STRYPER's MICHAEL SWEET Praises JUDAS PRIEST For 'Having The Courage' To Write A Song About Jesus: 'That Takes Guts'

February 2, 2024

Michael Sweet of Christian hard rockers STRYPER has praised JUDAS PRIEST for having the "courage" to "write a song about Jesus".

Earlier today (Friday, February 2),the 60-year-old Sweet, who was born in California but resides in Massachusetts, shared the cover art for PRIEST's new single, "Crown Of Horns", and he wrote in an accompanying message: "This is why @judaspriest is my favorite metal band of all time. Consistency. Talent. Songs. And, they have the courage to write a song about Jesus. That takes guts.

"I'm very proud to be a fan.

"A PRIEST & STRYPER Tour would be ridiculous! Just sayin'….."

Back in 2014, Halford, who has been clean and sober since January of 1986, credited his belief in a higher power for helping him in his recovery.

"I'm a different guy to when I was 20," Halford said during an appearance on HATEBREED frontman Jamey Jasta's podcast "The Jasta Show". "I've been able to look at the world and see the world and find out what really is the most important and valuable thing, to me, as I live from day to day."

He continued: "When I got clean and sober, that was a major change in my life. And part of my recovery is just having this higher-power belief. And it works. It works, man. It really, really is important."

Halford added: "There probably will be people listening to [this] podcast who don't have anything like that in their life, and that's great; it's all about acceptance. But I always say to people, if you're thinking about it, the simplest thing I do is I pray. I pray quite a bit, actually. And even if you don't believe in prayer, just have a go. Pray for a good day, or just pray for your friend, or whatever it might be. And it's amazing, man, 'cause it absolutely works. I guarantee, it genuinely does work. And now I'm sounding like [American evangelical Christian evangelist] Billy Graham, but I'm just trying to express some of the things that are important to me on a day-to-day basis that make me able to walk out on that stage each night and do my work."

A few years ago, Sweet told Metal Edge magazine that Halford was his "favorite metal vocalist of all time, as he is I'm sure most people who like metal. He's the biggest influence on me," he explained. "I mean, Rob Halford really changed me as a vocalist. I didn't use to scream, I didn't use to hit high notes until I heard Rob. And the first song I heard was [JUDAS PRIEST's cover of the Joan Baez folk song] 'Diamonds And Rust' from [1979 PRIEST live album] 'Unleashed In The East' on the radio. My sister was taking me to school and dropped me off and I heard that and I'm, like, 'What in the world is this?' After school, I went out and found the album bought it, listened to it. And it changed me as a vocalist. I started practicing high notes. I developed my upper register on my own. I didn't go to a vocal coach for that. And I used to do techniques and try different things and I eventually built up and developed my lung capacity. And that was based on Halford, and I have him to thank for that. Eventually, I took a few vocal lessons, but for the most part Rob Halford really shaped me as a singer. And I don't know if he would want to hear that or not, although Rob's always been gracious to us."

STRYPER derives its name from the Biblical passage Isaiah 53:5, which equates the torment of Christ with salvation: "With his stripes we are healed." The cover of the band's 1986 album "To Hell With The Devil" depicts muscle-bound angels casting Satan down into a chasm of fire.

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