STRYPER frontman Michael Sweet has posted the following update via his official web site (www.michaelsweet.com):
"I always feel the need to apologize to all of you when I'm not able to keep up with the site as often as planned. My sincere apologies. If I could I would write e new newsletter every day but life has been so busy lately I hardly have the time to have a cup of coffee (all right, that's pushing it a little).
"As you all know, STRYPER reunited for the first time in almost 12 years to record two new songs to be released through Hollywood Records in the spring of 2003. The two new songs will be part of a 'Best Of' which will consist of songs chosen by the band. 'Can't Stop The Rock', which was a compilation as well, basically consisted of material chosen by the label for the most part. We were limited at that time to only put a limited number of songs on the disk.
"This time around there will be a total of 18 songs on the new project (16 old and two new). It will take everyone on a ride from present to past as the sequence goes from newest (two new songs) to oldest ('Yellow and Black Attack'). The two new songs are entitled 'Something' and 'For You' and have a very modern day STRYPER sound. We prayed for God to anoint every note and believe that He did! All of the old material will be digitally re-mastered / eq'd to add a little more punch where it lacks and a little more definition where it lacks. We will post the album sequence as soon as mastering is finished which will be sometime at the end of January.
"The time with the guys went really well. We prayed a lot and laughed a lot. We tracked drums and bass at Sound Station 7 on January 4th and 5th. We then tracked guitars and bgv's from the 6th to the 9th. Lead vocals were then tracked and then it was mixed. Everything went so fast. It seemed like a blur! The sound is very heavy and very modern yet we were able to stay true to what we do and have always done. There are some guitar harmonies, vocal harmonies and over all it's a very, very BIG sound!!! I'm really excited about all of you hearing it. Hopefully you'll like what you hear.
"We will post the lyrics here at www.michaelsweet.com as well as samples of the songs as soon as the label gives us the okay. The samples will only be samples, not full length.
"I believe that these songs are some of the best songs that we have ever recorded and I think that the other guys agree.
"These songs were two songs that I had written for a new project of mine to pass around to companies at some point. You probably remember us mentioning two new 'heavy' songs? These are those two songs. The deal with Hollywood went down so fast that there was no time for us to get together to put something together. These songs were already recorded and ready to be sent out to everyone to hear. We (STRYPER) then re-recorded the tracks and added the vocals. A few effect guitars were flown over to the new tracks and everything worked together perfectly! The songs were produced by myself and co-produced by Kenny Lewis. Carl Beatty was the basic track engineer (drums and bass) and Kenny Lewis tracked everything else.
"I brought in Jack Marques (Mars Hill) to sing bgv's with Oz and myself to add a different flavor to the vocals. The vocals turned out amazing! Oz did some great solo work as well!
"Please keep this project in your prayers. Pray for Gods will to be done and for lives to be reached / touched through these songs.
"In closing, I have not been able to work on the 'Hymn' CD for a while. I had workers here at my house for over 8 weeks and then the holidays were here and then the STRYPER project. Please know that I have every intention of finishing the 'Hymn' project and getting it out to all of you who pre-ordered the CD. I'm grateful for your patience and your support. You have all been incredible with the encouragement that you have shown through your letters and e-mails. Thank you!!!
"We will keep you posted on everything here at www.michaelsweet.com and until then, blessings to all of you.
"Always, Michael Sweet."