Michael Sweet Mixdown 2
Sat, 1/22 4:34PM • 1:50:40
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Randy Hulsey, Michael Sweet, Adam Gordon
Randy Hulsey 00:00
It's Randy Hulsey here with backstage pass radio. My guest today is considered one of the best rock vocalist on the planet and his guitar playing is right up there with the vocal abilities. He is a revered singer, songwriter and guitarist and has sold over 10 million records worldwide. His band is Grammy nominated, and he's been rocking the stages worldwide for the last 35 plus years. You guys don't go anywhere, I will jump into a chat with the one and only Michael Sweet of striper when we come back. This is backstage pass radio, the podcast that's designed for the music junkie with a thirst for musical knowledge. Hi, this is Adam Gordon. And I want to thank you all for joining us today. Make sure you like subscribe and turn alerts on for this and all upcoming podcasts. And now here's your host of backstage pass radio. Randy Halsey. Michael Sweet, how are you brothers? Good to see you.
Michael Sweet 01:02
Man, I'm good. That intro you gave you know, it built me up. And you see me now and you look at me I look like the Michelin Man. pirate version of the Michelin man. It's like, you know, I don't look like how
Randy Hulsey 01:22
you can be a figment of people's imaginations, I guess is how this is gonna work out. We'll say it's just me
Michael Sweet 01:29
in my I'm in my writing mode, I throw a ski cap on a t shirt is a warm jacket. And you know, I don't I don't have to look fancy for anybody I've been writing for the past few days. So you're getting you're getting me in my in my writing.
Randy Hulsey 01:43
I get I get what I get. And I don't pitch a fit. Right. Exactly. I was gonna ask you, I guess since you you jumped into that that writing
Michael Sweet 01:53
story there? Do you? Do you normally have certain times of day where you just sit down and say I'm going to dedicate two hours to writing or four hours to writing or does it just have to be a mood thing for you? It's not so much a mood thing for me, I have everything scheduled out and on the calendar. So literally, it'll say, you know, Monday through Friday writing, writing, writing, writing by, you know, that kind of thing. And unless something happens that keeps me from doing that, and I like to get here at this new place. I don't like to be here too late. It's not here in this office, but down to the base of my studios in a vault in a basement of an old building from the 17 or early 1800s. And it's not that I'm afraid, you know, I ain't afraid no ghost as it Ghostbuster say, you know, but I still don't like being down there at midnight by myself and the only one in this big giant, old building Correct. Um, it just it just, it's not my thing. So I get here usually by you know, 10am and I'm usually out of here by six 7pm. And I just write me and I have my computer, my guitar, my drum machine I program I start with the riff and then I program the groove to the riffs that makes it feel right. And then I just run from there. start piecing it all together and arranging and usually within about, you know, two to four hours, I've got a song structured start to finish and no lyrics. Okay, you know, rough finality and the pretty good arrangement. Yeah, I was gonna ask you, if you normally write around a melody, like the melodies, the first thing for you, or your hook, and then you the the words just come to you kind of after after the fact. Right, exactly, yeah, usually what happens with me is I have the riffs. And I'll start humming the melody over that riff. And that nine times out of 10 that winds up being the melody, you know, like the melody I sing on the records, and then sometimes maybe five times out of 10 I'll actually start singing a lyric that winds up being the Lyric, okay? You know, it's really, something just pops into my head and I started singing it and get the flow for the, the actual, you know, feel of the of the vocal itself against the guitar rhythm. What the drum rhythm, and it's really weird how it works. Yeah, it's a very strange thing. And people don't understand how that works with me. They say what we don't really understand that but it's just it's how I write. I never write lyrics first. I always write lyrics last. But I have an idea of the lyric lyrical content in my head as I'm writing the music, if that makes any sense.
Randy Hulsey 04:41
Does the lyrical portion or being a lyricist come easy for you? Or has it been a struggle? Is that a struggle or how do you feel about that? Like some people can just sit down and pin things? And some people just like fight for things to think about or like it just doesn't come to and you might go through it. Have that sometime like writer's block or something like that, right?
Michael Sweet 05:03
Oh, yeah, for sure. I mean, I go through writer's block, you know, no doubt. I mean, I really went through writer's block years ago, you know, back in the 90s, there were times when I just, I try to work on a song for a week, and not be able to really take it anywhere. To me, that's writer's block for me. Lately, the past 15 years or so, when I start working on a song, I finished that song within two to four hours. And that with every song, I haven't experienced the writer's block, in, you know, the past 15 years or so. Now, I can't explain that I don't really have the answers for that. It's just something going on in my mind and the way I restructure songs and stuff. But lyrics are always more of a problem for me. And the reason why is because everybody knows what we sing about. Sure. And there's only so many ways you can sing about that. Without it starting to feel repetitive or stale, or, you know, the same old, same old. So that's the hard part is trying to deliver the message that we have in new ways. Sure. Interesting.
Randy Hulsey 06:16
Absolutely. Yeah. And once you're right, you know, however many albums you have 1015 records or whatever that total amount comes to your right. I mean, I guess I could see where it's like, Wait, didn't I write about this is the third album or, you know what I'm saying?
Michael Sweet 06:33
It's crazy man is really crazy. And yeah, I mean, Stripe for this is going to be straight, this 14th album, and I'm going to be releasing a solo next year. That'll be my elevens. Actually, if you count to be born that in my version of it, you you that I released somewhat recently, it'd be the 12th. And then I already started on another album with another guy, CJ Grimm Mark, who plays in a band called gnarnia. Phenomenal guitar player in data albums coming together now to come out. So I'll be at 13 solo out, you know, I'm right there with striper. So you add them all up. It's like I'm, I'm pushing, you know, getting up to that. 30. Mark. There are guys out there. You know, guys, I just got so and George Lynch. They probably have 100. Out. They've released. I'm not that kind of a guy. I mean, I could do that if I wanted to. But I don't want it
Randy Hulsey 07:29
30 cents. Yeah, certainly it does. So I was gonna say 30 records. And I mean, what you're only 31 years old. I mean, that's a lot of records. My
Michael Sweet 07:38
Oh, man. I wish I was
Randy Hulsey 07:39
30. Right. Exactly. Well, Lewis how it started? Well, yeah.
Michael Sweet 07:43
But, you know, I guess what I'm saying is, I could spend every day writing and recording and if I did, I'd probably have, you know, a couple 100 albums. Well, it's nice, guys do that. But I choose to, I like to make an album, you know, spent a couple months doing it and then go tour and take a couple months off from recording. I like to just kind of counter it with other things because otherwise it can become burnout. Very just you're spinning your wheels and it just kind of all starts to mush together and sound the same. And you know, I don't I try not to do that.
