STRYPER frontman Michael Sweet was recently interviewed on the syndicated radio show "Noize In The Attic". You can now listen to the chat using the PodOmatic widget below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the wide array of reactions to each new STRYPER release:
Michael: "We wanna make the fans happy, but at the same time, we've gotta make ourselves happy. We've gotta be happy with what we just created and what we just recorded, or at the end of the day, why are we doing this? And you know what? That's the bummer in what we do. The fact that we sing about God and we're believers and we talk openly about our faith, with that comes a lot of great people, but also some nutty people. You get the conservative, fanatical Christians that come out of the woodwork and start bashing us. And it's interesting, because they're bashing us, but they're doing the very same thing that they're accusing us of, and they're sinning, because they're judging us. So it's really funny. And when you really step back and think about it, it's pretty sad, actually.
"Sadly, we see a lot of negative stuff. It never ceases to amaze me. I just put up a post on my Facebook, I think, yesterday. I put up a post about, 'Hey, here's our new song. Check it out.' And most people [were], like, 'Oh, cool. We can't wait. Blah blah blah blah.' And then there's someone coming in [and saying], 'This is horrible. It sucks. I hate it. What happened to you guys?' And they call themselves a Christian. And I step back and I think, wow, what world do we live in that makes people think they're entitled to do that?"
On the negative response to the new STRYPER song "Take It To The Cross", which features "growling" vocals from Matt Bachand (SHADOWS FALL, ACT OF DEFIANCE):
Michael: "I think that there lies the problem, initially, is when people heard it, those who didn't like it is because it's probably the furthest thing that they could have thought it was going to be. People expect those angelic vocals from STRYPER, and that's what they wanna hear and that's what they expect and they probably expected a harmony and a chorus [with] more melody or this and that, and we just wanted to do something different — a little edgier, a little darker, a little more unique. And there you have it — you have 'Take It To The Cross'. Love it or hate it, at least we're breaking the mold and we're trying different things. Now, when people hear the rest of the album, you're gonna get some of that classic STRYPER stuff, of course. The next song coming called 'Sorry' is my favorite song on the album — it's got this riff and this groove that's just killer. But it's got the nice harmony spreads in the chorus. It'll be more what people, to some degree, expect."
On the diversity of the STRYPER fanbase:
Michael: "We're a very unusual band in the sense that our fanbase is cut into two or three groups. And two of those groups are the people that like heavy and the people that don't. Now, if we released a ballad — a rock guitar ballad — we'd have a lot of people saying, 'Oh, my God. I love this. I've been waiting for you guys to release something like this.' And then we'd have a bunch of other people saying, 'This sucks. Man, where's the heavy?' So we can't really win completely either way. And then we've got the two groups of the non-Christian people and the Christian people. So we're a very odd band in that regard — in terms of our fanbase, it's very unusual."
STRYPER's new album, "God Damn Evil", will be released on April 20 via Frontiers Music Srl. The follow-up to 2015's "Fallen" marks STRYPER's first effort since the addition of former FIREHOUSE bassist Perry Richardson. Perry joined the band as the replacement for STRYPER's longtime bassist Tim Gaines, who was fired from the group last year.
Perry did not play bass on STRYPER's new album due to scheduling constraints. The bass tracks on "God Damn Evil" were laid down by John O'Boyle, who played bass on Sweet's last two solo albums.