Michael Sweet of Christian hard rockers STRYPER will release his new solo album, "I'm Not Your Suicide", on May 6. The 12-song record will be accompanied by the STRYPER frontman's autobiography, "Honestly".
Says Sweet of "I'm Not Your Suicide": "It's an opportunity for me to express myself in new ways, and experiment a little more musically.
"As a writer, I respect all styles of music and although hard rock/metal is where I lay my head, it's cool to be able try different things and reach outside the box.
"STRYPER has a particular style and sound and it's important that we don't venture too far away from that.
"My new solo album has some heavy music on it and at the same time, it also has a little more diversity and different instruments going on which makes it very interesting. I used steel guitar on a few tracks, 12 string guitar here and there, mellotron, live cellos, B3, and all kinds of instruments that you don't or most likely here on a STRYPER album.
"It's exciting for me to be able to go into a studio and have the freedom to incorporate new sounds, techniques and instruments. I also brought in quite a few guest singers and musicians to add to the overall sound of the album. Kevin Max, Electra Mustaine, Tony Harnell, Chris Jericho, Doug Aldrich, Kenny Aronoff, Paul McNamara, Charles Foley, John O'Boyle and Pete Adams all helped to make this album the best solo album to date and a record that I'm most proud of. I look forward to all of you hearing it and I want to thank you all for being friends and fans, solo or not."
A one-and-ahalf-minute audio sample of the song "This Time", which showcases Kevin Max's "amazing" voice and Sweet's THE BEATLES and ELO influence, according to Michael, can be streamed using the audio player below.
"I'm Not Your Suicide" will include the song "The Cause", which Sweet made available for streaming this past September on the twelfth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
Regarding his autobiography, Sweet previously stated: "[The writing process was] much more difficult than I could ever imagine yet it's been somewhat therapeutic being able to talk about my life and the past 30+ years of all things STRYPER." He added: "I get into everything and share things that may surprise you. I talk about the dysfunction in this band, the pain and heartache of being so close to each other that we sometimes hurt each other the most, the ups and downs from our highest point (1987-1988) to our lowest point (1991-1992) and why we were driven to bankruptcy and how we climbed our way back from complete loss and despair. I share my personal pain from considering to give up music altogether to the day I broke the news to the guys that I would be leaving the band and why. From that day forward, I had everything a man could ask for and then, in what seemed like an instant, it was all taken away."
"This Time" audio sample: