Michael Sweet of Stryper has been around the block, touring and performing in his influential Christian glam metal band since the early 80’s. Whether you agree with his band’s message or not, you can’t deny that Stryper have some sweet gosh darn harmonies and righteous riffs peppered through their catalogue. Every band has influences, and Stryper are looking back at peers and precursors who inspired them on the band’s new record THE COVERING. Who knows, maybe someday Demon Hunter will cover Stryper.
When it came time to pick out a listing of tunes to cover, all the band had to do was look back upon their club days. “Growing up, before Stryper was even Stryper, we were a cover band,” says Sweet. “We played Gazzarri’s on the Strip for years – we would do originals but also do covers, as well. We always did Priest covers and Maiden covers, all those bands we grew up on and who influenced us. I’m never going to sound like Bruce Dickinson or Ronnie James Dio, nor would I ever try to. And having me sing the song puts our own spin on it. We just all did our own thing and with our own touches and feel – Robert, Tim, Oz, and myself – it has that Stryper feel to it as well.”
Most of the covers work well (especially “Carry On Wayward Son” and “Over The Mountain” which are well suited to the signature soaring Stryper vocals you love or hate). Even if you might be surprised to hear Sweet singing “Breaking The Law”, THE COVERING is worth checking out. I can man up and admit I love this style of metal while simultaneously wearing a Jucifer shirt. Anyway, Sweet talked about the album, the songs, the past and future of Stryper and his rad stint in legendary classic rock band Boston.
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