARMORED SAINT UK TOUR DATES AND 'MARCH OF THE SAINT (LIVE)' VIDEO ARE HERE
"We're really looking forward to playing these select UK shows in March..."

screaming eagles SCREAMING EAGLES TO FEATURE IN NEW AMAZON PRIME SERIES STARRING BRYAN CRANSTON
The band will be releasing a live mini-album in spring 2017 and will be touring in the UK, France and Germany throughout the year...

martyrd MARTYRD SET TO OPEN FOR METAL ALLEGIANCE, MARTY FRIEDMAN AND GUS G
"NAMM is a blast, total musical sensory overload from every direction. It’s like getting lost in a hurricane - I can't wait."

john garcia EXCLUSIVE WORLD PREMIERE: JOHN GARCIA UNLEASHES 'GIVE ME 250ml'
"This record is one of the most important of my career, difficult and challenging to do, but worth every minute of sweat!"

avenged sevenfold WAS BREAKING NEWS: AVENGED SEVENFOLD TO OPEN LONDON POP-UP STORE
The shop will be hosting in-store raffles and giveaways of exclusive and signed merchandise...

avenged sevenfold ROCK MEETS CLASSIC 2017 EUROPE LINE-UP IS HERE
Rock meets Classic has a terrific vibe and the legendary cross-over-project combines emotional classic with world-famous rock songs...

paddy goes to holyhead PADDY GOES TO HOLYHEAD ARE BACK FOR THE CRAIC ON ST PATRICK'S NIGHT
The band supposedly played their last ever gig two years ago in celebration of their 30th anniversary...

nightlord EXCLUSIVE THE UNKNOWN BAND WHO INFLUENCED METALLICA AIRS ON MetalTalk RADIO
Also featuring is the very first UK radio airplay of Cellar Darling, the band created by former Eluveitie members...

epica EPICA RELEASE 'BEYOND THE MATRIX' VIDEO - WATCH IT HERE
"The energy that lives within 'Beyond The Matrix' is extremely contagious. It will sweep you off your feet when the melodies enter your mind..."

nightlord JOHN COGHLAN'S QUO BACK ON THE ROAD AGAIN
John Coghlan's Quo have announced UK dates across the Kingdom that will see them busy throughout the year...

jimmy bain JIMMY BAIN'S WIDOW NEEDS OUR HELP
"Jimmy recently passed away without a proper will in place and now his better half is in trouble..."

michael schenker MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST 'LIVE' TOKYO FEATURING BARDEN, BONNET AND McAULEY OUT IN MARCH
Features guest appearances from some of the greatest rock vocalists who have worked with Schenker...

ozzy osbourne OZZY OSBOURNE OVERDOSED WHEN SHARON HAD CANCER
"I watched him scoop his hands into a bowl of pills, swallow a handful of something, and then wash it down with vodka..."

eluveitie ELUVEITIE NEW LINE-UP IS COMPLETE, FIRST GIGS GO DOWN A STORM
"Above all we're super happy and thankful that we're complete again and given the chance to have such gifted musicians on board..."

gene simmons GENE SIMMONS RESTAURANT HONOURS US VETS
"The opening day of every Rock & Brews is dedicated to our vets, the public is not allowed in."

deep purple DEEP PURPLE SUE THEIR LONG-TIME ACCOUNTANT FOR FOUR MILLION
"I'm completely irresponsible. I'm ignorant about money as a commodity — I have never really understood it."

tony iommi UK EXCLUSIVE: VINCE NEIL FIST FIGHT WITH BOY GEORGE STOPPED AS ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER SHUTS UP PRESIDENT TRUMP
"They screwed up. That was a huge miss and someone should have a talking-to."

tony iommi GLENN HUGHES: "I'M THRILLED TO BE TOURING THE UK IN JANUARY"
"Let's get 2017 going with a killer night for ROCK lovers, movers and shakers. I'm in. Let's go!"

tony iommi TONY IOMMI HAS SUCCESSFUL THROAT OPERATION AND IS CANCER-FREE
"We had to have it checked in case it may have been cancerous. But it turns out it wasn't, which I found out Christmas Day..."

ronnie montrose RONNIE MONTROSE REMEMBERED: ALL-STAR MEMORIAL CONCERT TO TAKE PLACE AT NAMM 2017
"Ronnie helped light a fire in me and made me want to approach guitar playing with that kind of zeal and expression..."

motorhead beer PHIL CAMPBELL AND MIKKEY DEE TO APPEAR AT MOTÖRHEAD BEER LAUNCH IN LONDON
This is sure to be one superb night with beer, live music and Motörhead, but not necessarily in that order...

tony iommi BLACK STAR RIDERS PREMIERE 'TESTIFY OR SAY GOODBYE'
Black Star Riders are set to release their forthcoming album 'Heavy Fire' on 3rd February via Nuclear Blast...

