‘s Reggie Edwards recently conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Michael Sweet of Christian hard rockers STRYPER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

On re-recording the band’s classic songs for “Second Coming”:

Sweet: “It’s always a little on the apprehensive side when you do a re-record or even a cover album, which we did prior to this, ‘The Covering’. The reason why I say that is you’re gonna open the door for the potential haters and the naysayers — the people who aren’t into re-records or cover albums; they want to hear new material, and I get that, but the reason we wanted to do this record, it started out that we just wanted to re-record these songs and obtain the rights to them. A lot of bands have done that over the years and are doing that now because it’s very hard to obtain the rights to those original masters; the label owns them, especially a large label and a large label does own the STRYPER catalogue; that’s Disney.

“When we got in the studio and started tracking them, we became more and more excited about how they were turning out because we didn’t go into it saying, ‘Hey, we’re gonna outdo the originals,’ but you kinda hope subconsciously that you do. After hearing the basic tracks and listening to those for awhile, I started realizing, ‘Wow, I think we have outdone the originals on some of these tracks.’ I don’t know about all of them, but certainly most of them, in my opinion.”

On how the new recordings are different from the originals:

Sweet: “You’re gonna notice little nuances, little differences here and there but for the most part it’s pretty identical. The thing you are gonna notice is things like the clarity and the distinction, more bass, my voice is a little deeper, the guitars are a little chunkier, things like that. And that’s what makes me happier, things like that.”

“I can listen to these songs now, not to be disrespectful to our fans and those old classics, but I can’t listen to them, I just can’t. I pop in ‘The Yellow And Black Attack’ and its like instantly I press eject and I don’t even try listening to it, because, in my opinion, it’s not listenable — it’s just such poor quality. With the technology we have nowadays, there’s no punch, the volume is super low; it’s just a whole different beast. We made a record now that sounds really clear and punchy, loud and is up to par with today’s times and 2013 and I’m very proud of that so I think we have, in many ways, outdone the originals, I hope.”

You can listen to the entire chat at

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