Michael Sweet, frontman for Stryper, shared his thoughts on bands who are no longer interested in producing new music and instead prefer to cash in on nostalgia and tours off the strength of hits from the past.
Sweet, who still remains the main songwriter for Stryper in addition to having a solo career and making albums, made his comments while reacting against the criticism of the rapid-fire pace at which he is putting out fresh material he continues to deal with.
He told the “Cobras & Fire” podcast “I’m passionate about what I do and I love creating music every bit as much as I like performing it. That’s never gonna away. I’ll actually pay to play. In other words, what I mean by that is if it ever gets to a point where I can’t get a record deal or there’s no money from a label, I’m gonna pay to go record my own album, because that’s how much it means to me.”
“When I hear bands — big bands, mind you — that talk about how ‘it’s not worth it anymore making albums,’ and ‘we don’t make any money,’ I just kind of laugh and I think, ‘Why don’t you just sell your gear and get out? Why are you still doing it? Because you got in this for the love for it, and now you’re just in it for the money? Or just because you wanna benefit from your art?’ You perform and you create music because you’re passionate about it, you’re expressing yourself, you love that and you wanna share that with other people.
It should have nothing to do with if you record an album and you only sell 10 thousand copies versus, in the old days, two million copies. That’s my opinion. People would disagree with me and get up in arms and say, ‘Ah, what a jerk,’ or whatever, and that’s fine. But it doesn’t change my views. I do this because I love to do it, and I’m gonna love to do it until I die. That’s why there’s been such a surge of Michael Sweet albums ’cause I’m gonna keep doing it ’cause I love it. Before I can’t record any longer, I hope to do another 20 albums. At this rate, I’m doing one a year, so that’s another 20 years. It’s doable. I mean, I could.”