Michael Sweet says that STRYPER "deserves a place" in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame "just as much as any other band."
Even though STRYPER's third album, 1986's "To Hell With The Devil", made Sweet and his bandmates the first contemporary Christian act to score a platinum album, the group was never fully embraced by the heavy metal and hard rock communities, largely because of the band's Christian lyrics. They were mocked by the mainstream media, knocked by the religious press, and even picketed by church groups.
Asked by Jeff Gaudiosi of MisplacedStraws.com if he thinks STRYPER has a place in the Rock Hall, Sweet responded (hear audio below): "Yeah, I think STRYPER deserves a place in there at some point in time just as much as any other band, as much as BON JOVI.
"See, I don't view the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame based on numbers," he explained. "That's not what, in my opinion, should get you into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. What should get you into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is longevity and legacy and quality. It has nothing to do with, 'Oh, yeah, they sold 50 million albums instead of 10, or they packed out arenas to a hundred thousand people instead of 10.' That's got nothing to do with it. At least that's my opinion.
"Do we deserve to be in there? No," he clarified. "Because we're no more special than any other band. But at the same time, flipping that coin, if this band makes it in, then STRYPER should make it in. You know what I'm saying? We've done just as much and put in just as much time and gone through the school of hard knocks just as long as any other band."
Formed 36 years ago, STRYPER's name comes from Isaiah 53:5, which states: "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."
STRYPER's albums include "To Hell With The Devil", "Second Coming", "No More Hell To Pay", "Fallen" and the band's latest effort, "God Damn Evil".
Sweet's tenth solo album, "Ten", will be released on October 11 via Rat Pak Records in North America and Frontiers Music Srl in Europe.