Chris Axe recently conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Michael Sweet of Christian hard rockers Stryper. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Chris Axe: You guys have a new DVD coming out in October that was filmed in Indonesia, What made you guys want to film that location and what can fans expect from the DVD?
Michael Sweet: Yes, we do — October 23 to be exact. The Java Rockin’Land festival is huge. I’ve known about it for years, but for whatever reason, we never had the opportunity to perform at it. We also had never played Indonesia, so it was nice to be there for the first time. We just felt it would be an exciting show to capture on film. We spoke with the promoters, and all the parties involved, and eventually came to an agreement to film and release it. We’re excited about it. That show was a good show. You know how some shows you feel like it’s “on” and other shows not so much? Well, this show felt “on,” so I’m happy to have it archived in DVD history by being released to the public.
Chris Axe: With everything Stryper is doing, you’ve also been working on a solo album which has some great appearances by Chris Jericho [Fozzy], Kenny Aronoff [Chickenfoot], Doug Aldrich [Whitesnake] and Tony Harnell [TNT]. How has the experience of recording this album been and what makes it different than previous albums?
Michael Sweet: Yes, I’m really excited about my upcoming solo album. In addition to the names you mentioned, Kevin Max [formerly DC Talk, and now with Audio Adrenaline] is also on it. I’m excited about the diversity on this album. I do a cover of Neil Young‘s “Heart Of Gold”, which has always been a favorite song of mine. I also have a song called“How To Live” that I wrote for my wife, Lisa, and sang it at our wedding. But on the same album, I have some rockers. I’m very happy with a song that I wrote with Blair Daly called “I’m Not Your Suicide”. Blair has had songs recorded by everyone from Skynyrd to Tim McGraw to Keith Urban. He also co-wrote Uncle Kracker‘s hit “Smile”. I just really had a lot of fun making this record and it was nice to get some friends involved with it. All these guys, Doug, Kevin, Kenny, Chris, and Tony…. I’ve had a great relationship with all of them over the years. I feel like I should call this album “Michael Sweet And Friends”, because these guys that appear with me on the album really are friends.
Chris Axe: You’ve also been working on an autobiography. How is that coming along and do you find it theraputic to look back on everything you’ve accomplished?
Michael Sweet: It’s coming along nicely, but slowly. It’s therapeutic but it’s also eye-opening to realize how fast time flies by. It seems like just yesterday that we were kids on the Sunset Strip. Life is short. I know a lot of people say that, but it’s true — you really do have to live each day to the fullest because the next thing you know you’ll wake up and 30 years have gone by. But I’m excited about the book. It’s tentatively called “Honestly”, which, of course, was the name of one of our bigger hits, but it’s also because the book is a very honest account of my life, the good and the bad. The idea is to release both the album and the book at the same time. But since I record albums faster than me and my team can write a book, we have completed the album but the book is still being worked on daily. I say it’s coming along slowly, but then again I have nothing to compare it to. I’ve never done a book before. It’s coming along slowly in comparison to how long it takes to make an album, but I feel like we’re making good progress daily on the book. We’re pushing hard to get it completed as quickly as possible. I think people are going to enjoy reading it, even if they are not Stryper fans. It chronicles my entire life from the beginning days on the Sunset Strip, through our entire early-years career, me eventually leaving Stryper, my years as a solo artist, playing in Boston, losing my wife to cancer, reuniting with Stryper, and getting married again. It’s all in there.
Read the entire interview from Chris Axe.
Earlier this year Michael announced tour dates in the Holy Land January 13 – 22, 2013. The tour package consists of a tour of Tel Aviv, Israel along with meet and greet opportunities with Sweet.
Cost for the package is 3,395 with registration costing $300. To pay by credit card, call Ari Bauer at 1-877-999-8868 ext. 415. To pay by check or money order, print and mail the registration form found here. The entire tour itinerary can also be found at the link.
Michael Sweet will perform with his faith-based “storytellers” solo acoustic show in churches around the world this year. The performances are a combination of Stryper classics, new solo material, and notable praise and worship songs. If you are interested in Michael Sweet performing at your church, please have your church leaders contact Dave Rose at Dave [at] DeepSouthEntertainment.com. View the promotional video below.
Stryper Tour Dates
09/22/12 Dimapur, India Dimapur District Sports Council Stadium
10/06/12 San Juan, Puerto Rico Roberto Clemente Coliseum w/ Bret Michaels and Tesla NEW!
11/16/12 Caracas, Venezuela Poliedro de Caracas
11/17/12 Barqusimeto, Lara Venezuela Complejo Ferial Bicentenario
‘Stryper’ To Play ‘India’ [More New Confirmed Tour Dates] [March 2012]
‘Michael Sweet’ [Stryper] To Tour Israel Jan. 2013 [March 2012]
New Video Interview With ‘Michael Sweet’ [March 2012]
Online Guitar Lessons By ‘Stryper’s’ ‘Oz Fox’ [March 2012]
‘Stryper’ – ‘Live In Indonesia At Java Rockin’ Land’ DVD Due In October [August 2012]
‘Tony Harnell’ & ‘Michael Sweet’ To Join Forces For ‘Monsters Of Rock Cruise’ Performance [August 2012]