Stryper: Interview with Michael Sweet about «The Final Battle»

It’s always an honor and a pleasure to speak with Michael Sweet from Stryper… The band’s frontman tells us how «The Final Battle» is working, their last concerts and their next plans… This is what it tells us

David Aresté

M.S: Hello, it’s a pleasure to have you here again, happy new year! how are you?

I am very well. I’ve been very busy and took a few days off for the holidays but Dover right back into a new project. I’m completing vocals for that project right now. I’m very happy doing what I love to do.

M.S: A few months ago you released “The Final Battle”, your 14th studio album, what does it mean for someone like you to go back to the studio to record new material?

Well, I’m always recording and doing multiple projects every year. So to me it’s such a part of my life almost like brushing my teeth or eating food. I live for and do daily and absolutely love to do. Going into the studio each time is a unique experience in fresh and exciting. And this was no different.

M.S: What is that final battle?

With the imagery and artwork we were referring to the battle of Armageddon which is spoken of in the book of revelation. Some people have thought that it might be our final album but that is not what we were referring to. Although it could very well be in the sense that we’re getting older and tomorrow is never promised. But that is not what we meant. It is referring to the battle of Armageddon.

M.S: The cover is incredible again, like all the ones you edit… who did it?

The cover was done once again by the Incredibles Stan Decker. Review stand for Mini album covers over the past 10 years and he knocks it out of the park every time. We usually submit ideas and what we’re looking for and then he sends us the artwork and we are always blown away. Stan is truly the best.

M.S: Next year it will be 20 years since your return in 2003, and 40 since your first steps as a band… Will you celebrate it in some way? Will those vinyl reissues that we ask you about in each interview come out?hehe…

We have many plans for releasing re-issues as we are obtaining the rights to our catalog slowly but surely. We will also be touring a lot and celebrating the 40 year mark of the band. And then obviously 10 years will go by very quickly and before we know it we will be celebrating the 50 year mark of the band, Lord willing. We are very blessed and very happy with the fact that we’ve been around for so long and it really is miraculous. 

M.S: Maybe you can face a world tour… I think it’s been 11 years since you came to Spain….

Much too long for us to not perform in Spain. It’s very difficult to tour overseas right now. Especially in Europe. The last time we did a European tour was in 2010. So here we are on 13 years already. It’s very sad because we have a lot of incredible European fans and we need to get back in perform. We are working hard on that and we will make that happen.

Stryper + Stormzone – 16 de Junio'11 – Sala Joy Slava (Madrid) Stryper + Stormzone – 16 de Junio'11 – Sala Joy Slava (Madrid)Stryper + Stormzone – 16 de Junio'11 – Sala Joy Slava (Madrid) Stryper + Stormzone – 16 de Junio'11 – Sala Joy Slava (Madrid)
M.S: You have done concerts in America and South America… how have the new songs worked live?

So far the people seem to love the new material. Sometimes the new material goes over as good if not better than the old material. Songs like Yahweh in the valley really translate well live and people love those socks. It’s so great and gratifying to see and to hear. We work so hard on new music and we want it to be as good as the old music. Hopefully we are accomplishing that.

M.S: You were at various festivals in Mexico, what feedback did you receive from the audience?

Amazing feedback. We have so many great fans in Mexico and it was only the second time we’ve ever been to Mexico. Many of the bands that we were performing with our polar opposite of what Stryper is all about and Wood Stryper stands for. But yet we have the same Fan said just come to hear a great music. So it is incredible to see in to experience.

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M.S: Thank you for your time… we have finished with our questions, if you want to say something else now is your turn… God bless you and good luck with the new album and with the concerts you can do….

I can’t thank you enough for all the support if you wanted to speak to me. We love our fans worldwide into anyone reading or watching or listening, I love you and may God bless you. I look forward to seeing you very soon on the road.