Randy Hulsey 08:21
I get it. That makes perfect sense. And real quick before I go much further I wanted to give a quick shout out to Adam Hamilton for connecting you and I so thanks to to hammy for for putting that together. What a great guy Adam is
Michael Sweet 08:38
dude. Yeah, I haven't even got to hang out without really break bread. Now I haven't got to eat hang out with and that way. It's just been all via email and text. But man, what a sweetheart what a great guy. become one of my favorite people on the planet. It Alan is such a cool dude. talented guy. Amazing. I mean, he's working with guys. And people like and Margaret and I mean, it's like what
Randy Hulsey 09:02
the list goes on and on and on. Yeah. He's got some biggies out there. You know, Bill Shatner, I mean it's nuts.
Michael Sweet 09:11
Yeah, well, you shattered and then la guns. You know, his range is quite broad. It's really cool.
Randy Hulsey 09:18
Absolutely. Well, he he's working on some drum parts for an interview that I just did with Michael Lane Hill Hildebrand up in Dallas. I just came back from Dallas doing a show with him. And it's funny all these all you guys are these guys are you know, we're all it's like second, third degree networking. We're all connected in different ways. And you know, some of these guys that I'm meeting on the show, and I'm sure that I'll feel the same about us as like kindred spirits. It's like you've known these people forever. Like when you just get to talking to people. It's really cool how it all works out but today, you said Massachusetts, his home base for you. These days, correct?
Michael Sweet 10:07
It has been since 1995. So you know, I'm, I'm going on to that 30 year mark, man, coming up 2025 would be 30 years. And, you know, I'm almost at that point where I've been here. As long as I was in California. I was born and raised in California. And I left California in 1995. So I was 32. So by that time I, we hit a, you know, 2027. I'll have been here as long as I was in California, which is just crazy.
Randy Hulsey 10:42
That's, that's interesting to think about it that way. Now, what what, what took you to the East Coast? You went from one coast to the other was a family thing that took you out to the East Coast. Okay. And then
Michael Sweet 10:54
Exactly, yeah, women that wanted to raise our kids in a different area, you know, we were living in Fullerton, California. And there were a lot of like gangs popping up. For this is a really night or at least it was a really nice area. And then we moved there and we were in a really nice, quiet neighborhood, no crime, then all of a sudden, these Asian gangs started popping up everywhere. Well, and specifically Asian, you know, the hardcore Asian gangs and all sorts of crimes going on in that area and break ins and all sorts of things. And we just thought, Wow, this isn't cool. So we sold our house, and we moved, we just decided to get out of that area, and go to a safer place. And we came here to Massachusetts. And been I've been here ever since. So it's really cool. how that worked out. And you
Randy Hulsey 11:47
were your wife you had did you have family that was living out on the East Coast? Is that kind of like, because most people would move from, say Fullerton to another place in California versus saying, well, let's just move 4000 miles away, right. Like I didn't know if it was a family thing that took you out there?
Michael Sweet 12:04
Oh, totally. Yeah. My wife at the time, Kyle, who, you know, most people are familiar with the story and aware of the fact that she Kyle passed back in 2009. And we came here because she was born here born and raised. And we had family here. So yes, of course. We figured Massachusetts because we've got family there. We've got friends here. Let's go there. And I had visited many times and I loved it. I fell in love with it. Now I did have to get used to the cold. I'm still getting used to. Yeah,
Randy Hulsey 12:39
well do you ever get or do you ever get used to the cold? It's like being in Houston saying, I think I'm used to the heat. No, you're not. It's hot. And it's it's miserable in August. So even being pretty much a native Houstonian, you just don't you try to acclimate? You just acclimate? The best you can is what you do.
Michael Sweet 12:58
You do and you smart, like I've learned how to dress for the cold. These are you. People that come here, friends of mine to come in. They say Oh, I'm freezing. I'll say well, did you layer up? You know, and they just have a T shirt and a jacket on? Yes. And I said it's all about layering up. If you put another long sleeve shirt and another hoodie and then the jacket, you'll be toasting. And it's all about just layering up and being smart. If you can do that, man, it's not too bad. No, you, you get used to it. Now when it's below zero and it's that group really cold like unseasonably cold temperatures, I can never get used to that.
Randy Hulsey 13:38
I was telling somebody not too long ago that I was up in my not North Dakota for for my full time job. And when I was up there, I went in January, and I knew it was going to be cold. I just didn't know how cold and it got down to negative 41 While I was there, and let's just say let's just say the polar bears were pissed off having to live in mind on and that kind of cold like it was it was brutal. I can't see how you live in that six months out of the year. Just amazing. I
Michael Sweet 14:08
don't understand I say this to my wife all the time. And she says, Well, it's been like that from the beginning of time. And I say I know. I don't know how animals survive. Isn't it weird? Outside? In even just below freezing. Okay, you got to they got to sleep out in that right? Yes. But how do they survive when it's 30 and 40 below zero? It seems like nothing would be able to survive,
Randy Hulsey 14:37
you would think and then we as humans go outside and it's 50 degrees and we fall completely to pieces because it's cold outside right and they're living in that sleeping in that and you know the body temperature reduces at night when you're sleeping anyway probably five degrees or whatever it is right? I'm not a doctor but you get colder at night because you're at rest. So I don't know It's a it's an interesting thought
Michael Sweet 15:02
What about blows my mind it's all that said all those things that make you go home as are sending us to save absolutely and I don't understand how anything could survive in temperatures that that that's saying that blows my mind and then the same goes the extreme opposite way and that is in you know areas like Death Valley you
Randy Hulsey 15:20
know when it gets 120 degrees for
Michael Sweet 15:22
how does things survive kind
Randy Hulsey 15:26
of in the nutty the nutty thing about that is there's like no water there so it's not only hot but it's like you get the hydrated do which makes it even worse. Well tell me tell me where the other members of the band are. Are they are they in the New England area as well? Are they spread out? Where are the guys at these days?
Michael Sweet 15:45
They are not spread out eyes and Rob are in Las Vegas. And we always joke about you know, they always say oh, man, you make this so called the weather, the weather and I and I just think well, and Vegas every time I go to Vegas, it's like 150 and it's a feels like an oven. You know, you know you walk out there feels like an oven. But in Perry. Perry is in his hometown, which is Myrtle Beach. He was raised in that area and he's back there. He was living in Nashville for a while now. And he's in Myrtle Beach. Okay.
