Michael Sweet

Michael Harrison Sweet (born July 4, 1963) is a singer from Whittier, California; he is the co-founder, writer, lead guitarist, lead singer and front man of the Christian metal band Stryper. He was also singer and guitarist for Boston from 2007 to 2011.

Michael Sweet
Sweet performing with Boston, June 13, 2008 in Hinckley, MN
Background information
Birth nameMichael Harrison Sweet[1]
BornJuly 4, 1963 (age 55)
Whittier, California, U.S.
OriginOrange County, California
GenresChristian rock, Christian metal, hard rock, glam metal
Occupation(s)Musician, singer-songwriter, record producer
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, piano
Years active1975–present
Associated actsStryper, Boston, Sweet & Lynch



In the early 1980s, Sweet and his brother started a band called Roxx Regime and played in small venues. They were a trio for a period of time with Sweet being the only guitar player in the band. This band would later become Stryper. The band challenged the stereotype of heavy metal being satanic and took Christian rock into mainstream.[2]

With the band, Sweet was not only the lead vocalist and shared lead guitar duties, but he also wrote most of the music for the band as well as co-producing and arranging the music. The band recorded five successful studio albums. The band's reputation declined in the 1990s.


After nine years as the lead singer/lead guitarist of Stryper, Sweet left the band in 1992 in order to pursue a solo career. He first released a demo album titled Unstryped, which featured several songs allegedly intended for the band. Sweet later included some of these on his first full-length album.

His self-titled debut album was released in 1994 and sold over 250,000 copies.[3] He followed it with a slightly softer album titled Real in 1996 earning him a Dove Award nomination.[4] Soon after the release of Real, Sweet left Benson Records, with whom he had released the two albums.

During this time, Sweet and his wife Kyle moved to Massachusetts, where Sweet worked at his father-in-law's campground/cranberry business, Maple Park.[5] In 1998, he released an independent demo album titled Truth which received critical acclaim. He was signed to Restless Records and re-released Truth in 2000 with a new song-list and new artwork.

On August 19, 2007, Sweet was asked by Boston's Tom Scholz to be one of the lead singers and guitarists for Come Together: A Tribute to the Life of Brad Delp at the Bank of America Pavilion in Boston. Tom Scholz then asked Sweet to join Boston for the band's summer 2008 tour with Styx as the opening act.


Sweet performed lead vocals, background vocals, and guitar work for Boston. Sweet was asked to be a part of what was supposed to be Boston's last performance on August 19, 2007. It was a benefit/tribute show and names such as Sammy Hagar, Mickey Thomas and Ann Wilson were among the invited guests. Tom Scholz was moved by what Sweet had written about the late Brad Delp and then heard Sweet sing and play guitar. Scholz was so impressed with Sweet's talents that he invited him to join the band and become a permanent member.[6] Boston began booking a tour for 2008 with Styx as the opening act.[7] Sweet handled lead vocals on roughly half of the set list and played guitar for the entire set and handled solo work as well. In August 2011, it was announced that Sweet had left Boston to focus on his priorities and contributions to Stryper.

Stryper reunited

Michael sweet-1474062276.jpeg
Michael Sweet at Tivoli, Utrecht

In 1999, Sweet reunited with former Stryper bandmates Oz Fox and Tim Gaines during a concert in Puerto Rico. The concert featured Fox and Gaines's band, SinDizzy. Sweet was invited as a solo artist. The three of them got together for a set of four songs. The next year, the first Stryper Expo was held in New Jersey and the entire line-up was reunited again.[8]

Although original bassist Tim Gaines left the group in 2005 and was replaced by Tracy Ferrie, the band has continued to work together, releasing a new album titled Reborn, produced by Sweet. However, he has continued with his solo career as well. In August 2006, he released a solo album titled Him which features traditional hymns re-written and arranged by Sweet. The band then released the album Murder by Pride, produced by Sweet in July 2009.

The death of Sweet's wife, Kyle, was announced on March 5, 2009, after her two-year battle with ovarian cancer. During 2007 Sweet released an album called Touched in honor of Kyle.

