STRYPER's MICHAEL SWEET On How His Recent Thyroid Surgery Affected His Singing: 'It Just Feels Different'

May 8, 2024

In a new interview with Steve Mascord of White Line Fever TV, STRYPER frontman Michael Sweet, who underwent partial thyroidectomy, the surgery to remove part of his thyroid gland, five months ago, reflected on the procedure, saying: "I had nodules a nodule in each side of my thyroid, so thyroid nodules. And one of those got larger and larger. It was biopsied and it was cancer. So they removed half of my thyroid, [the left] half. [The right] half I still have. I have a nodule there still that's cystic they're gonna keep an eye on. I had to start thyroid medication. But I had the surgery back in December — December 15th. So I just finished the vocals for [the new] SUNBOMB [album] prior to that, went in and had my surgery and then, when I came out of surgery, I started on the new STRYPER album. So it was really wild and just an absolute blur."

Regarding how the operation affected his singing voice, Sweet said: "I could feel the pressure of the room and the space in that area with those nodules getting larger. I could feel it. And it's been like that for a few years. I've had 'em for a while, but I had to have it removed because of the cancer, and I dealt with it right away. But having the side of that thyroid removed, they had to cut through some muscles. So I can really feel it — it just feels different, it's the only way I can describe it. My vocal nerve was not damaged. I went to the best doctor in Boston who specializes in that, specifically not damaging the vocal nerve. He uses a very particular monitoring system, and he kind of wrote the book on that. And no damage to my vocal nerve — thank God. But still, it feels weird when I sing. It feels like someone kind of has their hand on my throat. It's the only way I can describe it."

STRYPER recently completed work on the follow-up to 2022's "The Final Battle" album for a tentative September 2024 release.

This past March, Sweet wrote in an online post that he was "a little nervous" about his voice prior to the recording sessions for the new STRYPER album, "but in all sincerity, it seems fine to me," he said. "I didn't have any trouble tracking vocals and if anything, it seemed a little easier this time around.

"I have to say that this album has a very special signature," he added. "It has a heaviness yet at the same time, a very melodic approach and a bit more of a 'sing-along' style when it comes to the choruses. I'm really pleased with the results and I truly believe it will be at the top of everyone's 'best of' list. There are some stand out tracks to my ears already but I won't go into details quite yet. Bottom line, a KILLER new STRYPER album is coming!"

Last September, Michael said that he wanted "to branch out a bit" on the next STRYPER album "and try some new things and I also want to get back to some 'pop metal' on a few tracks as well."

Formed 41 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", 2020's "Even The Devil Believes" and the aforementioned "The Final Battle".

Michael is joined in STRYPER by his brother Robert Sweet (drums),Oz Fox (guitar) and Perry Richardson (bass).

STRYPER's "To Hell With The Amps: The Unplugged Tour" will kick off in late May. For the first time ever, the Christian rockers will stage a full tour where they will perform their hits and fan favorites acoustically.

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