tony iommi BREAKING NEWS: TONY IOMMI DROPS HEAVY METAL AND JOINS THE CHOIR
"It's a bit different to Sabbath!" says Tony, in probably the biggest understatement of all time...

tony iommi ROCK MUSIC IN SUPERHERO MOVIES
It's pretty wild to think that this whole ride that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe started off with a little AC/DC...

jimi hendrix JIMI HENDRIX'S WAH-WAH PEDAL AND AMP SURVIVES AUCTION HOUSE BURGLARY
"It was a very positive and uplifting experience to work for Jimi. He was like a shaman, a medicine man, a preacher.."

alestorm ALESTORM ENTER FLORIDA STUDIO BUT A CHALLENGE AWAITS THEM BACK IN BLIGHTY
"It is full of epic songs about pirates, drinking, and pseudoscientific cryptogeography..."

queen QUEEN GUITARIST BRIAN MAY WANTS TO BRING ROCK TO A NEW GENERATION
"It was actually all very planned and deliberate and came totally out of Freddie's fevered imagination..."

phil lynott MASS TRIBUTES PAID TO PHIL LYNOTT ON ANNIVERSARY OF HIS PASSING
"God bless my old friend, thanks for the faith you showed in allowing me to record your music..."

black country communion BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION ENTER STUDIO TO BEGIN WORK ON FOURTH ALBUM
"One thing I want to make clear to everybody across air nation is that Joe Bonamassa and I never fell out..."

hair metal heaven BLAZE BAYLEY BRAND NEW ALBUM AND WORLD TOUR DETAILS ARE HERE
'Endure And Survive' is set for release on 3rd March 2017 and will be accompanied by a world tour totalling some 120 shows...

hair metal heaven HAIR METAL HEAVEN FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FIRST ACTS FOR INAUGURAL EVENT
The Hair Metal Heaven Festival has a very eighties feel to it, as the team behind it explain here...

motorhead EXCLUSIVE TEST PILOT DROPS TWO GRAND ON NEW MOTÖRHEAD VIDEO SLOT
"A few spins later and I turned up a row of gold Snaggletooths which promptly caught fire and the voice of the man himself commanded: 'Turn it up!'"

deep purple DEEP PURPLE RELEASE NEW 'inFinite' TRAILERS AND EXPECTED ALBUM FORMATS
'Time For Bedlam', the first single which was revealed late last year, is available as instant grat as part of the digital album pre-order...

hollywood AEROSMITH FAREWELL TOUR COULD LAST FIVE YEARS
"We had a talk a few weeks back about going into the studio. When that'll happen, though, I'm not sure. We certainly have plenty of ideas..."

rick parfitt EXCLUSIVE MEGADETH MAINMAN DAVE MUSTAINE REVEALS HE'S AN ARSENAL FC SUPPORTER
Megadeth, formed in Los Angeles in 1983 after Dave left Metallica, are currently enjoying a rich vein of form...

hollywood FORMER PEARL JAM DRUMMER HITS OUT AT THE BAND
"We need music, each other and the spirit of Rock & Roll now, more than ever before..."

hollywood HOLLYWOOD SIGN CHANGED BY PRANKSTERS TO READ 'HOLLYWEED'
"An artist's role throughout history has been to create representations of the culture he exists in..."

metallica METALLICA GUITARIST KIRK HAMMETT'S HOME FOR SALE FOR £16m
Apparently a house like this doubles its asking price every six or seven years...

kiss EXCLUSIVE KISS' GENE SIMMONS DROPS BIGGEST HINT YET THAT ACE FREHLEY REUNION IS ON
Over 7,000 likes later, fans are in big speculation that it really is going to happen...

rick parfitt WAS BREAKING NEWS: BLOODSTOCK UNVEIL SECOND 2017 HEADLINER
"Megadeth had a blast last time and I can't wait to bring the Dystopia World Tour to Bloodstock this Summer."

rick parfitt EXCLUSIVE JOHN COGHLAN REVEALS TWO NEW TRACKS WITH RICK PARFITT ARE NEARLY READY FOR RELEASE
"It was going to be Status Quo PLC [Parfitt, Lancaster, Coghlan] and that was Francis' idea originally."

wizz wizzard WIZZ WIZZARD VOCALIST WIZZ BEAUPREZ HAS PASSED AWAY
Wizz Wizzard were signed to Rock Sector Records and labelmate Chris Appleton of Absolva led the tributes...

ronnie james dio RONNIE JAMES DIO TO TOUR IN 2017
"It was very emotional. I didn't think that I was gonna cry, but I did. I broke down...."

metal talk
© All written site content is copyright MetalTalk.net 2008-2017, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.
Ads raid data recovery