Interview: Michael Sweet discusses Stryper’s new tour and recent performance

With a trend that began five years ago with No More Hell To Pay, Stryper’s tenth studio album, God Damn Evil, is perhaps the band’s heaviest to date. The title track alone is destined to become another anthemic Stryper classic. Other songs like “Lost” and “Take It To the Cross” offer similar status. Showcasing vocalist/guitarist Michael Sweet’s soaring vocals, with the latter song tastefully bordering on the verge of thrash metal.

With a double-entendre title hearkening back to the band’s monster To Hell With The Devil album from 1986, the new release was once again met with concern by fans and retail outlets. Walmart even refused to even carry God Damn Evil in its stores entirely, but ironically still has it available online. Regardless, the band’s formula for writing catchy, hook-laden songs with positive messages and a signature sound remains alive and well.

Stryper, which consists of Michael Sweet, Oz Fox (guitars/vocals), Robert Sweet (drums) and Perry Richardson (bass/vocals), recently kicked off the U.S. leg of the band’s God Damn Evil Tour at the M3 Festival in Maryland. AXS spoke with Michael Sweet about the new tour, which includes an upcoming acoustic performance with Sweet and Fox at The Sellersville Theater in Sellersville, PA in this new interview.

AXS: Stryper recently kicked off the U.S. dates of the God Damn Evil Tour at the M3 Festival. What is it about M3 and these multi-band shows that makes them so special?

Michael Sweet: I think it’s because it brings everyone together; not only the bands but the fans as well. It’s an opportunity for us all to reminisce, enjoy the music and have a great time. For me, the best times musically came during the seventies and eighties. I’m sure there are people who might argue, but for me, those were the best and most fun times. The thing that also made that particular show so great was that it gave us the chance to show how talented our new bassist, Perry, is and what a perfect fit he is for us. He’s been such a Godsend to the band.

AXS: How has the reaction been to the new Stryper album, God Damn Evil?

MS: It’s been great. A lot of people had said that the album would bury us, or that our careers were over. So, it’s been interesting to see that the charts, reaction and reviews are all contrary to that. We gained a lot of new fans on this album. We did what we needed to do and felt right doing it. We stand behind and love the album, and really think it’s our best album ever.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Michael Sweet by Clicking Here!

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