Stryper Gets Back to Their Religious Rock Roots
Christian metal front man Michael Sweet discusses the band's new record.
BY: Stephen Russ
Stryper front man Michael Sweet has seen a lot in his days as a musician. As the lead singer of Stryper and the former singer of Boston he has toured the world, recorded multiple albums, and performed his music for millions of people. His Christian metal act Stryper took the ‘80s scene by storm with their intense rock and unabashed displays of faith on the way to multi-platinum albums and legions of fans. This past year the band decided to reclaim those original records by re-recording fan favorites with all the advantages of modern recording. We discussed this process with Michael and traveled the past thirty years of rock music with him – it was a wild ride! Pick up the new album Second Coming here!
Tell me a bit about the new record!
We got a new album coming out on the 26th in the States! It is fourteen old songs re-recorded and two brand new songs. It’s an album that we made just as a way to own and retain the rights to our music for film and TV with our publishing company. It wasn’t going to be a record that we released publically, but then we decided that since it was turning out so well that it would be fun to release it and do a couple of new songs. That’s what we decided to do. We shopped for a deal and signed with Frontier records. They’re releasing this one and two other records coming up.
I’ve heard of a lot of bands doing that with old songs.
A lot of bands are doing that for that reason, for that very purpose; to retain the rights, cut out the middle main, and regain ownership of the masters, not the songs, but the masters. I think it’s great, but you know the unfortunate side to that is you’re trying to recapture the magic of the originals. I think a lot of bands fail at that. I hope that we’re not one of those bands. I hope that we were able to capture the original energy and at least do as good a job, if not a better job than the originals. But you know, time will tell, when it comes out and the reviews start coming in, that’s gonna say it all.
Listening to it I felt like I took a time machine back to the ‘80s. From my perspective, you guys nailed it.
I think in a lot of ways we did. I’m very happy with how it turned out. I’m very pleased with how it sounds. It’s consistent and we have a lot more low end punch than the originals. There’s a certain quality, as far as quality level itself, sonically speaking, that’s really stepped up in my opinion. So I can now listen to the old music again. I couldn’t for years listen to the old stuff. It was difficult for me to. I just never liked the quality. Initially when those records came out I thought it was cool but then as time went on it got less and less cool.
What was it like revisiting those older songs as a lyricist?
Oh gosh I think that lyrics especially, more than anything have come a long way. They’re a lot deeper and we touch on some subject matter that we never touched on back in the ‘80s or the ‘90s, so I’m really pleased with where they’ve gone and where they’re going. Not just the lyrics but the music too, really happy with the sound and where we’re at.