Michael Sweet, singer, guitarist and primary songwriter of the openly Christian hard rock band STRYPER, says that he doesn't know if there has been a resurgence in the "Christian metal" scene in the last few years. "I'll be honest — I don't really keep tabs on the Christian metal scene," he told Sonic Perspectives in a new interview (hear audio below). "I've always found that to be a very odd tag.
"I've never really understood the Christian versus non-Christian metal," he continued. "I mean, metal is metal. It's always been a little disturbing to me to have this term 'Christian metal,' because either you're a metal band or you're not. If you're comprised of Christians and you're Christian guys, you're Christian, but you're still a rock band. And I just feel like it limits what we're trying to do.
"But I don't know if there's a resurgence," he added. "You would know a lot more about that than me. Maybe there is. I have no clue."
In a 2018 interview with the Detroit Free Press, Michael said that STRYPER was never fully embraced by the heavy metal and hard rock communities, largely because of the band's Christian lyrics.
"We've never been accepted by either side," he said. "The secular side, the mainstream, they've never accepted us to this day. We're probably that band that everyone's going to go to whenever there's a time to mock. We'll be the band used for that in most cases. Now on the Christian side, we've never really had the full support of the Christian side because we don't fit into their little club. We're not wearing suits and ties and going to every church and preaching."
STRYPER recently returned to the road for the 2019 "History Tour - Greatest Hits & Covers That Influenced Our Generation". The trek comes on the heels of the band's yearlong "God Damn Evil" world tour, which concluded in Japan in February.
Formed 36 years ago, STRYPER's name comes from Isaiah 53:5, which states: "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."
STRYPER's albums include "To Hell With The Devil", "Second Coming", "No More Hell To Pay", "Fallen" and the band's latest effort, "God Damn Evil".