Stryper’s Michael Sweet Talks Health, Longevity on ‘Behind the Setlist’ – Billboard


Almost 4 a long time after co-founding steel band Stryper, Michael Candy isn’t letting his well being get in the way in which of longevity. Forward of Stryper’s upcoming album, The Last Battle, out Oct. 21 by way of Frontiers Music Srl, the singer and guitarist tells the Behind the Setlist podcast he and guitarist Oz Fox are in good well being following current surgical procedures — mind surgical procedure for Fox and eye surgical procedure for Candy. 

“Oz is nice,” Candy tells the Behind the Setlist podcast whereas sporting sun shades following a 3rd eye surgical procedure. Candy may very well be seen sporting a watch patch within the video for the brand new tune “Transgressor” and through current live shows. “However I’m hanging in there. I imply, all issues thought of, we’re each very lucky. As we become old, these items occur. You simply must sort of roll with it.” 

Candy’s voice bought a serving to hand from recommendation from fellow musicians. Questioning if Stryper ought to tune down to assist the band hit hard-to-reach notes from songs recorded a long time earlier, Candy requested some associates for recommendation. Kip Winger known as tuning down “a profession saver.” The 59-year-old singer took the recommendation and the tuned down half a step (from E-flat to D) for a tour in early 2022. Not solely did it scale back pressure on his voice, the decrease notes provides acquainted Stryper songs a brand new character. 

“I believe it sounds harder” and makes songs like “To Hell With the Satan” and “Troopers Beneath Command” sound “fatter and greater,” Candy says. Extra importantly, although, Candy’s voice feels “so a lot better” after a set of strenuous songs. “I made it by the entire tour. I had no struggles in anyway. And we did some four-in-a-rows,” he shares. “And, , once you stand up to my age, you do much less and fewer of these four-in-a-rows. You don’t usually do three-in-a-rows. I had no hassle. It was like I used to be 18 once more. It was superb.” 

Trying again at Stryper’s founding in Southern California within the early ‘80s, Candy places his finger on one of many keys to Stryper’s longevity. “We have been very totally different within the sense that we have been a rock band on the Hollywood scene that grew to become Christians. We weren’t Christians that grew to become a rock band.” That distinction created “a giant distinction in the way in which we predict, the way in which we write, the way in which we produce, the way in which we sound, the way in which we carry out, who we carry out with — all the things we do,” he says. 

It’s evident in how Stryper covers decidedly non-Christian songs resembling Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Legislation,” Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell” and the Scorpions’ “Blackout.” “We used to play [“Blackout”] over and time and again within the storage the place we rehearsed. Oz grew up on [Black] Sabbath. All of us appreciated Sabbath. He beloved Sabbath. In order that was a no brainer to do ‘Heaven and Hell,’” says Candy. “Van Halen, we’re all enormous Van Halen followers. We may in all probability simply do a canopy album of Van Halen songs and be completely pleased with that as a result of we love Van Halen. Most likely my favourite band of all time.” 

It’s additionally evident in how Stryper performs with secular rock bands. In August, the band performed on the inaugural Monsters on the Mountain competition in Gatlinburg, Tenn., alongside Night time Ranger, Excessive, Queensrÿche and Ratt’s Stephen Pearcy, amongst others. On Oct. 29, Stryper will board the Kiss Kruise, a floating competition out of Los Angeles headlined by Kiss and joined by Black Label Society, Buckcherry and Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach. 

“We don’t come out, sit on stools and preach and shove it down their throats,” says Candy of the band’s live shows. “However we take them to church within the sense that it’s electrifying. We attempt to give them an brisk present with highly effective music and a message and lyrics so that they go away energized feeling like there’s hope. We have now sufficient negativity on this planet. We at all times attempt to give them positivity.” 

Outdoors of Stryper, Candy retains himself busy by working with a few of rock and steel’s main names. He’s a member of ICONIC, which launched its debut album in June, together with guitarist Joel Hoekstra, bassist Marco Mendoza, drummer Tommy Aldridge and vocalist Nathan James. In 2021, Candy launched an album with LA Weapons guitarist Tracii Weapons underneath the title Sunbomb. He has launched two albums with Dokken guitarist George Lynch underneath the moniker Candy & Lynch, and carried out with the band Boston from 2007 to 2011.

“I’m at all times doing one thing,” he says. “That’s how I’m constructed. I can’t sit nonetheless.”  

Take heed to the whole Behind the Setlist interview with Candy at Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, iHeart, Stitcher, Audible and Google Podcasts.

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