Randy Hulsey 16:21
Interesting. Now take take me back a little and talk to me about influences as a teenage kid growing up. Who were you into? Who are you listening to? And then fast forward that thought a little? And maybe share with the listeners who maybe you're vibing with today? Like what music out there? And maybe you don't listen to music? I mean, that's certainly possible. And I think people go through those spells but who was it when you were a teenager who shaped you? And then maybe who you vibing with these days?
Michael Sweet 17:00
Well, when I was growing up, starting from the time I was just a small young kid. My dad had a very eclectic music, musical tastes and collection. And he would listen to everything from the Jerry Lewis now this freshly okay, too. He started getting into bands like you know, Creedence Clearwater Revival. And then he also would listen to on occasion and actually liked it, you know, bands like Black Sabbath. And that's quite a water range. Yeah. And then you sprinkle in there in between, and he wrote country music but country music. So he loved country music too. And my dad loved it all my mom as well. And it's I grew up around that like learning how to appreciate all types of music. And I did. Absolutely I used to listen to when I was younger, I loved our greed. Okay. I love the Beegees I loved you know, like I said Creedence Clearwater Revival. I love Chuck Berry. I loved and then I started getting as I got a little older, I started getting into bad company, they became one of my first favorite rock bands, flog hat in bad company. Were two of my favorites. So back then, and then I started transitioning into heavier stuff. And he then obviously when they came out priests, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden do started getting into all that stuff as a guitar player Ozzy Osborne and the man I still love pop it in and our green song. And you know, and a big song. I mean, I just I appreciate just good vocals, good melodies, good songs.
Randy Hulsey 18:56
Who could? I mean? Is there anybody on the planet that that harmonizes better than the brothers? Gib I mean, I mean, the most underrated songwriters ever. I think anybody that knows me, I absolutely love the BGS what you know, I think they get a bad rap. It was that whole disco thing. But these are the songwriter songwriters. Right I mean, these guys are on another planet, I think personally
Michael Sweet 19:24
are on the planet and even their disco songs. were amazing song. Absolutely. You know, more than a woman you know, you just go on and on and just such incredibly well written song Correct. A disk or not? Who cares? Absolutely. Me. That's the mentality. It's so hard for me to understand what people just write it off because it's got that label on it. Absolutely. Yes.
Randy Hulsey 19:51
Well, I great Shawn. Yep. And I said I said, I've said this before about the Bee Gees. But then I said it I barked it up. again last night, as I was watching the an Eagles concert in which I don't watch TV hardly at all anymore, because I just don't have time to do that. But my comment was, and again, I've said it with the BGS 100 Times did these guys ever write a bad song just watching this concert of the Eagles, it was just hit after hit after hit. It's like, do y'all ever sprinkle in like a half crappy song like is every one of them like a chart topping song? Like, it's amazing that there's some that can write great songs. And then there's others, like, you know, your Bee Gees, and the eagles that are just on in a solar system all by themselves, it seems Oh
Michael Sweet 20:42
yeah. Cuz like you said, every song, every song is the head. You know? And like, and we're not the Beatles and think they were just writing machine. And she absolutely. And there's a few other bands out there that you could you could say that about. I mean, one band in particular that I was able to be a small part of in their first album was like that there wasn't a bad song on the album. And that was Boston. Absolutely. You know, just phenomenal songs. And it starts there. If you don't have that foundation to build your house upon you're just you're just wasting your time. That's right. You have to have a great song if you don't, you're in trouble. You can have the best performances the best thing and the best guitar player and it doesn't have it doesn't. This this song just a pile of garbage now and it how many times have we all heard that experience that? I think that's what happens with a lot of new albums that come out lately. I'm in I don't say all I say they maybe even a lot stretching it. But definitely a pretty good amount in at least in my opinion. Great players, great singers. Just phenomenal musicianship but then I listened to the album and the album gets sent to me and I listened to it the whole thing through it the next day. I'm not humming one
Randy Hulsey 22:12
Michael Sweet 22:15
It's not sticking one Yeah, it there's no look, there's no, there's nothing that and that's the thing about the music from the 70s. Man. Ah, it was just
Randy Hulsey 22:25
all about it was magical. Malleus.
Michael Sweet 22:29
Randy Hulsey 22:31
I'm not gonna go down a rabbit hole with music about the 70s. Because of that, like I say 1978 was my year. I mean, that was the year that shaped me as a musician playing all the shows that I play every year, the songs that I choose to play in my shows. It was just it was in I think we're pretty close to the same age. And that was just to me, that's when they had real musicians, guys that actually played their instruments they harmonize together, there wasn't all of this, this auto tuning magic that, you know, you know what I'm saying? Right? I mean, these were the musician's musician back in the day, I think, just my opinion,
Michael Sweet 23:10
you're right, man. And look it I'm guilty of Yeah, unfortunately, Pro Tools is kind of reshaped, you know, music in the future, everything. When you have those tools, you use them. I try not to though, you know, what I mean by that is, in the old days, when we were tracking and 83 or 8485, we would, you know, we knew our parts, we were much more well rehearsed, we'd play a solo and maybe track it two or three times, and we'd have it nowadays because the Pro Tools, we can sit there and track it, track it, track it, do it 30 or 40 times and then piece together little sections of each solo or to create a comp master solo and I'm just thinking, and, you know, I miss the old days, I guess just because you start to sterilize it lose the soul. Yeah, whatever it is your track well,
Randy Hulsey 24:05
and there's pros and cons and all of that, right? I mean, it's it isn't an amazing and a blessing that we have such tools today that they didn't have 40 years ago. You know, we're able to do bigger and better things. But you're right, it takes away some of the human element to the music sometimes. And then the other part of that is how difficult now is it for you to go try to reproduce that in a live show, right? Because it's so fabricated in the studio. People go to your show and say, Well gee, I really love the striper album. It was amazing but man they don't sound anything like they in Live Live Live record. And I think people want to hear live what they hear on the records. That's just our humaneness right that's our humaneness.
