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

Pin It
Share |


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





Pin It
Share |






 
iron maiden IRON MAIDEN RELEASE VIDEO GAME BASED ON 'SPEED OF LIGHT'
This is your chance to control Eddie Donkey Kong style...

lemmy MOTORHEAD PULL SALT LAKE CITY CONCERT AFTER FOUR SONGS
A statement on the official Motorhead Facebook page said: "The people are great, but the air is just too thin..."

heavy metal kids HEAVY METAL KIDS ANNOUNCE GARY HOLTON TRIBUTE GIG
The show marks the 30th anniversary of Gary's death. He passed away at the age of 33 due to his excessive rock 'n roll lifestyle...

the sword THE SWORD TO COMMENCE UK TOUR IN SEPTEMBER
The tour is in support of their fifth album 'High Country'...

wolf GENTLEMANS PISTOLS ANNOUNCE LONDON SHOW AT THE UNDERWORLD
"We hope you can dust off the Monday blues and join us for a debauched evening of wine, whiskey and song..."

wolf WOLF ANNOUNCE TOUR WITH ENFORCER
"This package is so much Metal that everyone coming to the shows will have a hard time passing airport security and metal detectors for a foreseeable future..."

jared james nichols JARED JAMES NICHOLS TO RELEASE 'HIGHWAYMAN' EP
The EP features the new single 'We're An American Band'...

michael monroe MICHAEL MONROE REVEALS 'BLACKOUT STATES' ARTWORK + CO-HEADLINE TOUR WITH HARDCORE SUPERSTAR
"It has all the ingredients of a perfect rock n' roll record - strong melodic songs with great meaningful lyrics that defy all clichés..."

turbowolf TURBOWOLF ANNOUNCE UK, EUROPE & US TOUR DATES
"Seeing all your wonderful faces, staring into those expectant eyes, and giving you all exactly what you're looking for, and maybe a little bit more..."

mike shinoda MIKE SHINODA'S FORT MINOR TO PLAY FIRST LONDON SHOW IN 10 YEARS
Shinoda will fit in these special one man shows around Linkin Park's European tour...

babymetal BABYMETAL TO HEADLINE WEMBLEY ARENA NEXT APRIL
Can't wait till April? Two new live DVD releases have also been confirmed for October release...

cats in space CATS IN SPACE ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE OF DEBUT ALBUM 'TOO MANY GODS' FOR OCTOBER 2015
Welcome to a new brand of Power Pop Rock from a band with a stellar CV...

nightwish NIGHTWISH TO RELEASE 'ENDLESS FORMS MOST BEAUTIFUL' TOUR EDITION
The special edition is released on October 30th and comes with a DVD stuffed to the brim with bonus features...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN ANNOUNCE MASSIVE 2016 WORLD TOUR
The new Ed Force One will take the band, crew and over 12 tons of equipment more than 55,000 miles (88,500km) around the planet...

glenn hughes BREAKING NEWS: GENE SIMMONS' HOME SEARCHED UNDER WARRANT IN CONNECTION WITH CHILD PORNOGRAPHY INVESTIGATION
Police have confirmed that neither the Kiss bass player or any members of his family are considered to be suspects in the investigation...

glenn hughes GLENN HUGHES UNVEILS OFFICIAL PHOTO OF NEW BAND
Glenn hits the UK for live shows in October. "There is no greater high than performing and to reach out to my fans..."

gentlemans pistols GENTLEMANS PISTOLS PREMIERE NEW TRACK 'THE SEARCHER' ONLINE
"The song is about becoming apathetic towards things you once enjoyed and searching for where you are going in life..."

vreid NEW ALBUM FROM NORWEGIAN METALLERS VREID IS RELEASED IN OCTOBER
"This is the definition of our lives and heritage...the fire burns stronger than ever..."

napalm death NAPALM DEATH JOIN UK LEG OF "DEATHCRUSHER" TOUR
The Deathcrusher tour contains the very best in Grindcore...

blitzkrieg EXCLUSIVE: BLITZKRIEG RELEASE 30TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF 'A TIME OF CHANGES'
The classic album has been completely re-recorded and contains two bonus tracks...

w.a.s.p. W.A.S.P. PREMIERE NEW SONG - 'LAST RUNAWAY'
"The song is an intensely personal account of what happened to me, not only then but over the years and the success that followed after..."

nervosa NERVOSA UNLEASH NEW VIDEO FOR 'INTO MOSHPIT'
The band are currently on tour in the UK...

metal allegiance METAL ALLEGIANCE POST STUDIO TRAILER FOR 'DESTINATION: NOWHERE'
The track features Matt Heafy on vocals and guitar. A special launch show has been arranged to celebrate the album release...

uriah heep URIAH HEEP STAGE CLASSIC REUNION WITH CORE MEMBERS OF THE CLASSIC 1970S LINE-UP
Ken Hensley and Lee Kerslake are welcomed to the Moscow Crocus in October for the exclusive event...

rage against the machine RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE 'LIVE AT FINSBURY PARK' TO BE RELEASED
The free concert held after the success of the Christmas Number One campaign is now available in a quality package...

helloween HELLOWEEN ANNOUNCE LONDON FORUM SHOW FOR FEBRUARY 2016
"We feel pleased and honoured to yet again come to London UK..."

