STRYPER's MICHAEL SWEET: KING DIAMOND Is 'One Of The Nicest Guys I've Ever Met'

December 16, 2022

On December 4, STRYPER frontman Michael Sweet met MERCYFUL FATE singer King Diamond — whose real name is Kim Bendix Petersen — for the first time when the two bands performed at Mexico's Hell & Heaven Metal Fest. Speaking to Waste Some Time With Jason Green about the experience, Sweet said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I just met Kim, King Diamond [of] MERCYFUL FATE. In all these years, I've had this perception of Kim, and then I met Kim, and he was so polite — one of the nicest guys I've ever met. [He was] very cordial and friendly, and took a picture and shook my hand and looked into my eyes and engaged in conversation. And you could tell he was interested in talking. And I just was blown away. And all those perceptions were annihilated because I felt like, 'Okay, here's this guy that probably won't like us — or like me.' And we had a great conversation. If we went to dinner and had a dinner, we'd probably have a great dinner. But we're polar opposites. So I find that very interesting. And at the end of the day, it makes me realize that we're all the same — we're all flesh and blood; we all have feelings; we all have emotions; and most of those are the same."

Michael previously discussed his meeting with King in an interview with Metal Edge. Asked what he and King discussed, Michael said: "The weather, the birds, the bees. It was just a normal conversation. It's like, wow, he has this persona. We have this persona. You're Satanic. We're Christian. But then when you break it down, we're just people."

In a 2013 interview with Indie Vision Music, Sweet explained why STRYPER plays with secular bands. He said: "A lot of Christians have given us a ton of heat over the years for doing that. Not understanding… 'Why do you guys play clubs? Why do you play with secular bands?' Well, why wouldn't we? Aren't we to go into the world… into the dark… and bring the light? I mean, that’s what we're called to do as Christians. That's why we do it. We play clubs, we go to places where no Christian bands go. We play with mainstream secular bands so we can play to their fans and we can talk to them. I mean, that's kind of the whole point in what we do. We've been doing that for thirty years and there's no sign of stopping. We're planning on continuing to do that, of course. It really works for us. Again, it's kind of cut us off with a lot of people in the church, because they think we're not really Christians, or we're this, or we're that. It's like, okay, whatever. Someday we'll all stand before God and we'll know who was real and who wasn't."

Even though STRYPER's third album, 1986's "To Hell With The Devil", made Sweet and his bandmates the first contemporary Christian act to score a platinum album, the group has often felt unwelcome in Christian circles, with some members of the church feeling that Christianity and heavy metal are incompatible.

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.

Formed 39 years ago, STRYPER'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."

STRYPER's albums include "To Hell With The Devil", "Second Coming", "No More Hell To Pay", "Fallen", "God Damn Evil", "Even The Devil Believes" and the band's latest effort, "The Final Battle".

Heaven and Hell.. it was a pleasure to see Michael Sweet of Stryper yesterday at Hell And Heaven Fest 😈

Posted by MERCYFUL FATE on Monday, December 5, 2022

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