Michael Sweet 24:49
Absolutely. It's it a lot of bands do overdo it. We're one band that has on occasion over done it with production. I mean, you know where you feel you just go all out sure what you do so much She did hard to pull off live, you know, and one of the first bands it did that that popped into my head just so happens to the song came out in the 70s. And that's queen, you know, when he Bohemian Rhapsody. I mean, they couldn't pull it off lives, but they use tapes, everyone in the first fancy use tracks, you know? And then I get it. That's the only way they could pull it off to make it sound like it sounded on on the record. But I agree, I think it's important. And that's something we're really focusing on with this new album. I send it as I've tried to keep everything really straight ahead. So we could play all these songs live instead of well, we can play those four but we can't play those five writers are just too hard to pull off. Absolutely. Yep, absolutely. We're trying to keep it real. And so we can go out as a four piece and make it sound like the record and do it live.
Randy Hulsey 25:52
Yep. Well, that's a great segue. You spoke about four piece over 30 years ago, give or take probably a three piece band called rocks regime morphed into what we know a striper today. What drove you guys to go from three piece to four piece and then ultimately wind up changing the name to striper?
Michael Sweet 26:18
Well, I mean, I tell you, that's a really good question. And I think what it was is, we I was listening personally to a lot of bands that had dual guitars. And I kind of missed that in our music back then. As a trio, you could accomplish dual guitars, you know, it was impossible bands like Thin Lizzy, you know, I love in this. And I just just love the harmonies and love the sound the two guitars So, and then also I came out of a period where vocals really affected me. We were talking about the BGS anything was really good harmonizing, I was drawn to instantaneously the queen, the BGS, The Beach Boys, Beatles, anything that had the Eagles, obviously, you know, had those amazing harmonies, I was really drawn to that. So obviously bringing in someone that played guitar and sang so we could have that the harmonization in the guitars and the vocals was something that was really important. But I gotta say, we had fun being a trio, too. That was kind of cool. Yeah, there's something to be said for that too. And I had a blast doing that man I got used to I cut my teeth in clubs those days as a trio and learning how to play and seeing at the same time. So that's, that's why I do it to this day, you know, well, you probably
Randy Hulsey 27:44
have to be a little more on your A game when you're the only guitarist and you're the only singer you don't have a guy like us to kind of fill the gap so to speak, right and allow you to catch your breath, or whatever the case may be right. Now you're a little more out there for everybody to hear and see. It's much like me, as a solo acoustic artist I play in a duo will have a lead guitarist, but it's all acoustic. And man, when you put an acoustic guitar in front of you know, in your hand, and you sit in front of a house of a couple of two or 300 people, they hear all the mistakes. There's no hiding behind loud amps and all of this stuff, right? You're exposed for the whole world to see. So you get it from being three piece versus four piece, right?
Michael Sweet 28:29
It's so true. Yeah, so true. And I enjoy doing that 2d acoustics thing. I'll go out by myself and do the acoustic thing. And man, sometimes my back is the sweat is just pouring down my bathroom because you're so under the microscope. You know, any little voice crack any little mistake they're gonna hear? Absolutely. Well, like I said, there's something to be said for that though. That's kind of cool. It's live. It's live as it gets a bit man, I you know, I love playing and sing and you plug it in turn up fantasy in a week, we went to Australia a few years ago, I was wasn't able to make it. We did it as trio. Again, that was the first time ever since the early 80s that we were a trio. And it brought back a lot of those memories. And we have to figure out because you gotta you gotta learn how to play that way. You know how to hit a chord instead of a lead at this point. Yes. The transition into that segment. It's really interesting. It's a whole different mentality.
Randy Hulsey 29:39
Well, yeah, because you're so used to playing your part, right and not having to worry about this part. Now. You've got to incorporate two parts and the one and something you're not used to do. And
Michael Sweet 29:50
it was really it was very interesting. Even on some of the songs I didn't even play off those parts because I didn't have I didn't have time to learn it. You know, but we went we did it you I don't know how but we, we pulled it off. And it was really weird because I expected like really negative reviews of the shows in Australia and the reviews were really good. Despite the fact that we were just a tricky
Randy Hulsey 30:19
offshore is really interesting.
Michael Sweet 30:21
Randy Hulsey 30:23
Well, I was gonna ask you how they how they resignated with the people that attended the shows and you answered the question. I think that went over really well. Sounds like
Michael Sweet 30:33
well, I mean, there was a there was a certain rawness to it. Okay, that makes any sense. And I think the fans liked that. And it made for a different setting and a different feel and a different show. And that's what everyone talked about, like I've seen five times. And man, this was really interesting in a really cool way I really liked you know, that kind of thing.
Randy Hulsey 30:55
Absolutely. Now, striper went on to write, record and produce charting songs over the years. Songs like honesty, honestly, sorry, which climbed I think, to probably 2320 to 23 on the Billboard charts. And then you also had some like mega mega popular songs like, calling on you and always there for you, but striper. Also, you guys had an album To hell with the devil. And I think that was touted by some is maybe one of the best Christian rock records of all time. Yeah. Wow. Is that is that album for you guys? Do you think that that was the turning point for striper? Did you feel like there was another album where you kind of you said, you know, we've arrived What was that the album for you when you kind of felt like that?
Michael Sweet 31:53
I mean, for me, it felt more like that album would have been soldiers under command. The okay from 85. Okay. It wasn't so much about the sales and the popularity of the album, per se, you know, because tell the devil so much more and, you know, broke ground, obviously. But soldiers felt more like, you know, we transitioned into what we should have been and what we were not, because we were put there at first, our first world renowned producer Michael Wagner. We worked in a world renowned studio amigo studios were Van Halen and recorded we were looking at all the plaques on the walls of Van Halen. We were just in awe. Yeah. You know, because there are there are there are bands man Van Halen, you know, we all grew up on them. We all love them. And it just felt like wow, this is it. Yeah, this is the one more so soldiers for me then to hell. But to help felt that the same way to I think what happened with us with the hell is when we mix to hell with the devil, that song in particular, we went out to the car and popped in Yes, a cassette cranked it up and sat back and listen, we looked at each other and said, Wow, this is good. We got we got something here. Yeah. This is something special. Yeah, we felt it. We knew it good.
Randy Hulsey 33:26
And how hard? How hard? Or how stressful? Is it to? To follow up from save the success of to hell or soldiers. You know, those were great albums for you guys. Like, what does that pressure like to say, you know, we've got to, we've got to do just 2% better on this next one? Was it? Was it tough? Was it stressful for you guys at that time?
