Michael Sweet of openly Christian hard rockers STRYPER was recently interviewed by Brazil's Rock Mania. You can now listen to the chat below.
Asked how important God is in his life, Sweet said: "He's everything to me. I'm not one of those guys that reads my Bible every day, is quoting scriptures every hour or going to church four times a week. That's not what God is about to me. But yet at the same time, God is everything to me, because I feel that I owe everything to God. I feel that he's given me my life, I feel that he's given me my talent and my abilities, and I wanna give back to him because of that."
Sweet also outlined his writing and recording plans for the coming months. He said: "I just finished a new inspirational album. It's very different for me, musically speaking. It's not a metal album. But it's got some of the best songs that I've ever been a part of, that I've ever written. And I can't wait for everyone to hear it. I just finished that. We're mixing it now. I just turned in the album with Joel Hoekstra and Nathan James and Tommy Aldridge and Marco Mendoza. So that's wrapped up. That's gonna have a very WHITESNAKE sound to it — a really great album. I start on a new album with Frontiers, with [in-house producer] Alessandro [Del Vecchio]. I'm hoping that we'll take it in an old JOURNEY direction, musically. And then I start on a new Michael Sweet solo metal album this year. And I start, at the end of the year, on a new SWEET & LYNCH album [with George Lynch]. And then, and we already signed an agreement, and it's on the calendar, we start on a new STRYPER album in January. And then in June — this June — we're gonna record two more live STRYPER shows at SpiritHouse studios [in Northampton, Massachusetts]. They're going to be 'Soldiers Under Command' and 'No More Hell To Pay' in their entirety, from start to finish."
Formed 38 years ago, STRYPER is the first overtly Christian metal band to go mainstream. The group's name comes from Isaiah 53:5, which states: "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."
In a 2018 interview with the Detroit Free Press, Michael said that STRYPER was never fully embraced by the heavy metal and hard rock communities, largely because of the band's Christian lyrics.
"We've never been accepted by either side," he said. "The secular side, the mainstream, they've never accepted us to this day. We're probably that band that everyone's going to go to whenever there's a time to mock. We'll be the band used for that in most cases. Now on the Christian side, we've never really had the full support of the Christian side because we don't fit into their little club. We're not wearing suits and ties and going to every church and preaching."
STRYPER's albums include "To Hell With The Devil", "Second Coming", the aforementioned "No More Hell To Pay", "Fallen" and the band's latest effort, "Even The Devil Believes".
Michael is joined in STRYPER by his brother Robert Sweet (drums), Oz Fox (guitars) and Perry Richardson (bass).