I got to sit down with Michael Sweet. You know, the lead singer of Stryper, part of the duo Sweet & Lynch, and solo artist Michael Sweet. Yea, that guy. For those who may not be familiar with Michael, here is a quick intro. He has released 8 solo albums. Was the lead singer for the rock band Boston for four years. And is a founding member of the band Stryper, along with his brother Robert and friend Oz Fox. Stryper has sold more than 10 million albums and was a pioneer in Christian metal when it was getting started in the 1980s.
Michael Sweet is listed in the credits for the following albums:
|1984||Stryper||Yellow & Black Attack||Songwriter, Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Lead Vocals|
|1985||Stryper||Soldiers Under Command||Songwriter, Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Lead and Background Vocals|
|1986||Stryper||To Hell With the Devil||Producer, Arranger, Songwriter, Lead and Acoustic Guitars, Lead and Background Vocals|
|1986||Stryper||Yellow & Black Attack (reissue)||Songwriter, Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Lead Vocals|
|1988||Stryper||In God We Trust||Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Lead and Background Vocals|
|1990||Stryper||Against the Law||Guitar, Lead and Background Vocals|
|1991||Stryper||Can't Stop the Rock||Producer, Arranger, Songwriter, Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Lead and Background Vocals|
|1992||dc Talk||Free at Last||Background Vocals|
|1993||Deliverance||Intense Live Series, Volume 1||Songwriter|
|1994||Michael Sweet||Michael Sweet||Producer, Songwriter, Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Programming, Lead and Background Vocals|
|1996||Swirling Eddies||Sacred Cows||Songwriter|
|2011||Stryper||The Covering||Songwriter, Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Lead Vocals|
|2013||Stryper||No More Hell To Pay||Producer, Songwriter, Guitars, Vocals|
|2020||Stryper||Even the Devil Believes||Rhythm Guitar, Vocals|
Michael Sweet is a singer from Whittier, California, United States. Sweet is best known as a co-founder, writer, lead guitarist, lead vocalist and front man of the Rock band Stryper. He was also one of the two lead vocalists and one of three guitarists for Boston until August 2011.
He began his musical career at age five playing guitar, and at age 12 he began to singing professionally. Sweet is known for his four-octave range and his accomplished abilities on the guitar as well. Sweet also learned to play the drums, piano and bass guitar. His interest in Christianity began when he attended church during his childhood.
In the early 1980s, Sweet and his brother started a band called Roxx Regime and played in small venues. They were a trio for a period of time with Sweet being the only guitar player in the band. This band would later become Stryper. The band challenged the stereotype of heavy metal being satanic and took Christian rock into the mainstream.
With the band, Sweet was not only the lead vocalist and lead guitarist, but Sweet also wrote most of the music for the band as well as co-produced and arranged the music as well. Sweet, along with Stryper, recorded five successful studio albums that reached gold and multi-platinum status (over 10 million sales to date) that won him many awards and worldwide fame. However, in the early 1990s, popular rock music was facing shifts in styles and the band's reputation declined.
After 8 years as frontman of Stryper, Sweet left the band in 1992 in order to pursue a solo career. He first released a demo album titled Unstryped, which featured several songs allegedly intended for the band. Sweet later included some of these on his first full-length album.
His self-titled debut album was released in 1994 and sold over 250,000 copies. He followed it with a slightly softer album titled Real in 1996 earning him a Dove Award nomination. However, he left the Benson label with which he had released those two albums.
During this time, Sweet and his wife moved to Massachusetts, where Sweet worked at his father-in-law's campground/cranberry business, Maple Park. In 1998, he released an independent demo album titled Truth which received critical acclaim. He was signed to Restless Records and re-released the album in 2000 with a new song-list and new artwork (see Truth). Reviews have stated that Truth is Sweet's best work to date!
On August 19, 2007, Sweet was asked by Tom Scholz Boston's and be the lead singer and guitarist in Come Together: A tribute to Brad Delp at the Bank of America Pavilion in Boston, MA. Tom Scholz then asked Sweet to join Boston for the band's summer 2008 tour with Styx as the opening act.
Sweet performed lead vocals, background vocals, and guitar work for Boston. Sweet was asked to be a part of what was supposed to be Boston's last performance on August 19, 2007. It was a benefit/tribute show and names such as Sammy Hagar, Mickey Thomas and Ann Wilson were among the invited guests. Tom Scholz was moved by what Sweet had written about the late Brad Delp and then heard Sweet sing and play guitar. Scholz was so impressed with Sweet and talents that he invited him to join the band and become a permanent member. Boston began booking a tour for 2008 with Styx as the opening act. Sweet handled lead vocals on roughly half of the set list. Sweet also play guitar for the entire set and handled solo work as well. "Peace of Mind" was re-recorded by Stryper and released via the iTunes Store on June 23, 2008. Scholz joined Stryper on their rendition of the classic song and it was the first released performance that Scholz performed on outside of Boston. In August 2011, it was announced that Sweet had left Boston to focus on his priorities and contributions to Stryper.
In 1999, Sweet reunited with former Stryper bandmates Oz Fox and Tim Gaines during a concert in Puerto Rico. The concert featured Fox and Gaines's band, SinDizzy. Sweet was invited as a solo artist. The three of them got together for a set of four songs. The next year, the first Stryper Expo was held in New Jersey and the entire line-up was reunited again.
Although original bassist Tim Gaines left the group in 2005 and was replaced by Tracy Ferrie, the band has continued to work together, releasing a new album titled Reborn, produced by Sweet . However, he has continued with his solo career as well. In August 2006, he released a solo album titled Him which features traditional hymns re-written and arranged by Sweet.
Stryper released the album Murder by Pride, produced by Sweet in July 2009.
The death of Sweet's wife, Kyle, was announced on March 5, 2009, after her two-year battle with ovarian cancer. During this time Sweet released an album called Touched in honor of Kyle. It is exclusively available on his website.
In September 2009, Stryper embarked on its 25th anniversary world tour, "Rocking the Hell Out of You for 25 years" with the original members. The tour included two opening bands: a Canadian group, Manic Drive and Flight Patterns, which includes Sweet's son, Michael Sweet, Jr.
In October 2009, Sweet announced on his Web site that he is engaged to Lisa Champagne. The band announced on Facebook that they were married on January 8, 2010.
Stryper recently completed a new record entitled The Covering, produced by Sweet, and was released on February 15, 2011.
Michael Sweet, frontman for the multi-platinum rock band Stryper, will release a new full-length solo album, I’m Not Your Suicide, and his first autobiography, Honestly: My Life and Stryper Revealed, on May 6, 2014, via BIG3 Records. Self-produced, "I’m Not Your Suicide" includes special appearances by Tony Harnell (TNT), http://www.christianmusicarchive.com/artist/kevin-