Michael Sweet 33:51
Yeah, it's hard. It is definitely hard. Because you're not only getting the pressure from yourself, you're getting the pressure from some fans, you know, and you're getting the pressure from the label. And the agent in all the people working the band and working out that you just broke ground with so you got to do that. That's the mentality. It was especially stressful back then. Because there wasn't as much time to do it. You know, albums were turned out once every year. Yeah, versus every every two or three years. So we'd make an album, spent a couple months I tell the devil for example, a couple months and then literally right after we were done. We'd get on a tour bus and go tour. And we would tour for 678 months versus now six or seven or eight weeks if that in an ad right. Have you done to you go home for a week and have time to pee and then eat a meal and you're back in the studio? Absolutely. And that's just the way it was. And you know, I kind of like that I work well under pressure you thank God
Randy Hulsey 35:00
Yeah, I was gonna say that's a good quality to have in your business, I would think
Michael Sweet 35:04
you kind of have to have it. But you know, I'll tell you some people don't. I've seen it firsthand where they buckle and they can't deal with it. Now, I've, I've buckled at times too. And I have too much on my plate. I'm like, Oh my gosh, I can't do this, you know, we all go through that. But I get when it comes to music. I'm one of those guys where, you know, somehow, someway, miraculously, I get it done. And I can I turn on when once I start writing this, something clicks in my mind. And it's like, the floodgates open and I'm able to focus and oops, get it done. Yeah. So unless I have, you know, emergency situations like this short, this this, you know, altered my whole year, you know, it's amazing how not my whole year but when this happened, it set back three different projects. It everything just changed. Yes, in an instant. So you know, if something like that happens, that's unfortunate, but man, I, I'm able to always somehow get it done. I'm blessed with all the music. I've been a part of that. Hopefully, there's a lot more to come. And I'm gonna keep getting it done.
Randy Hulsey 36:17
Hopefully. Yeah. And I don't want to go down a rabbit hole with with the medical piece there. But you You alluded to it, but for the listeners, they're not they don't see us on the video, like, like, I could see you pointing to your eye. The it was, correct me if I'm wrong. Was it a detached retina? That was the issue or what was the deal? Because I think, again, for the listeners, Miko has a patch on his eye for those that haven't seen this. So I wanted to kind of bring you up to speed on what he was talking about there with with the whole eye thing, right?
Michael Sweet 36:50
Yes, yes. Well, it was a detached retina. I got hit in the head, and I was young. And every time I'd go to the eye doctor, they would always say you need to keep it. No pun intended. You need to keep an eye on that. Because you have a partially detached retina. And I never really thought about it. No one ever suggested laser surgery or anything like that. And I go to the check to get checked up again. And they told me the same thing. Oh, wow. You know, you need to just keep tabs on that right there. You know that it shouldn't be a problem, but just be careful. And this went on my whole life. Now I'm nearsighted. So if you're near sighted, I just discovered this and learn this. You're more prone to retinal detachment. Okay, is your eyes are shaped differently and they actually stretch out a little bit more on the retina can detach more easily if you're near sighted. I'm nearsighted. And it's hereditary. I have thinning of the retinas. So I've got all these things going on. And sure enough, I'm 58 years old, and I didn't Disneyworld and I stepped off the curb and just like the light switch going on, by my vision, like just like that,
Randy Hulsey 38:07
like the I just it just it just blacked out like you couldn't see anything out of it.
Michael Sweet 38:12
It was it blacked out. It was like a curtain of gray. Gel over my eye was 1000s and 1000s of little black speckled dots. Wow, instant
Randy Hulsey 38:28
that had that that had to have been extremely scary for you like you had no idea what was going on there at the time. Right? Scary.
Michael Sweet 38:36
Yeah. I said to my wife, I said, Okay. My I can't see out of my eye, holy cow. And she said, What do you mean? What do you mean? And what happened was we were in Florida kind of stuck down. I tried to get into see an eye doctor. And I have BlueCross HMOs. So I wasn't able to do that out of state. Okay, so it took forever to get a referral. And I wound up just coming home and dealing with it here. But from that time down there to the time I got home it was about a week. And those speckles went away. I found out later that was fluid in my eye that the fluid that holds my retina in place it basically just draining out dissipated. Okay. Yeah, and that's what caused that look. And then about three days after that incident, I had what looked like a black half moon over my eye. All I could see where people's feet that was it.
Randy Hulsey 39:32
And at this time, did you have any idea what had happened to your eye? Well, at
Michael Sweet 39:37
that time I do. Okay, okay. Yeah, cuz I was Googling and everything.
Randy Hulsey 39:43
Self diagnosing on the internet.
Michael Sweet 39:45
Yeah, I called my doctor at home here and they said, It sounds like a detached retina, okay, you need to you need to deal with that right when you get home. So when I got home, I went to Mass ionair and had emergency surgery and that's exactly what it was it My mind was pretty bad. They had to do everything you know, they did a scleral block all around my eye to like a silicone band sewn into my eye is permanent. You can't see it. And it's just you know, in this I, I have this I checked in this left eye has to retinal tears. So that may happen at some time as well. You know, so it just it's one of those things, man, I'm sure you got to deal with it. Like many people have to deal with things I got to deal with that.
Randy Hulsey 40:29
Will it go back to a 2020 vision? I don't know if you had 2020 before but will it go back to normal? I guess that's probably the better way to phrase the question.
Michael Sweet 40:39
Here's the thing they don't think so. But people it's happened it's happened with some people and one of my dear friends Paul, they're gonna with metal edge. He he had he's had eye surgeries had the same thing happened in his vision went back to like he's he's a he's a miracle basically. And then Todd Curran who plays for slash as well. Phenomenal bass player, singer, dear friend he had the same thing happened to him. So it's happened to a good number of people. Oddly enough.
Randy Hulsey 41:12
I was just I was just thinking like, Let me think about this for a second. I guess if you were to have an issue with your eye like you've had that's the the right is probably the better eye for the guitarist right just by the way you look at the neck if I'm thinking that through my in my in the mind's eye real quick, right?
Michael Sweet 41:37
Oh, yeah. Now for sure. If then did my left die? I'd be in serious trouble.
Randy Hulsey 41:44
Yeah, you couldn't work the fretboard probably quite like you could have to literally I'd have to turn your head a lot. Yeah, that's why. Yeah,
Michael Sweet 41:54
and probably get, you know, a stiff neck and still have trouble. I'm having trouble even with it being this i Yeah, I'm having trouble figuring out and judgy sometimes where my hands land. It's very, very hard.
Randy Hulsey 42:12
Well, now Max, magnify that by like two or three, by not having the eye that you do have? And now you've got even a bigger challenge. Right. Well, so you're, you should be thankful that I guess it's that I have it, you know, from a playability standpoint, right.
