Stryper performs at Scout Bar tonight, Monday March 14!
Who is ranked at #1 in the “Christian Pop & Contemporary,” #41 in “Rock,” and #79 in “Pop” best-selling music categories on Amazon? They are also #175 on Billboard as well. It’s the same group…
Ok, if you read the article title, then you know it’s Stryper! Good job. Now, here is the next question. Ready, set go…
Who just released an album covering Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, KISS, Judas Priest, Ozzy, and others? That question is a bit harder. Let me give you some clues. Yellow and black. Oh, they are #1 on Amazon’s “Christian Pop-” You say you got it? Good. The answer is Stryper again! Great job!
Stryper’s latest offering “The Covering” was just released February 15th via Big3 Records (Sony) to absolutely rave reviews. Really there isn’t anything to not like about it. If you are a fan of songs from the 1970’s classic rock to the 1980’s metal music, then “The Covering” will make you a happy camper. Also, good news to note is that this album features Stryper’s original line-up of Michael Sweet (vocals, guitar), Oz Fox (guitar), Tim Gaines (bass), and Robert Sweet (drums.)
The SCENE Magazine had the opportunity to speak with Michael Sweet last month about the album and about their touring schedule. Stryper is hitting the road and making only 18 tour stops during the first leg of their U.S. tour. Yes, Houston is one of them! On March 14 they will be at Scout Bar. Michael Sweet had to think a bit, but it was in 1984 when Stryper first toured Houston and the last time was in 2009. Stryper will go international after these stops and then back in the U.S. for a second tour run.
The band has been rehearsing in Las Vegas in preparation for their 20-song set. Twenty songs?!? Sweet says some of the songs they will perform live are covers not on the album and seven songs are older Stryper fan favorites that they haven’t played in a while. He also said with a smile that age will make you have a need to rehearse a little more. And this is where I had to inform (correct) him that we get better with age, of course!
A SCENE Magazine reader wanted me to ask Sweet what the secret was in keeping a band together for a long time…so I did. His response was that Stryper was a Christian band, and they have a message of love. The band internally needs to exemplify this for those to see. Keeping a band together is a lot like a family. Keep your priorities right and the rest will follow. Sweet really is a cool guy to talk to.
Rounding out the tracks on “The Covering” are songs originally from Sweet (the band, not Michael), the Scorpions, UFO, Deep Purple, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, and (my favorite song “Carry On My Wayward Son”) Kansas. The album’s only new original song is the last one on the track list called “God.”
About the cover album, Sweet says that Stryper “just wanted to roll our sleeves up, cut loose, and have some fun.” And they did. I can imagine that this energy will translate well into the live show.
Here is a fun fact about the new song, Sweet said the melody came to him in the middle night and the quickest way to release the music floating around in his mind was to call his house from his cell phone and record it! Haha! Stryper brings back a lot of good memories for me and I hope for you.
“The Covering” has edgy artwork on the cover. Sweet describes it as “powerful and thought-provoking.” He says that it’s a character that represents the bad, or ‘the evil’ side, if you will, in us all. The booklet inside the CD, will tell a story of good conquering evil and therefore leading to the transformation of the main character.”
The band is active on Facebook and Twitter. Check out www.stryper.com for more information.