MICHAEL SWEET INTERVIEW
Michael Sweet fronted one of the most trailblazing groups of the MTV generation, has written Billboard charting singles, filled arenas all over the world and has thriving solo career, got the band back together for yet another record-breaking run and even took a stint co-leading one of the most legendary classic rock acts ever. Michael Sweet has sold over eight million albums in STRYPER or singing and guitar slinging for Boston.
We got to speak to Michael Sweet about his up-coming tour, his new album "Ten" and more.
TM - This is Amelia from Twinmusix, Thank You for taking this call with me today.
MS - Hi, This is Michael Sweet. How are you?
TM - I am good Thank You, How are you?
MS - I am good. I am here in Massachusetts with the sun setting. Did the sun just come up for you?
TM - It is 10 am now, so it's been up for a while. It is nice today, 23°c and sunny.
MS - I think it's about the same temperature here, It is 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
TM - I just googled it, it is about 73 degrees Fahrenheit.
MS - So we are a bit warmer than you.
TM - Yes, I love warm weather.
TM - What can fans expect from your Australian tour?
MS - I have never done an acoustic set on my own there, so it is a first for me in Australia and I am really excited. It will show you how the songs originated. A lot of people don't know that the songs originated on an acoustic guitar. I will work out a songs on an acoustic and pick up an electric guitar a few hours later and work out how to play it on an electric guitar.
TM - That is cool.
MS - It is really awesome to see them in their original state instead of with a big production with Harmony. When you strip them down it sounds very cool.
TM - I cannot wait to see the acoustic versions. I saw you here with Stryper as well and you were Awesome.
MS - Thank You, we came there as a trio missing Oz but we gave our all and played our best. All in all I think those shows are very special and the turn out was great and the shows are amazing.
TM - You guys were amazing, we cannot wait to have you back to see your acoustic set.
TM - Are you staying for KISS? I am pretty sure they are down here the same dates that you are here.
MS - I don't think so, I think they would have just three shows on the road and then flying back to the States. Maybe I can talk to them and see if I can stay. We did play with KISS a year ago at Festival, it was Stryper, Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne, Megadeth and many more. Maybe we could do something in Australian with a line up like that sometime.
TM - We have Download Australia now, hopefully we will see you on the bill sometime.
MS - That would be nice.
TM - Or maybe Hellfest.
MS - That would be an interesting combination, Stryper on Hellfest. That would be very cool and we would do it of course. There was a lot of talk in the 80's about a heaven and hell tour with Stryper and Motley Crue, Stryper and W.A.S.P or Stryper and King Diamond but it never happened. It would have been a great tour.
TM - That would have been a sweet tour. What can fans expect from your new album?
MS - The new album is called ten and it's the perfect follow up album to one-sided war so it's very similar in style but it takes it up a few notches.
TM - You have a new song called "Ten" on your new album, and it is based on the Ten Commandments. What inspired that song?
MS - This album is my tenth album and the title track is Ten. It is right from the Bible, the Ten Commandments are placed in the song. I have Rich from Fozzy playing a solo on that song and it is a really cool track, I cannot wait for people to hear it.
TM - You have had a lot of amazing artists play on the new album, Jeff Loomis played on it.
MS - He did, Jeff is on a song called "Better Part Of Me", that is actually the song that we are going to release in the next few weeks. Oddly enough I have a lot of guitar players picked out for the album. Jeff reached out to me on Instagram and said check out your DM and I did. He said I'm a big fan of Stryper, I would love to play on your album and he did.
TM - That is cool that he played with you. Did he influence your writing?
MS - He didn't, I wrote all the songs with all the guitar players in mind so the song Jeff played became tailored for Jeff. Every song has a unique stamp but it all flows together perfectly.
TM - What was it like working with so many different artists on one album?
MS - I recorded all the songs here in Massachusetts and then I sent something out to each guitar player that was playing on it and they recorded this solo Parts at their studio. Then I got everything together, that was the tricky part, I was biting nails and it was a bit stressful. I had a mixing time booked but I was waiting on some solos as a lot of the bands were out on tour so it was very stressful trying to get everything together. It is not an easy thing to do but somehow miraculously it worked out and I am very thankful for that.
TM - You have a ballad on your new album, can expect you to play it on the Australian tour?
MS - I should be adding that to this set, it's called "Let It Be Love". I just have to figure out what translates well to acoustic guitar.
TM - Will you be playing any Stryper songs?
MS - Yes, I will be playing some Stryper songs so I will be playing some of the classics on some things that people might not expect to hear.
TM - Can you give us any hints?
MS - I asked people what they want to do hear on facebook and they were throwing out suggestions. I will be playing some of those, the tricky thing is trying to fit everything into the set.
TM - Do you have any plans to tour with any of the artists on your new album?
MS - I would like to put together a band and go out on dates with some of these artists, that would be phenomenal. It is easier said than done because I tour a lot with Stryper.
TM - You are also going to be doing a tour of the greatest hits and covers that influenced Our Generation, can you tell us more about that?
MS - We have been doing quite a few shows this year and we sprinkled in some covers into day setlist. We have been Covering songs that have influenced us, songs like Crazy Train, Panama, Heaven and Hell and Shout It Out Loud. It is a cool set to play.
TM - If you could have anyone play one of your songs, which band would it be, which song would it be and would it be in your style or their Style?
MS - Judas Priest playing soldiers under command because it has a Judas Priest undertone to it
TM - That would be sweet, I would love to hear it!. Judas Priest is one of my favourite bands.
TM - Is there anything else you want to say to your fans?
MS - I want to Thank all the fans that are allowing me the opportunity to come to Australia. It is nice to have fans that are willing to come out and support it, without them we wouldn't be able to come. It is quite humbling to come and play a full acoustic show in Australia.
TM - Thank You for coming to play in Australia. We love it when you play here and I cannot wait to see you in Sydney.
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