Interview Done By Michael Wilkerson
MW: Please introduce yourself?
MS: My name is Michael Sweet – singer/guitarist/songwriter/producer for the band Stryper.
MW: Congrats on the new Stryper release No More Hell To Pay. What have you thought of the response?
MS: I’m very humbled and very thankful for the amazing response that NMHTP has received. It shows me that God is at work and that there is still much more to come.
MW: 30 + years ago would you had thought Stryper would have been as big as you are today?
MS: I would not have. I always knew it was something special and unique but I never imagined it would carry on 30+ years later to the degree that it has. Simply put, amazing!
MW: How did Stryper come together 30 + years ago?
MS: We all decided collectively to be a light in the dark. We lived the sex, drugs and rock & roll lifestyle for years and it led to nowhere. We dedicated the band to God in 1983 and never looked back.
MW: Tell me about writing your first Stryper song?
MS: I was roughly 16 years old and I had no idea at the time that it would go on to become a Stryper song. It was Loud N’ Clear.
MW: Tell me about your first show ever with Stryper?
MS: Our first show was at a local club in Orange County. It was packed and an eye opening experience that something powerful was at work. It changed our lives.
MW: How did the Yellow and Black concept come about?
MS: We had the Y&B before we were Stryper. Robert started painting his drums Y&B and one thing led to another and eventually, everything was Y&B.
MW: What has been your favorite Stryper release to make?
MS: I would have to say it’s a toss up between Soldiers Under Command and the most recent, No More Hell To Pay.
MW: Let’s talk about you now. What made you do your first solo effort Unstryped?
MS: I had left the band and I started writing and recoding demos. Unstryped is a compilation of some of the demos I recorded back in 1992-1993 after leaving the band.
MW: Now with the I’m Not Your Suicide coming out on May 6th., 2014 what made you do a new solo release with such a successful new Stryper release still on the move?
MS: I recorded and turned in the solo album two years ago, long before the Stryper album was even in the works. Rather than sit on the solo album for another year, there was a window of time to release it this year.
MW: Tell me about the first single release I’m Not Your Suicide? Will there be a video for the single?
MS: There is. It can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVBgW7k_a78
MW: What is Childhelp and how can fans help you to raise money for the cause?
MS: Childhelp is an organization that fights for the rights of abused children. I’m proud to be a part of what they do and I hope that in some small way I can help.
MW: I have to say you out did yourself with How To Live it is amazing. Do you think it will ever be a single?
MS: Thank you! I wrote that song for my wife Lisa and sang it at our wedding. It means a lot to both of us and it’s got that classic power ballad feel to it. I look forward to people hearing it!
MW: How has the fan response been to I’m Not Your Suicide coming out on May 6th.?
MS: So far it’s been amazing! I’m really thankful for everyones support.
MW: What is the game plan for Styper and your new solo release?
MS: Book and solo album come out 5/6, Stryper tour commences in April and goes throughout 2014, new Stryper live album is released later in the year and a new album with George Lynch, Brian Tichy, Jams Lomenzo and myself is released later in the year as well.
MW: Ok last thing tell me about your first Autobiography Honestly?
MS: I can’t wait for the world to see/read this! It’s been a long time coming and I poured my heart and soul into it. It’s my life story and it may surprise quite a few people.
MW: It will be released on May 6th. as well. Is it and I’m Not Your Suicide suppose to go together in any way?
MS: Yes, they will both be released 5/6! I’m counting the days:-)
MW: Michael congratulations on such a amazing carrier in music. I hope you have many more to come. As a young man learning about hard rock in the 80’s I remember going to the Christian bookstore in town and picking up Yellow & Black Attack and think this is what I want to be when I grow up. Now I am 42 and I still love your music to this day and myself have done so much in music. For that thank you so very much for being there for me by writing songs that helped me get through some tough times.
MS: Thank you and it’s been an honor. I look forward to many more years of music to come……
MW: What would you like to say in closing to your fans?
MS: I love you all and I would not be here without you. You have my respect, love and gratitude….. God Bless you all.