In September 2009, Stryper embarked on its 25th anniversary world tour, "Rocking the Hell Out of You for 25 years" with the original members. The tour included two opening bands: Manic Drive and Flight Patterns, the latter which includes Sweet's son, Michael Sweet, Jr.

On February 15, 2011 Stryper released a new record entitled The Covering, produced by Sweet.

In 2013 Stryper released two studio albums called Second Coming and No More Hell to Pay via Frontiers Records. They released a live album/DVD, Stryper: Live at the Whiskey, recorded in 2013 at the Whiskey A Go Go on the Sunset Strip recorded from November 2013. Sweet has also worked with Lynch Mob founder and ex-Dokken member, George Lynch on recording an album called Only to Rise in a supergroup that they are both in called Sweet & Lynch. Sweet discussed the group on Eddie Trunk Podcast dated February 4, 2015. The group also consists of ex-White Lion and ex-Megadeth member James LoMenzo on bass, and ex-Whitesnake and ex-Foreigner member Brian Tichy on drums. Only to Rise was released on January 27, 2015.

Aside from Stryper developing their new album, Fallen, Sweet has confirmed he has signed with Rat Pak Records to release a new solo album in early 2016, One Sided War.[9][10]

During an interview with Antihero Magazine in November 2016, Sweet confirmed that he is recording another Sweet & Lynch album titled Unified which released November 2017.[11] Since then, Sweet has gone on record stating Sweet & Lynch may have run its course citing Lynch's hands in many different projects has not allowed them to tour to promote the albums, the way Sweet would have liked, and he feels he has to do most of the promoting himself.[12]

Personal life

Sweet met his wife Kyle while making Stryper's first video. They were married for 22 years and had two children together. In 2009, Kyle died after a two-year battle with cancer.[13]



Guest appearances

Sweet & Lynch


  1. ^ "Michael Sweet Discography, Michael Sweet, Stryper". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
  2. ^ Powell, Mark Allan (2002). Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music (First printing ed.). Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers. pp. 891–895. ISBN 1-56563-679-1.
  3. ^ "Michael Sweet: The Stryper vocalist with solo album". www.crossrhythms.co.uk. the CR Mag 20. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
  4. ^ "Dove Awards 1995 - CMnexus". cmnexus.org. CMnexus. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
  5. ^ "Michael Sweet of Stryper: 2006-04-05". www.randybrandt.net. Beyond the Turntable. Archived from the original on September 19, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
  6. ^ Sweet, Michael. "Boston gets Michael Sweet, thanks to some divine intervention". www.phoenixnewtimes.com. Michael Alan Goldberg. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
  7. ^ Boston, Styx. "Boston, Styx @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre". www.heyreverb.com. Billy Thieme. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
  8. ^ Stryper. "The Annual Stryper Expo". www.planetrapture.com. JonasWeb. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
  9. ^ "Stryper's Michael Sweet Taps EVANESCENCE Drummer WILL HUNT For Next Solo Album". www.blabbermouth.com. blabbermouth.com. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
  10. ^ "Stryper's Michael Sweet Announces 'One Sided War' Solo Album". Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  11. ^ Leu, Tommy. "Interview: Michael Sweet of STRYPER". Antihero Magazine. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  12. ^ "MICHAEL SWEET Says SWEET & LYNCH Collaboration With GEORGE LYNCH May Have 'Run Its Course'". BlabberMouth. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  13. ^ "Kyle Sweet, Wife of Stryper Frontman, Dies". Charisma Media. March 2009. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  14. ^ Sweet, Michael. "MICHAEL SWEET, DOUG PINNICK, MARTY FRIEDMAN Guest On TOURNIQUET Drummer's 'Onward To Freedom'". www.blabbermouth.com. blabbermouth.com. Retrieved June 15, 2015.

External links

Bill Sweet

William Michael Sweet (born 12 April 1947) is a British bobsledder. He competed at the 1972 Winter Olympics and the 1976 Winter Olympics.

Can't Stop the Rock

Can't Stop the Rock is the sixth release, and first compilation album, from the Christian metal band Stryper, released in 1991.

The album features two new songs, one of which is "Believe," dedicated to the troops fighting in the Persian Gulf War that same year. In February 1992, lead singer Michael Sweet left to pursue a solo career, which marked the end of the original Stryper lineup until they reunited in 2003.

