Michael Sweet of openly Christian rockers STRYPER says that he is “more concerned with the state of our world” as he continues to work on lyrics for the band’s upcoming 14th studio album.
STRYPER‘s follow-up to 2020’s “Even The Devil Believes” LP will once again be recorded at SpiritHouse Recording Studios in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Earlier today (Sunday, January 23), the 58-year-old guitarist/vocalist, who recently underwent surgery for a re-detached retina, took to his social media to write: “I’ll be honest. I’m a little nervous about the new album. Not the music itself but more so the process.
“We’re obviously not operating at 100%,” he continued. “Oz [Fox, STRYPER guitarist] lost the hearing in his left ear and I’ve lost my vision (hopefully and prayerfully short term) in my right eye. We’ll be working this way and it’s certainly a first. How will it affect our performances? Not much. It most likely will take a little longer to get what we want but maybe not. We’ll have to see how that goes.
“I’m also at that place where I’m more concerned with the state of our world. I’m concerned about what I see on the news. Is it just me or does it feel as though we’re in a much darker place these days? Our country, our world. Maybe I’m wrong but it feels as though darkness is overtaking the light. People seem much colder and more concerned about themselves than they do others. There are some good people out there but times are definitely changing sadly.
“So, as I’ve been facedown I’ve been writing lyrics and although there are some straight up songs about love, there’s more of a take on the state of this world with lyrics that definitely address that,” Sweet added. “Maybe, just maybe this album will shed a little light into and onto some dark areas. That’s always my goal and always my desire. To help, not to hurt. To heal, not to damage. This is my intention with every song I write.
“Anyway – we appreciate your thoughts and prayers as we embark on what will be our 14th studio album and I really believe that this one has the very strong potential to be our best. I don’t say that lightly. I would never say it if I didn’t believe it.
“We officially start next Wednesday. I’m excited and I’m ready to have an incredible year.
“I hope to see you all at a STRYPER show in the very near future. It’s been way too long…….
“May God Bless you all”.
Last month, Sweet stated about the musical direction of STRYPER‘s new material: “Lots of riffs, grooves, up tempo and mid tempo and everything has a great feel to it. I’ve only sent music to the guys so they haven’t heard any melodies yet but the melodies are strong and powerful.
“It’s always a little strange talking about your own music but I can say that I’m really excited about the direction of this album! I know you will be too. We’ve tuned down to D so the tuning makes it all sound a little fatter and heavier. There are a few songs with the low E string dropped down another step (C) so those songs have a bit more meat and potato’s as well;-) There are a few ballads but they’re not your typical ‘piano’ or ‘acoustic’ ballads. They’re heavy as well and definitely guitar driven.
“Even though there have been obstacles along the way, this album really has shaped up to be an amazing piece of work,” Sweet added. “We’re a long way out but man, I can’t wait for all of you to hear this!!”
Last March, Fox underwent the first of his brain surgeries to treat one of the tumors that were found in his head more nearly four years ago. That same month, STRYPER and Frontiers Music Srl announced that they have extended their working relationship for the release of more new studio albums together.
STRYPER and Frontiers originally joined forces in 2013 for the release of “Second Coming”, an album comprised of new recordings of 14 songs from the band’s early years, as well as two brand new songs. What followed has been a string of critically and commercially successful studio albums, including “No More Hell To Pay” (2013), “Fallen” (2015), “God Damn Evil” (2018) and “Even The Devil Believes” (2020). Additionally, a live album and long-form video, “Live At The Whisky” (2014) was made available. Every one of the albums released on Frontiers in the past nine years has successfully charted on the Billboard 200 chart and topped the Hot 100, Rock, Hard Rock, Current and Christian Music album charts.
STRYPER is one of the most well-known metal bands to emerge from the fertile ’80s metal renaissance over three decades ago. The band first landed on the global scene in 1984 and and is responsible for such classic ’80s metal albums as “Soldiers Under Command”, “To Hell With The Devil” and “In God We Trust” and hit singles/videos such as “Calling On You”, “Free” and “Honestly”. To date, the band has sold upwards of eight million records worldwide and is a Dove Award winner and Grammy nominee. STRYPER was also the first band to have two songs in MTV‘s “Top 10 Video Countdown” simultaneously.
After being on a hiatus for much of the ’90s, STRYPER returned stronger than ever in the early 21st century. Musically, the band has progressed and grown their fan base steadily and continuously, being one of the few “classic” metal bands of the ’80s that managed to keep themselves front and center thanks to the consistency of their musical output.
Michael is joined in STRYPER by his brother Robert Sweet (drums), Oz Fox (guitars) and Perry Richardson (bass).