Christian hard rockers STRYPER entered SpiritHouse Recording Studios in Northampton, Massachusetts earlier in the month to begin recording their new album for a late spring/early summer release via Frontiers.
A video update on the recording process from STRYPER guitarist/vocalist Michael Sweet and guitarist Oz Fox, filmed in the hot tub outside the studio, can be seen bleow.
Said Sweet: “[The new album is] very heavy, but I think sometimes that scares some people when they hear ‘heavy.’ Most people know, they love hearing that word, but some people who like the more melodic, poppy side of the band, that might scare [them] a little bit, but there’s nothing to fear, ‘cause it’s heavy in a great way. It’s still melodic. But it’s just heavy. It’s real chuggy. It sounds huge.”
Added Fox: “I personally think it still has that STRYPER sound to it — almost like how a song like ‘Soldiers Under Command’ has all that heavy kind of vibe to it, but it’s still got a melodic vibe. Well, that’s what this sounds like. It’s got that feel to it.”
Continued Sweet: “It really does. Everyone really played well on it. It feels great. Everyone locked in together. And I’m really happy. I mean, now I still have to sing it, as we’re talking to you. But aside from that, it’s sounding great. I can’t wait for you guys to hear it. Soon.”
An audio sample of one of the new STRYPER songs can be streamed in the video clip embedded within the Facebook post below.
Regarding the musical direction of the new STRYPER material, Michael Sweet told Eddie Trunk‘s SiriusXM satellite radio show, “Eddie Trunk Live”: “It’s gonna be… I don’t wanna scare any fans away or anything, but it’s gonna be the heaviest album we’ve done. Not in the sense that it’s gonna be thrash metal or anything like that. It’s definitely got a little bit of a darker vibe to it lyrically and musically. Some of the songs are tuned down — not like the modern Drop B stuff; I’m talking like the E dropped to D, ‘Unchained’ VAN HALEN kind of stuff. And it’s just got a heavy sound to it. And I think when people hear it, in a good way, they’re gonna go, ‘That’s STRYPER? What?’ I think they’re gonna be shocked.”
Asked if there are still any religious references in the new STRYPER lyrics, Sweet told Canadian journalist Mitch Lafon: “Absolutely. Some of the words themselves are actually taken from the Bible, so that’s still there. The lyrics are definitely on the bold and powerful side. They’re not like the lyrics of old.
“A lot of our lyrics, I read back through the lyrics, and at times I’m a little embarrassed because they were just so repetitive and shallow at times — just real simplistic ‘Rock, rock rock. Jesus, Jesus.’ These lyrics are definitely a lot deeper. I’m pulling from the Bible at times.”
He continued: “There’s a song about God creating the heavens and the earth. It’s called ‘Let There Be Light’. And it’s about in the beginning, and it’s taken right from Genesis. There’s a song about the Devil; it’s called ‘Fallen’. It just talks about how when the Devil, when he was Lucifer, an archangel in heaven, when he walked, he was the angel of music, and when he walked, there was music. It tells the story in that song of, basically, about how he’s fallen, and why, and how. It’s a real powerful song.
“I’ve got a song called ‘Big Screen Lies’ that’s about how the film industry portrays Christians as complete buffoons one million percent of the time. And that’s just not the case. It is sometimes, but those buffoon Christians don’t represent all of us.”
STRYPER‘s original lineup comprised of Michael Sweet (vocals/guitars), Robert Sweet (drums), Oz Fox (guitars) and Tim Gaines (bass) released a concert CD/DVD combination called “Live At The Whisky” on September 23, 2014 via Frontiers. The live recording was captured at a sold-out show in November 2013 at the legendary Whisky a Go Go in West Hollywood, California. The 16-track collection documents the band’s first show in support of their latest, critically acclaimed release, “No More Hell To Pay”.
“No More Hell To Pay” sold around 9,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 35 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD was released on November 5, 2013 in North America via Frontiers Records.