Michael Sweet 42:30
No question, no question about it. I'm, I'm very thankful that I, and I'm gonna, you know, I'm going to go in and we're going to record an album, and I won't have my vision back in this side for a while, but, you know, I'll be fine. I'll get through it. Hopefully, by the time I track solos, I might have vision in this side. That would be a little helpful. Yeah. But yeah, I'm not worried about it, man. I mean, I keep telling myself, it could always be worse. And man, it sure can
Randy Hulsey 42:58
be. Absolutely, it can always be worse. Well, you had you had a lot of success with some charting songs from your solo work that spanned. I think that you said earlier, it was 1313 records that you put out. How important is it to you? To release solo material alongside the material that you release with striper? Do you try to keep it a one for one? Does that even matter to you? Hopefully, my question makes sense.
Michael Sweet 43:34
Oh, it makes perfect sense. No, here's the thing. It's always a fine line when you do solo projects when you're in a band. Because it can come across as an egotistical thing. It can come across as a betrayal. You know, like you're betraying the other guys in the band or you don't have respect for them. I mean, I've heard comments like this from people and I, I can kind of understand the mentality behind those comments, but at the same time, the reason why I do it is because I've got so much music and yeah, I've just got music coming out, it'd be left and right. And I want to be able to, to record it and and perform it and get it out of my mind you know, and out of my system. And this is why I do it. And I enjoy doing it. I mean I a more than ever before. I enjoy the process recording and writing and it's so much fun to me and I love it. So that's why I do so many solo albums. Yeah, because I just I enjoy the process. It has nothing to do with ego has nothing to do with any of that stuff. It's just, it's just who I am. You know who I am and I got to get it out somehow.
Randy Hulsey 44:53
Do you feel like you enjoy the whole process more at your age now versus When you were in your 20s or 30s, like is it more enjoyable? Or is it less enjoyable? Now would you say?
Michael Sweet 45:07
Well, I tell you the process, the songwriting process and the basic track tracking process is more enjoyable, okay? Or certainly as a Georgia, okay. I love it. The part that I don't care for as much, because it's much more tedious and I'm older, so my vocal cords aren't, you know, spring chickens anymore. But it's every time I track the vocals, you know, and I do it on my own for a number of reasons. It saves us money, it saves us time. It seems it saves stress. Like, if I'm doing a vocal in the studio, and we're paying $1,000 a day and I'm not feeling it that day. That's very stressful chore, right? Versus when I track at home. I don't have to, I don't have to worry about that. If I'm not feeling it, I just don't track that day. I go I go home, I go catch a movie with my wife. I do it the next day. Sure. And nobody's dying. So I like doing it that way. But at the same time, I'm much harder on myself. It's much more tedious. I'm never happy with anything I say. Yeah.
Randy Hulsey 46:20
Who is even nice,
Michael Sweet 46:22
even pay for the whole band. And they say wow, that's the most amazing thing you saying? And I'm like, I'm sitting there hating it.
Randy Hulsey 46:27
Yeah. Well, we're our own worst critic. And whether it's vocals or us both being guitarist, you're always after that elusive perfect tone and that elusive perfect sound. That Gosh, dang it. You never seem to ever, you know, it's just always right there out of your reach. It seems like even though you think you've got it dialed in 99.9%. But there's that point. 1% that just could be a little better all the time.
Michael Sweet 46:57
Oh, true. Oh, yeah. How do you force, it's always gonna be that way and it will listen back to each album. Once we finish it. I'll go back two months later, and I'll listen. Yeah, I wish I could have done that better. Oh, man. I wish I did that. I did this. I did. Yes.
Randy Hulsey 47:14
Yep. Hindsight is always 2020. My friend. That's what they say. That's the old adage, right? How do you force yourself out of the striper mindset to write the Michael sweet songs? How do you how do you not make the Michael sweet stuff sound like striper? Or do you purposely? Do you purposely try not Do you just let it flow? Talk to me a little bit about that.
Michael Sweet 47:42
I just let it flow. Okay. Like I would I go into right a strike problem and just whatever's coming out that I like, if I'm tapping my foot and feeling it. That's what's that's what's going on, you know, if it's real heavy. If it's got a little bit more of a pop since it, whatever, that's fine. Then now when I do this, Michael sweet stuff. I tend to naturally why I want to experiment a little bit more. And I feel the freedom to do that. With Michael sweet stuff, because there are no real expectations like it. Right. We're like, we're a metal band. So we got to do this. We got to do that. You know if we don't Oh, it was Michael swings, like, whatever. If I want to do a song in the sounds of our country, who cares?
Randy Hulsey 48:29
There's less parameters what to do.
Michael Sweet 48:31
Yeah, I mean, exactly. Or if I want to do a piano ballad, who cares? But with striper. It's like we got to be a little bit more careful of that. Because, boy, well, we'll catch the heat. We don't do it. Right.
Randy Hulsey 48:42
Well, you're under the microscope. Probably a little bit more with striper than you are with Michael Sweet, right?
Michael Sweet 48:49
Yeah, yes. You sure? Yes.
Randy Hulsey 48:51
You had another project that you did with guitar master George Lynch of the band. Dokin. Tell me a little bit how that project shaped up like what were How did this thing come to birth?
Michael Sweet 49:07
Well, I mean, it Serafina at frontiers reached out to me and asked me if I want to be a part of this supergroup as he was calling it. And he had John Levin, originally picked out who plays for docking. Okay, he's George's, George's. I don't know what the right terminology is. But basically, he took over George's place docking is great player. But the predecessor, like Serafina was wanting to do more of a dock and meet striper thing. So I said to him, I said, Well, if that's what you're trying to do, what why don't we just reach out to George and he said, Well, do you know George? I said, Yeah, I do. And he said, Yeah, please do and I reached out to George emailed him and we started talking to George said I'm in it was pretty much cut and dry like that.
Randy Hulsey 49:58
That was that was pretty short live, wasn't the that project a little short lived? Maybe? Was there a record or two that came out of that project?
Michael Sweet 50:08
We did two hours. Okay. Yeah, we did two albums. And then it got kind of put on a shelf for a while. And the reason why unless there are other reasons unknown, I'm not familiar with is I didn't want to do a third album, because I wanted it to be done a certain way in terms of quality, and not rushing through it together. And I also felt like George, and George can, you know, chime in anytime you want to say whatever he wants, I'm all ears. But it just felt and seemed like George was it as into it as I was. Meaning I would, when an album would come out, I would post about it, you know, two or three times a day, for a month. And George would post about it once or twice, you know, and it just, it just didn't seem to be or feel like he was
Randy Hulsey 51:10
harder. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense.