Fallen (Stryper album)

Fallen is the sixteenth release and eleventh studio album by Christian metal band Stryper, produced by frontman Michael Sweet and released in October 16, 2015.

God Damn Evil

God Damn Evil is the seventeenth release and twelfth studio album by Christian metal band Stryper, produced by frontman Michael Sweet and released on April 20, 2018. Bass guitar was played by John O'Boyle as current bassist Perry Richardson could not due to scheduling conflicts.

I'm Not Your Suicide

I'm Not Your Suicide is the sixth studio album from the Christian music musician and Stryper frontman Michael Sweet, who helmed the production on the album. The album released on May 6, 2014 by Big3 Records. This album charted at No. 154 on the Billboard 200 and it was awarded a five star rating by CCM Magazine and a four star rating from HM.

The music video for "I'm Not Your Suicide" supports the Childhelp foundation. The "Heart of Gold" video features Dave Mustaine and his daughter, Electra.

List of Boston band members

The following list features musicians who have worked with the band Boston.

Michael Ernest Sweet

Michael Ernest Sweet (born March 23, 1979) is a Canadian photographer, writer and educator.

Michael Sweet (programmer)

Michael R. Sweet is a computer scientist known for being the primary developer of the Common Unix Printing System (CUPS). He also developed flPhoto, HTMLDOC, and Mini-XML and was the original developer of the Gimp-Print software, now known as Gutenprint. Sweet contributes to other free software projects such as FLTK, Newsd, and Samba. He co-owned and ran Easy Software Products (ESP), a small company that specialized in Internet and printing technologies and went on to sell HTML publishing software.

Murder by Pride

Murder by Pride is the twelfth release and seventh studio album by Stryper. The first single for the album, "Peace of Mind", debuted at No. 27 on Christianrock.net on October 24, 2008 and peaked at 1 on February 22, 2009. The track is a cover version, originally performed by rock band Boston on its debut 1976 self-titled album. Michael Sweet was a touring member of Boston for several years, before parting ways amicably in 2011.

Starting May 5, the band announced to release a song per week on iTunes up until July 21. As each new song was released, the previous one would no longer be available until the full album was released.Robert Sweet did not play on the album since he lost the CD that had the demos on it and he wasn't able to learn the material in time for recording. According to Michael Sweet it would have taken 7–10 days longer to record the drums with Robert but they didn't have the time or the budget to do so. As a result, the drum parts were provided by Kenny Aronoff and only took 3 days to record. However, Robert Sweet was present on the tour that supported the album, as well as the commemoration of Stryper's 25th anniversary.

Stylistically, Michael Sweet has commented, that "after years of speaking to fans and hearing comments like 'more guitars,' 'more solos' and 'more screams,' I decided to keep those suggestions in mind as I wrote each song. It was important to me to try to get back to that early sound of STRYPER yet at the same time, to remain relevant today. It's certainly not an easy thing to do, but as I listen to Murder by Pride, I think that was accomplished."

No More Hell to Pay

No More Hell to Pay is the fifteenth release and tenth studio album from Christian glam metal band Stryper, produced by band frontman Michael Sweet and released on November 5, 2013 by Frontiers Records. The album garnered positive critical reception from music critics as well as commercial success.

One Sided War

One Sided War is the seventh studio album from the Christian musician and Stryper frontman Michael Sweet, who helmed the production on the album. The album released on August 26, 2016 by Rat Pak Records. This album charted at No. 77 on the Billboard 200 and it was awarded a five star rating by CCM Magazine.

Reborn (Stryper album)

Reborn is the ninth release, and sixth album, from the Christian metal band Stryper, and the first full-length album of new material since Against the Law in 1990. Reborn was slated to be a Michael Sweet solo record, but after their reunion tour, Michael Sweet played it for the other members, at which time Oz Fox suggested it should be a Stryper record. So the other members came in and learned their parts from the original demos. Michael says in his autobiography, Honestly: My Life and Stryper Revealed, that he convinced Big3 Records, which had signed him for a solo release, to make it a Stryper record deal. So Reborn became the first all-original Stryper record in 15 years.

