Interviewing Michael Sweet from Stryper! 1
Geoff Snowden from The Drive Home caught up with Michael Sweet from STRYPER as they prepare their first Australian tour since 2010! Michael shares about some of the challenges of being a crossover Christian metal artist and why this multi-platinum band has stayed the course sharing their message of hope in Jesus.

Geoff: So today I’m joined by Michael Sweet the lead singer of a band called Stryper. Now, Michael from someone who was influenced heavily by your music as one of the first Christian 

rock bands that I listened to, I just want to say a massive thank you from all the kids that were like me who were influenced so early your music. You know I can’t shred anywhere near like you guys, but you’re probably instrumental in my seeking out Christian music, learning to play guitar and I think you guys have had probably a bigger influence than you might get credit for.

Michael: Well, you know we’re thrilled to have had a part in your life like that, that’s really amazing and you know,  we’ve always been about inspiring people man, and putting them on the right path. That’s really the most important part about what we do. You know we love music and we’re a musicians at heart and always have been, but to help people and to see that on a daily basis is just amazing.

Geoff: So Stryper’s had to walk a pretty challenging path often being rejected by mainstream Christianity and also in the Secular industry too, but what is it that kept you going?

Oh yeah man, that’s the key right there, is putting our trust in God and not man, cause man is always gonna fail you and always gonna let you down. …We just try to focus on what our calling is, stay on the path we’re on and keep doing what we’re here to do…

Michael: Oh yeah man, that’s the key right there, is putting our trust in God and not man, cause man is always gonna fail you and always gonna let you down.  And we have been failed by groups and people and churches and that’s just the key – we don’t put our trust in that, or them… we love ’em, we befriend them, but we don’t put our trust in them ’cause they’re gonna fail you, they’re gonna let you down, but we just try to focus on what our calling is, stay on the path we’re on and keep doing what we’re here to do and that’s really the key to our longevity and the reason why we’ve been able to do this for so long.

Geoff: That’s great. Now, what can fans expect in this next tour with the album  God damn, evil. Is it gonna be some of the classics, some of the fans favourites is it  going to be focused more on the new album or more a bit of a mixture of all.

Michael: It’s gonna be a mixture. It gets real tricky when you’re trying to put together a setlist that contains a catalogue of 12 or 13 albums and to keep it under a certain time frame… …it may be a little longer for everyone in Australia and that can be anywhere from 17 or 18 songs, upwards of 22 songs. So we’ve got a lot of the old classics in there, we’ve got a lot of the new material in there as well.

Geoff: That’s great, because I think “Fallen” was one of my favourite albums and so I’m looking forward to hearing some of the old and some of new as well. Can I just ask one more question to wrap up? You mentioned before about longevity, but what  do you think overall has contributed to you guys still being out there on the road and still writing music and still being successful in a tough genre?

Michael: Well, I think it’s because we still can, we’re still relatively healthy, and we were alive and breathing, and still love music. So that’s a big, big reason why. Another reason why would be the fact that we still love what we do, we still get excited about it and because of that it motivates us to wanna go out and do it. We get the itch to go out and tour. If we take six months off, it’s like we’ll call each other and say ’Hey – you guys ready to go tour?’. You know, we still wanna do it.

Some people don’t. Some people just have no desire at all to tour anymore, or no desire to even make music anymore. I’ve heard bands that I look up to say it’s not worth it anymore. We just don’t wanna make records anymore because of this or that and I just think, Gosh, that’s really sad because that’s why we got into this in the first place, was to create music and to go out and perform music. So it’s really sad when you lose that desire, and we haven’t lost that desire. So I think that’s why we’re still thriving and we’re still going out and doing it with a smile on our faces.

Geoff: Just thank you for being out there and being willing to do what you love doing, but also being prepared to touch lives of all ages through your music and being a witness for God through all you do, so yeah, again, just a big thank you for your time today and a big thank you for all you guys have done.

Michael: Thank you buddy… …I appreciate it, I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me and we look forward to hopefully meeting you when we come to Australia.

To listen to the whole interview with Michael Sweet, click here. To book tickets to their upcoming tour click here.