STRYPER Frontman Michael Sweet - "I've Been Trying To 'Re-Establish' Myself As A Guitar Player"

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Posted on Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 03:09:39 EST

STRYPER frontman Michael Sweet recently spoke with Guitar World about the band's new album, Second Coming, as well as his forthcoming book and solo album. An excerpt from the interview is available below:

Guitar World: What was the genesis of Second Coming?

Sweet: "Initially, we intended to make this record for our publishing company. Usually, people tend to roll their eyes at the thought of doing re-records because you’re already used to the original and sometimes think, 'What's the point?' Typically, it’s hard to recapture the same magic you had on the originals. But what's cool about these songs and this record is that not only were we able to capture all the magic from the original songs, but in some ways surpass and add some new magic to them as well. When people hear this album as a whole, they're going to be blown out of the water."

Guitar World: You also handle some of the solo guitar duties on this album.

Sweet: "I do. I've been trying to 're-establish' myself as a guitar player. For some reason, people don't know I play to the level I play at. In Stryper, I'm one of the lead guitar players. It's split right down the middle. Oz (Fox) is an amazing player and deserves a lot of credit, but for the two new tracks on Second Coming and on my solo record, I'm playing the solos. It was my opportunity to shine as a guitar player and remind people that I play. I actually started playing guitar long before I started singing and write everything on guitar. It's one of my favorite parts of the process in the studio."

Go to this location for the complete interview

Stryper's new re-recorded collection, Second Coming, will hit streets on March 22nd in Europe and March 26th in North America. An official EPK has been posted online and can be viewed below:

The album features sixteen tracks, including new recordings of fourteen songs from the band’s early years as well as two brand new songs recorded especially for Second Coming, and is produced by Stryper frontman Michael Sweet.

Second Coming tracklisting:

'Loud N’ Clear'
'Loving You'
'Soldiers Under Command'
'Makes Me Wanna Sing'
'First Love'
'The Rock That Makes Me Roll'
'Reach Out'
'To Hell With The Devil'
'Calling On You'
'The Way'
'Sing Along Song'
'More Than A Man'
Bleeding From Inside Out' (new song)
'Blackened' (new song)

Listen to an audio sample of 'Soldiers Under Command' here, and a sample of 'The Rock That Makes Me Roll' at this location.

The first single - a new studio cut 'Bleeding From Inside Out' - was released on February 25th.

Sweet recently commented, “We're really excited about this record. The re-recorded songs are sounding awesome… better than the originals in many ways! One word to describe the record? Heavier. We've hooked up with some great people - we've got new management, a great album, a great label. We just feel like everything is coming together, and hopefully some big things are to follow."

Stryper is one of the top Christian rock bands of all time. Comprised of the original line-up of Michael Sweet (vocals/guitar), Oz Fox (guitar), Tim Gaines (bass), and Robert Sweet (drums), Stryper has been rocking since 1984, and is responsible for such '80s metal classic albums as Soldiers Under Command, To Hell With The Devil, In God We Trust and such MTV hit singles/videos as 'Calling On You', 'Free', and 'Honestly'.

After a sabbatical for much of the 1990's, Stryper returned strong in the early 21st century. To date, the band has sold upwards of 8 million records worldwide and is a Dove Award-winner and Grammy nominee. Stryper is the first band to have two songs in MTV’s Top 10 simultaneously.