The sound of the album is more contemporary compared to their previous records. It is also heavier and has influences of nu metal. The sound has been cited as more mature than their previous material, "less glam and more filling," according to one reviewer. This is the first album recorded by the band with new bass guitar player Tracy Ferrie. Reborn was released with a variety of cover art, depending on format and region. The alternate US cover art was created for record outlets (such as Christian bookstores) where the original cover art may have been perceived as too disturbing or offensive.

Reborn became a rare collectors' item instantly, since the first copies of the album have a technical mistake; songs 7-9 are played in the album in a different order than the one stated on the cover artwork. Big 3 Records plans to re-release the album with the correct order of songs.

"I.G.W.T." is a contemporary remake of the band's previous hit "In God We Trust" from the album of the same name.


Stryper is an American Christian metal band from Orange County, California. The group's lineup consists of Michael Sweet (lead vocals, guitar), Oz Fox (guitar), Perry Richardson (bass guitar), and Robert Sweet (drums).

Formed in 1983 as Roxx Regime, the band soon changed their musical message to reflect their Christian beliefs, and the band's name was also changed to Stryper. They went on to become the first overtly Christian heavy metal band to gain acceptance in the mainstream. In 1983, they signed with major label Enigma Records and released their debut album The Yellow and Black Attack. In the mid-1980s, Stryper enjoyed their most successful period beginning with the release of To Hell with the Devil, which achieved platinum sales status. Stryper went on to release two more gold albums before disbanding in 1992. In 2003, Stryper came out of retirement for a reunion tour and subsequently signed a multi-album contract with Big3 Records in 2005. In 2013, they signed a multi-album deal with Frontiers Records, and have released Second Coming, which includes 14 re-recorded songs from their first three albums and an album, No More Hell to Pay, released on November 5, 2013, Fallen on October 16, 2015 and God Damn Evil on April 25, 2018.

The Covering

The Covering is the thirteenth release and eighth studio album by American Christian heavy metal/hard rock band Stryper, released by Big 3 Records/Sony on February 15, 2011. The album is a collection of twelve cover songs from bands that inspired Stryper and helped to shape the band's sound and musical identity. The album also includes "God", a new original recording.

Tim Gaines

Timothy "Tim" Gaines (born Timothy Hagelganz; December 15, 1962) is an American bass guitarist best-known as the long-time bassist for the Christian metal band Stryper until his departure in 2017.

Touched (Michael Sweet album)

Touched is a Michael Sweet solo album released in 2007. Unlike most of Sweet's previous albums, the album is influenced by classical sound (rather than his usual rock or metal sound). The album was dedicated to his wife, Kyle, who was suffering from stage-four ovarian cancer.Touched has a collection of covers from other musicians including Billy Preston, and Billy Joel, as well as some classical versions of some of Stryper's ballads, and an all original song called "My Love, My Life, My Flame".

Truth (2000 Michael Sweet album)

Truth is the official full-length version of the demo album of the same name released by Christian rock singer and Stryper frontman Michael Sweet, two years before (1998). This version was released by Restless Records in 2000.

The first demo version of the album, sold independently through Sweet's website, did very well selling 25,000 units. This prompted several labels to seek the rights to release it.The album features almost all of the songs included in the demo version (sans two) with new arrangements and a more polished sound and mix. It also features four new songs ("All I'm Thinking Of (Is You)", "Save Me", "Ever After" and "Tomorrow").

Sweet's Stryper bandmate, Oz Fox, is featured on a guitar solo on "Ever After".

Waddy Wachtel

Robert "Waddy" Wachtel (born May 24, 1947) is an American musician, composer and record producer, most notable for his guitar work. Wachtel has worked as session musician for other artists such as Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Nicks, Keith Richards (guitarist of Keith's side-band The X-pensive Winos), The Rolling Stones (lead guitar on Saint Of Me), Jon Bon Jovi, James Taylor, Iggy Pop, Warren Zevon, Bryan Ferry, Michael Sweet, Jackson Browne, and Andrew Gold, both in the studio and live.

Will Hunt

William Martin Hunt (born September 5, 1971) is an American drummer, who has played for many bands, including Evanescence, Skrape, Dark New Day, Black Label Society, Device, Crossfade, Rival City Heights, and as a touring member for Staind and Static-X.

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