In a brand new interview with The Aquarian Weekly, guitarist/vocalist Michael Sweet of Christian hard rockers STRYPER was asked if he thinks his and fellow STRYPER guitarist Oz Fox's characteristic harmonic double leads were influential to a lot of today's metal bands playing those types of guitars in their songs. "Certain times, yeah, I do," he replied. "Sometimes I have to do a head spin and say to myself, 'Gosh, did Oz and I track that?' I hear it on occasion in the AVENGED SEVENFOLD stuff. I hear the tone, I hear the phrasing and I think, 'Okay, that guy had to listen to some STRYPER albums growing up.' Which is really awesome! I don't really know because I've never met them. It's funny, though; all the time I meet people and run into people I've never met before who share with me… For instance, I ran into Clint Lowery from SEVENDUST. We were on a plane together and he told me that he cut his teeth on and grew up listening and playing to some of the old STRYPER albums like 'Soldiers Under Command' and whatnot. It's really cool to hear those kinds of things. It's very awesome."
Michael also spoke about the fact STRYPER drummer — and Michael's brother — Robert Sweet usually has his kit set up sideways. Asked if Robert is more comfortable playing it that way, Michael said: "I think so. There's a debate as to who started doing that. I know the drummer for NIGHT RANGER does it and he started doing it way back in the day. Rob started doing it way back in the day. I don't know exactly when. It might have been right when we started performing as STRYPER in '83 or '84. I don’t know who did it first, but Rob has always done that. I think it may be one of those things to be different and it's more comfortable for him. I don't really know why, but fans seem to like it. He still does it. Every now and then he'll turn around and face forward just to throw people off."
He continued: "Rob's got his own style and I think it's influenced a lot of other drummers. I think it even influenced — some people will laugh and call me a putz for saying this — but I think he's even influenced Tommy Lee to a degree. We were playing for years before MÖTLEY CRÜE was around as ROXX REGIME, and Rob was doing the arm behind the head and the heavy hand hitting the cymbals and the high hats and that style, which is comparable to the old Tommy Lee kind of thing, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear that. Tommy Lee would probably want to hunt me down and kick my butt for saying that, but…"
STRYPER's most recent studio album, "No More Hell To Pay", sold around 9,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 35 on The Billboard 200 chart.
STRYPER's latest release is a live CD/DVD combination called "Live At The Whisky".