Michael Sweet 51:14
If you know, whether that's true or false? I don't know. It just seemed that
Randy Hulsey 51:18
well, it's, it's a perception. And sometimes perceptions can either be really good things, or they can not be as good of things, right? You know, it could go it could go either way on the ballot scale, a justice
Michael Sweet 51:30
exam, you did, I just, I felt like you know, and I don't really want to do this anymore. So I didn't do it. And then I was approached by the label to do in a new way, a different way. CO producing it with this guy. elisandra was amazing, really amazing guy, amazing producer. And it's gonna be a different sounding record from the first two. But we're able to get it done within budget. And George and I are doing a third Sweetland shout, believe it or not
Randy Hulsey 51:59
awesome. Now, you also had a short stint with Tracy guns and a project called Sun bomb. Did that come about kind of the same way?
Michael Sweet 52:08
It did come about kind of the same way. But in the sense that it's a frontiers project. And you know, it kind of birthed out of this supergroup mentality. Right. But that was really from what I understand more of a Tracee project. And almost it almost felt like more of a solo project that he had to deal with frontiers for okay. And I think they had another vocalist who was set up to do it and that didn't work out and then Tracy contacted me. And that almost didn't work out. And then it did. Okay. So I obviously was a part of that album and sang on that album and it was really fun to being a part of it and seeing those songs because they had a different darker doomy or kind of vibe to cool.
Randy Hulsey 53:02
I just to make sure I have my terminology right, you when you say supergroup, I'm assuming that you mean along the lines of like, when when Asia was formed. And like when the Damn Yankees were formed, where they take a guy from this band and that band and meld them together to make that band. They refer to that, for the listeners that aren't familiar with some of the terminology. That's what we're talking about. As it relates to supergroup Is that correct? Michael, you and I are on the same page. Okay, I just wanted to make sure that we clarified that for the listeners that aren't in bands
Michael Sweet 53:36
only difference with us with names like Michael Sweet. All the other guys that I do these supergroups with is we're not as super as some of those. So maybe we're mini super.
Randy Hulsey 53:48
Right. Now is this where is this where you ran into Adam Hamilton through the whole Tracy guns thing or where did where did the connection with Adam come about for you?
Michael Sweet 54:04
That's exactly right. Yeah. i That's how I got to know Adam. Again, just through email and text messages. Okay. I think we might have had one or two phone conversations, you know, but basically he drummed on and from what I understand, I know he mixed it he might have produced it or CO produced it via somebody. Okay. And as I was sending in my vocals and stuff, I was dealing with data, you know, and and he was gracious to everything man is such a professional such a sweetheart and the album considering how it was done and put together it really turned out great. Because a lot of that album was done at home. I think Tracy tractus guitars at home. There was in a lot of big studios involved in things like that, you know, sort of I know it was a real high budget album as well. But, man, like I said, All things considered, it really turned out great. It has a really cool vibe to it. Great sound, too.
Randy Hulsey 55:09
That's really cool. And I think my, my show with Adam has been recorded, and I think that drops in January. So I'm looking forward to that, that one drop in. And I also released one not too long ago with Mark Knight from bank tango, who work pretty closely with with Adam Hamilton as well. So there's a big Adam Hamilton connection, you know, going on with a lot of the musicians and he is he's a, he's a wonderful guy.
Michael Sweet 55:41
Man, he's a great guy, such a sweetheart, one of the best guys in the business.
Randy Hulsey 55:46
Yep, I'm sure he'll appreciate hearing that. Now back in 2007. You got a phone call. From someone very special after the passing of legendary singer Brad Delp of the rock band Boston. Tell the listeners about this call that you got.
Michael Sweet 56:04
Yeah, oh my gosh. Well, my manager got a call. Okay, I Brad delt passed and I had written something that went online about what he meant to me. And Kim Scholz, who was Tom Scholz wife apparently, found it online, read it online. I believe Tom read it. And they reached out to my management Dave rose about having me as a guest at what was supposed to be their last Boston show. And they invited me to come and sing a song and the original song the first time they wanted me to sing, or the one song was a song called Higher Power. I don't know if you've even heard that. But it's a beside you know, on one of their albums, and I think they were just kind of picking something that was fitting for Michael Sweet, you know, higher power the lyric and follow it. And they had invited Mickey Thomas, Sammy, Hagar, and Wilson, a bunch of different singers and artists. And some of these people weren't able to make it. So wound up being. I was asked to sing more songs, which was more than a feeling rock'n'roll. Peace of mind, okay. And I learned all the guitar parts I walked in, and we rehearse did guitar first. And Tom was really impressed. It literally like grinning ear to hear. And when he went as far as to say, and I'll never forget it, that it was the best guitars it ever sounded. And that really blew my mind. Because it's Boston. Yeah, it's hard. Okay, what? And then I sang. And it was just wild how everything just started falling into place and why we did the show and sang and the fans is sold out show in Boston on the harbor. The fans were so beautiful. And so acceptive. And right after the show, what was supposed to be their last show, I guess, because this went so well. It was so magnetic. Tom came backstage and said, we want to do more we want to do a tour and we want you to be a part of it. Join the band. And that was it.
Randy Hulsey 58:26
Well, I have to ask how how a vocalist like yourself and you're a wonderful vocalist, and I think nobody would disagree with that. But how? How does it make a guy like you feel when you know that you're fixing to climb up on a stage and sing with people like Sammy Hagar and Mickey Thomas from starship and and and Wilson like these are? These are some of the best singers in the business. Is there any kind of? Maybe it's a silly question. Is there any intimidation factor for a guy like you or is it just it is what it is kind of thing?
Michael Sweet 59:05
No, there definitely is. But it wasn't from that perspective. It wasn't I wasn't thinking about Mickey Thomas and Sammy Hagar in any of those singers. And I say that with all due respect. Mickey Thomas is one that still sounds like he did my gosh. Phenomenal. And Wilson Come on, you know, but it was more the fact that I was getting ready to go out and sing Boston songs. And not just Boston songs but the hardest rock song in the history of rock music in my opinion, which is one of the few there's not a more difficult song to sing. If there is tell me because I need to know. And and in front of Boston fans coming off the heels of Brad delt passing that's what made me nervous. I was a nervous wreck.
Randy Hulsey 1:00:03
I guess so.
