Michael Sweet spoke to the "Cobras & Fire" podcast about his recent claim that he could help VAN HALEN make another classic album in the vein of the band's earliest efforts.
"I was just speaking out of respect — nothing but respect for VAN HALEN coming from me," the STRYPER frontman said (hear audio below). "You're never gonna hear any disrespect. And I felt like, as a producer, writer, singer, guitar player, I would be a perfect candidate to help make that happen. And for people to laugh at that, that's fine — you can laugh all you want, but it doesn't change the fact that it's true."
When the interviewer told Sweet that he loved his confidence, Michael said: "It's beyond confidence. I mean, I have a lot of confidence, but if I don't have the track record to back it up, I've got nothing, and I think I have the track record."
During the same chat, Sweet was asked which era of VAN HALEN was his favorite. He responded: "I love early VAN HALEN — everything with [singer David] Lee Roth… My opinion is that the early VAN HALEN with Roth was the better VAN HALEN. And the reason why I say that is because of the energy. There was some kind of a fire lit under all of them, especially on those first three albums and tours, that was undeniable. Yeah, Sammy's [Hagar] awesome, he's a legend, he's amazing, they sounded great, they had hits with Sammy and sold a ton of albums — not to take any of that away, but, man, I miss the old VAN HALEN. And I personally believe, while they're still alive — I don't care how old they are — if they can still play and sing, their best album still lies within them."
Asked if he liked VAN HALEN's comeback album, 2012's "A Different Kind Of Truth", which was largely based on the band's 1970s demos, Sweet said: "Not really. I liked portions of it, and I respected the fact, okay, we're getting something rather than nothing. But I just felt like it was somewhat thrown together. It was old songs redone. Yeah, people hadn't heard a lot of the material, and I get that — and that's all great. We've done that with certain songs. But it still didn't have that fire to it that I'm referring to.
"Eddie's [Van Halen] the greatest rock [guitar] player of all time," he continued. "Alex [Van Halen] still has it. Michael [Anthony] still has it — if Michael's gonna be involved on this hypothetical Michael Sweet-producing-VAN HALEN album. And then you've gotta give Roth credit too. People say Roth can't sing anymore. I don't agree with that. I totally, one million percent disagree with that. When I hear Roth sing or talk through the songs, he still has his range. And he not only still has his range, but he still has his power. He doesn't sing the melodies, but it's still there. And I think it's just a matter of — I don't wanna say 'retraining,' but re-steering David in that direction to sing again like he used to. And I think he can. He still has his voice. I love David. David's got more attitude and charisma than anyone ever to pick up a mic."
Sweet recently completed work on his new solo album, "Ten". The disc is due later in the year via Rat Pak Records.