Stryper to record new album in October 2017 but still have things to work out
David “Gus” Griesinger of Backstage Axxess recently interviewed Stryper frontman Michael Sweet at last month’s NAMM show in Anaheim, California and he spoke about Stryper‘s upcoming plans.
Although the singer and guitarist advised that Stryper were planning on going into the studio in October 2017 to record a new album with plans for a release in March or April 2018, Sweet posted a Facebook message earlier today confirming Blabbermouth‘s story in that regard but warning that there were still “some things to work out.”
Sweet did not elaborate on what needed to be worked out but it is now public knowledge that Stryper bassist Timothy Gaines is going through some personal issues with a divorce and that has impacted the band somewhat.
The following are excerpts from Backstage Axxess‘ audio interview with Sweet (as transcribed by Sleaze Roxx). In terms of what is coming up, Sweet advised: “We’re doing [the] Monsters of Rock [Cruise]. We’re doing the Sweet & Lynch album. That will come out this year, end of the year. And then we start recording the new Stryper album in October  and that will come out next year — probably, I am going to say March or April of next year.”
Sweet was asked how he distinguishes material that he writes on whether it should go to his various projects to which he replied: “I think it just kind of — it speaks to you. It tells you. When I am going to do a song, I know if that’s a solo for me versus if that’s a solo for Oz [Fox], or if that’s a solo for me or a solo for Ethan [Brosh], or if not for Ethan, for Joel [Hoekstra]. I knew instantly. ‘OK, these six are definitely for Ethan. These five are for Joel.’ You know, it comes together in my mind anyway ’cause I am a producer as well. It’s all churning up there — everything keeping me awake every single night. It works itself out inside my head.”
In terms of how he juggles everything, Sweet responded, “Well, you know what man? I’ve been diagnosed with a couple of conditions [smiling] and I joke about that and some people say, ‘Hey dude! That’s not funny. You shouldn’t joke about that.’ It’s like, ‘Well, you got to laugh about it or else you’re screwed basically.’ Ummm, I do have ADHD [Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder] and I am OCD [Obsessive Compulsive Disorder] and all that stuff and I think those two, or a combination of those two, really help to drive me and focus on what I need to get done. Unfortunately, the downside to it is that’s all I am thinking about is music. I am so hyper focused on music that I tend to neglect my family and friends.” Sweet went on to state: “That’s what drives me. That’s why I am able to put out two to three albums per year.”
With respect to the new Sweet & Lynch record, Sweet pointed out, “We are. We are doing another album. We start recording — the funny thing about it, and I’m getting a little nervous and that’s really rare for Michael Sweet to get nervous. I’m giddy nervous because we don’t have the songs yet. We start recording on the 22nd of February  and he and I are going on the Monsters of Rock Cruise so take a week out of that. And I am kinda sitting here thinking, ‘OK. How is this going to work out?’ But we’re working on songs now [laughs].” Sweet added, “It’s going to be fun. George is one of my favorite [guitar] players, rock players. I put him on my top ten list. It’s an honour to be playing with George.” Sweet went on to state, “[George is] so crazy good, so instantaneously recognizable. He has such a signature tone and you know style so it’s an honour to work with him and I get to work with him again.”
Interview from Backstage Axxess with Stryper‘s Michael Sweet at NAMM in January 2017:
BackstageAxxess interviews Michael Sweet of Stryper at the Washburn booth during the 2017 NAMM trade show in Anaheim, CA on 1-20-17.