Guitarist/vocalist Michael Sweet of Christian hard rockers STRYPER was interviewed on the latest episode of "The Shoe With Miles Schuman", the Internet radio show hosted by 14-year-old Miles "The Shoe" Schuman. Asked for his take on the settlement between singer Geoff Tate and his former bandmates in QUEENSRŸCHE over the rights to the group's name, Sweet said (hear audio below): "Oh, gosh, man. I think it worked out for the best. Even though Geoff, obviously, is well respected and people know who he is — he's got such a name and [was] such an integral part of the QUEENSRŸCHE of the past — QUEENSRŸCHE is, in my opinion, the band. The band, with [new singer] Todd [La Torre], that, to me, is QUEENSRŸCHE. It'd be like me continuing on by myself and saying that I'm STRYPER. That's not right, and that's not the way it is. So I think it worked out. The fact that they were able to work out their differences and move forward in a healthy way, I think it's awesome, and I have more respect for all of them."
He continued: "You know what? I love Todd, and I think they're an incredible band. Todd deserves to have and to get what he has, because he's such a great person and such an immense talent, and the world needs to see more of him, man, and the boys in QUEENSRŸCHE with Todd."
Regarding whether he understands why Tate would want to continue using the name QUEENSRŸCHE for his new group even though none of Geoff's former bandmates want to work with Geoff again, Sweet said: "Sure, I do. Because you can't take the fact away that… and you can't change the story that Geoff isn't a talented guy. I think he was voted one of the best singers of all time, and he loves music and loves to perform, I'm sure, and that's his passion. So you don't wannna take that away from him. But at the same time, there's integrity and there's a way to do things, and there's a wrong way to do things. But then again, I wasn't in QUEENSRŸCHE, so I don't know every little detail and I'm not the authority on all things QUEENSRŸCHE. I just know what I believe, and I know Todd personally ,and I know the guys personally. And I just have to say that I admire them as people. Eddie [Jackson], Scott [Rockenfield]… all of them… Michael [Wilton]… I mean, they're all just good guys, man, and they're such a great band, and they deserve what they're getting; they deserve to move forward with the name, I think."
Michael Sweet's new solo album, "I'm Not Your Suicide", sold around 2,900 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 154 on The Billboard 200 chart.
Sweet continues to record and tour with STRYPER, as well as touring and recording as a solo artist, all the while making frequent trips to Nashville where he is writing with some of the biggest music writers in the business.