STRYPER vocalist Michael Sweet recently spoke with MA Entertainment Global. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts below (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the band's current "2019 History Tour - Greatest Hits & Covers" tour:
Michael: "We're doing a little different set. We threw in some more covers. We wanted to show people a little bit more of where we come from and remind them of some of those great songs [that] changed our lives and helped shape our history. We've probably got about nine covers in the set, and then we've got, like, 11 or 12 STRYPER songs. It's a really good, lengthy, meat-and-potatoes set that's going to rock people. We're going to go out and have a blast."
On enjoying playing lengthy headline sets:
Michael: "We don't want to bore people, but we definitely want to give them their money's worth. If we could, we'd play for three or four hours. The only reason why we don't or we can't is a lot of times, it's such a tight schedule — there's two or three opening bands; there's a curfew; and it's next to impossible to do that. But if we had the choice, we would."
On selecting which covers to play:
Michael: "Some of them are songs that we put out on an album called 'The Covering'. Some of them are songs that we haven't played live before. We're also doing a FIREHOUSE song, which is a given because we've got the [former] bass player from FIREHOUSE, Perry Richardson. It's going to be a really fun set. It's all about going out there and having a good time, and hopefully people will feel that and have a good time in return."
On his new solo album, which will be released in September:
Michael: "We finished mixing not long ago, and it just got finished being mastered, and it got turned in to the label. It's really a great album. I'm excited about it. It's called 'Ten', and it just so happens to be my tenth solo album. There's a title track called 'Ten' that's based on the Ten Commandments. That's the song that has Rich Ward from FOZZY playing the solo on [it]. I've got a lot of different guests — I've got a different player on every song, guys like Jeff Loomis and Andy James and Gus G. and Joel Hoekstra... I wanted to really make it different and bring in some different elements and have some different flavors, and having these different guests really did that and helped accomplish that."
On the next STRYPER album:
Michael: "I'm going to start writing for a new STRYPER album in October and into November. Then I'm going to take the holidays off, and in January, the guys are going to come out to my house at the studio, and we're going to rehearse and do pre-production. We start recording late January/early February."
On his source of motivation:
Michael: "My motto in life is, 'Do it while you can.' That day is going to come when I can't do it for whatever reason, whether it's a health reason or a financial reason or some other unknown reason, and I don't want to be one of those people that looks back on my life and thinks, 'Gosh, I should have done it while I could have.' I want to do as much as I can while I can, and because of that mentality, I kind of drive everybody crazy, because I'm the Energizer bunny. I don't stop going. It's just a constant, 'Boom — let's do it.'"
Formed 36 years ago, STRYPER is the first overtly Christian metal band to go mainstream. The group'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".
The follow-up to 2015's "Fallen", "God Damn Evil" marked STRYPER's first effort since the addition of Richardson. Perry joined the band as the replacement for STRYPER's longtime bassist Tim Gaines, who was fired from the group in 2017.