rammstein RAMMSTEIN UNLEASH NEW 'RAMMSTEIN IN AMERIKA' DOCUMENTARY AND 'LIVE FROM MADISON SQUARE GARDEN' DVD
The incredible package is immaculately filmed and bursting with content...

amulet AMULET LAUNCH VIDEO FOR 'BLOODY NIGHT' & ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES
Be preapred for a Heavy Metal attack...

guitar of your dreams MAKE'N MUSIC ANNOUNCES $3,250 GUITAR GIVEAWAY
Calling all guitarists - there isn't a cooler giveaway throughout the entire industry...

dan patlansky JOE SATRIANI EXTENDS EUROPEAN TOUR WITH DAN PATLANSKY AS SPECIAL GUEST
This part of the tour now encompasses 10 countries, 25 shows and 33 days...

tad morose TAD MOROSE TO TOUR EUROPE IN SEPTEMBER WITH SILENT CALL
The Swedish double bill celebrates the release of Tad Morose's new album 'St Demonius'...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN PREMIERE VIDEO FOR 'SPEED OF LIGHT'
The brand new track is taken from 'The Book Of Souls' double album due out on September 4th...

pentagram PENTAGRAM ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPE SHOWS
"We all are itching to perform some of our songs off of our new album 'Curious Volume' for you..."

born again BORN AGAIN - HEAVY METAL SOUNDHOUSE DAYS REVISTED AT THE BLACK HEART CAMDEN
Relive the glory days on the 22nd August with the best music around...

wildfire FIRST BANDS ANNOUNCED FOR WILDFIRE FESTIVAL 2016
Scotland's stellar Rock and Metal festival starts the buzz for 2016 with six quality names...

hotei HOTEI TO RELEASE DEBUT INTERNATIONAL ALBUM 'STRANGERS' ON OCTOBER 16TH
With an impressive range of guests, the world renowned Japanese guitarist and songwriter unleashes an epic album...

rich robinson RICH ROBINSON ANNOUNCES ACOUSTIC TOUR FOR SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2015
The Black Crowes' guitarist presents a stripped down, storytelling evening...

sonic syndicate SONIC SYNDICATE ANNOUNCE NEW BASS PLAYER AFTER THE DEPARTURE OF KARIN AXELSSON
The band premiere the new line up with the profound video for 'Diabolical Work Of Art'...

motorhead MOTÖRHEAD ADD EXTRA LONDON SHOW TO 2016 EUROPEAN TOUR WITH SAXON AND GIRLSCHOOL
We suggest ear-plugs and fortitude, because Lemmy, Phil and Mikkey are more intent than ever on showing at great volume that they are Motörhead and they play rock n' roll...

venrez VENREZ PREMIERE NEW LYRIC VIDEO AHEAD OF MICHAEL SCHENKER EUROPEAN TOUR
'Children Of The Drones' is the title track of the new album...

majesty GHOST PREMIERE 'MAJESTY' FROM FORTHCOMING ALBUM 'MELIORA'
Papa Emeritus III and his nameless ghouls will return to North America and Europe with a tour this autumn...

imperial state electric IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC SUPPORT GRAVEYARD & RELEASE NEW ALBUM
The release of Imperial State Electric's 'Honk Machine' brings their live show to the UK for the first time...

chantel mcgregor CHANTEL McGREGOR ANNOUNCES HER NEW ALBUM 'LOSE CONTROL' AND UK TOUR DATES
After four years of touring and festival appearances, Chantel returns with a vengeance with ten new songs...

lynne jackaman SOUL-ROCK SONGSTRESS JACKAMAN PERFORMS NEW EP 'NO HALO' LIVE IN LONDON
The show at Camden's Barfly on September 24th is set to be memorable for all the right reasons...

steve hackett STEVE HACKETT RELEASES THIRD REHEARSAL VIDEO CLIP FOR 40TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR IN OCTOBER
Preparations appear to be going very well indeed...

steve n seagulls STEVE'N'SEAGULLS ANNOUNCE THE SEAGULL HAS LANDED UK TOUR & NEW VIDEO
Anyone for hillbillified Iron Maiden...?

gentlemans pistols GENTLEMANS PISTOLS ANNOUNCE TRACK LISTING AND UNVEIL THE ARTWORK FOR 'HUSTLER'S ROW'
"A turbulent voyage of the sweetest sufferings and the most inexpensive of thrills..."

queensryche QUEENSRŸCHE REVEAL ALBUM COVER ART AND TRACK-LISTING FOR 'CONDITION HÜMAN'
The hard rock giants continue to thrill with their latest offering...

udo U.D.O. SAYS FINAL FAREWELL TO ACCEPT'S CATALOGUE
In a surprise announcement Udo Dirkschneider has confirmed that he will no longer play songs from the Accept library after one final tour...

operation mindcrime OPERATION: MINDCRIME REVEAL 'RE-INVENTING THE FUTURE', THE FIRST SINGLE FROM NEW ALBUM
The release from Geoff Tate's current project marks the first of a trilogy of albums...


metal talk
© All written site content is copyright MetalTalk.net 2008-2015, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.
Ads raid data recovery