Jimmy Kay and Alan Dixon from Canada's The Metal Voice spoke to singer /guitarist Michael Sweet of Stryper who will be releasing his upcoming solo album called '10' on October 11 via Rat Pak Records in North America and Frontiers Music Srl in Europe.
Sweet spoke in depth about his new upcoming solo album, his duet with Todd Latorre on the solo album, gave hints towards the musical direction for the next Stryper album and release and gave a quick health statement on Stryper guitarist Oz Fox who is currently fighting brain tumours.
When asked about the sound he wanted to achieve on his upcoming solo album '10'
"With this album I wanted to take it a step further than my last solo album One Sided War. When I was writing the new album I decided I wanted guest guitarists to join me on the album to do the solos cause, I wanted it to sound a little less Stryper in that sense. But there's that other side of the coin and humbly I say this I don't say it with an ego or anything at all. I play guitar in Stryper and I write most of the songs and I discovered that Stryper guitar tone back in 1979. So I can't escape that Stryper sound nor would I so that Stryper sound can be also heard on the album. Fans want to hear some of those flavors from the past the glory days and if you don't give them to them and you give them something totally different you're alienating yourself from your fan base and in my opinion that's not very smart. So I try to mix it up, retain some of the past and mix it with the present. I'm always trying to outdo myself I want each album to get better and I feel I really believe that the best is yet to come."
When asked about the duet on the new album with Queensryche Todd Latorre (proclaimed Atheist) called Son of Man
"I'll tell you the story behind that duet/ collaboration and I don't think Todd would mind at all he and I are really good friends. Todd is a proclaimed atheist but when I look at Todd and I think he's more Christian than most Christians. The reason why I say that is because he's a nice person he's just a good guy. There are proclaimed Christian that go on rants and do all kinds of B.S. that completely destroy the Christianity side of things, that maybe that doesn't represent Christ. But you know Todd Latorre is a great representation of God's love because he's just a great loving guy. Now when I when I asked him to sing the song and I sent the lyrics to him he was totally cool with it. And the reason why he said he was cool with it is because he respects everybody and he knows that I respect everybody. I'm not here to judge anybody and he's not here to judge anybody so that's why he was able to sing those lyrics with the smile and with conviction because he gets it."
When asked about plans and musical direction for a new Stryper album
"Next year Stryper is going to make a new album. We go into the studio in January/ February 2020 and the album will come out mid next year 2020. I've got a few riffs I'm gonna really dive into over the next three to four weeks, getting a bunch of guitar riffs on my phone and once I have you know 9, 10, 11, 12, guitar riffs in November/December I will lock myself away in a room and I'll just start going through songs. On the upcoming Stryper album we're gonna do some things where people are gonna hear it and say, you gotta be kidding me? Were going to surprise and shock people in a really good way. It's gonna be a metal album, it's not gonna be a pop album or pop rock or glam metal. We're gonna really pull some things out of the hat man try to blow people's minds."
When asked a health update on guitarist Oz Fox's who is fighting a brain tumours
"Oz just went to South America with us (Stryper) to play. We're hoping and praying for the best and that things turn around that he continues to get healthier and and stronger. Most important he can live a long healthy life, that's the priority. It's a balance between keeping people informed and retaining some sort of privacy for Oz and his family."
"Ten" track listing:
01. Better Part Of Me (featuring Jeff Loomis of ARCH ENEMY)
02. Lay It Down (featuring Marzi Montazeri)
03. Forget, Forgive (featuring Howie Simon)
04. Now Or Never (featuring Gus G of FIREWIND)
05. Ten (featuring Rich Ward of FOZZY)
06. Shine (featuring Ethan Brosh)
07. Let It Be Love
08. Never Alone (featuring Joel Hoekstra of WHITESNAKE)
09. When Love Is Hated (featuring Joel Hoekstra of WHITESNAKE)
10. Ricochet (featuring Tracii Guns of L.A. GUNS)
11. With You Till The End (featuring Mike Kerr and Ian Raposa from FIRSTBOURNE)
12. Son Of Man (featuring Todd La Torre of QUEENSRŸCHE and Andy James)
"Ten" is available for pre-order via the Rat Pak Records web site in various bundle configurations, including translucent green and black splatter vinyl, cassette and hand-autographed CD packages. The album also has two bonus tracks that appear on all configurations.
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