Michael Sweet 1:00:05
I mean, I think I had to change my underwear after that show. And I'm telling you, I was nervous as all get out. But once I went out there and did it, we had some technical issues right before I was supposed to go out. And my guitar tech was there and he fixed it. No, no, not my guitar tech, another guitar tech, sorry. I'm thinking of something else. They fixed the issue. I went out and played and right after that first song, and the crowd erupted. That's when my nerves passed, you know, and I was able to get through it. And just enjoy the show, man. And I realized like, this isn't about me. This isn't about anybody else. This is about Brad. Yeah. This is Brad's wife, and celebrating his life. It celebrated who he was. And then once I did that, and thought that way, it was just such a magical night. It was unbelievable.
Randy Hulsey 1:01:01
Well, I think it's a I think it's a testament to you know, kind of to what people think of your your vocal prowess. I mean, you were placed yet. I shouldn't say that. Let me rephrase. You were doing a tribute to Brad Delp. I mean, these were humongous shoes to fill, like, like you mentioned Brad Delp. I mean, if somebody said, I've had people come up to my shows, as a solo guy, acoustic solo guy and say, Hey, do you do anything by Boston? And I look at them, probably like, they've got eight eyes on their head. And I'm like, did you really seriously just ask me that? Like, I couldn't do that. Even if if I had help doing that. It's there's no way. Oh, man, you guys, the guys on another planet in and of themselves as well?
Michael Sweet 1:01:49
Oh, yeah. It's, it's so interesting, because I just it was it was an interesting time, because you know, my wife was sick at the time, and I was her caretaker, and here I am getting ready to go on a Boston tour. So I, I was opposed to it. And I didn't feel like something I was physically or mentally able to do. And she wanted me to do it. And really pushed for that. And we figure out a way to make it happen. And I went on tour we did, I think it was 56 shows it was it was a big tour. Six was the opener opening band for most of the tour. And it was interesting, because Tom, who is an extreme perfectionist, I am too, but I think he may have me be. He's an extreme perfectionist and knows what he wants and knows how to achieve that. I thought, How am I going to sing when I don't sound anything like Brad Dell? I mean, I can, you know, I might have some of the range and I can hit some of the notes. But I don't sound like Brad Sure. I don't have the same tonality. So how's this gonna work? And I went out and sang the songs like Michael Sweet. And there was another guy there another singer, we Coast sing. So I would sing one song and then he would sing smoking. And then I would sing this a long time. And he would sing, you know. So we switched off guy by the name of Brad excuse, it got to the name of Tommy DeCarlo. And he's still with the band now. And Tommy has a little bit of the tonality that Brad had. So he sounded more like Brad and I sounded more like Michael Sweet, but I would send your son and Tom would stop and say, Tommy, you got to go home and listen to the owl. You know, you're not seeing that right? And then I wasn't seeing it right at all. And I'd say what about P? What do you want to do? And Tom say you're fine. Sounds great. Just keep singing like just it became this. It's starting to feel kind of weird, a little uncomfortable for me because I was getting away it was you
Randy Hulsey 1:04:10
know, murder, right?
Michael Sweet 1:04:12
Well, it felt like that. Yeah. I was just saying like me, Michael Sweet and Tom liked it. And maybe the only thing I could think of is maybe because I was an established artist. He just wanted me to be who I was, you know?
Randy Hulsey 1:04:26
Yeah, he had no expectations of you may be right. I knew you were gonna come in and sat sound like Brad Delp probably,
Michael Sweet 1:04:33
I guess, I guess so. And yeah, and he knew he went out and bought a few of our albums and listened to him and said he loved them and was really impressed with the songwriting to guitars, the vocals I mean, we talked we became really good friends during that time. And it was really interesting how that worked out. But man I got I got to go out there and just do my thing. I was running all over the stage. Nobody else was everyone was standing in one place. I'd say to Tom, Man, am I moving too much? And you say, oh, no, no, no, keep moving. Keep moving. He just let me do my thing. Yeah. It was really cool.
Randy Hulsey 1:05:08
Well, what a cool thing. I mean, you spent, what about four years with Boston? I think and what a mystical man, you know, they, they didn't have a lot of material out, you know, they weren't like a lot of bands that had 1520 records out, you know, they went years and years and years in between records. And so they almost became this, this mystical band, like, when are these guys gonna put out their next record and 10 years and 13 years? You never knew when they were coming, but the stuff that they did do and somebody will educate me if I'm wrong. What did they do? Like? Four records? Five records? I mean, it was it was a small amount, right? A few more than
Michael Sweet 1:05:48
that. Okay, not exactly sure myself, but I want to say maybe it might even be six or seven. They released one on frontiers. A while back. Okay. Maybe maybe 567 years ago? I'm not sure. I've lost track of time. I think it was called love life. Hope. Okay. And that was their last album that they put out. But yeah, they haven't released very many albums. Being from 1977. Yeah,
Randy Hulsey 1:06:19
I was gonna say they go way back to the mid 70s. Yeah.
Michael Sweet 1:06:22
Yeah, I mean, that's going way back. So you would think they would have you know,
Randy Hulsey 1:06:27
2015 20 Yes. Yeah.
Michael Sweet 1:06:30
Yeah, no, they have certainly half half that if I'm not mistaken. But yeah. And everybody knows the first the first Boston outlive is the one that set the stamp.
Randy Hulsey 1:06:41
Oh, yeah. Yeah. How do you how do you even follow such an album? I mean, that debut album stayed on the charts for how many years? Like it was on the chart for years, like some, some hit the charts and stay on it for maybe a couple of weeks. 234 weeks? I mean, this one was yours. Right? It's like one of the greatest selling debut albums of all time.
Michael Sweet 1:07:01
I think it is. I think it's like the greatest selling like rock debut. Yeah. Michael Jackson is surpassing in a few others. Mariah Carey, I'm not sure who else but yeah, in terms of rock, that's it. Yeah. That's the Well,
Randy Hulsey 1:07:16
congratulations on that gig. I mean, that that never hurts to have that on your resume. Right. Like I was the singer of Boston. I mean, I could think of worst things to put on a resume. Right?
Michael Sweet 1:07:27
Well, I tell you, and I, again, I always say with all due respect, but I mean that when I say it, with all due respect it I don't know if it necessarily hurts, but I don't know how much it really helps, either. I mean, I, I, you know, I I'm trying to find the right words here. Because I don't want to be disrespectful. But I just, I don't know that it's brought anything extra my way. You know? And yeah, I say that because stripers, my baby, absolutely stripers the band that I've been involved with day one, and I'm still involved with it. That's why I left Boston. It was some of the things going on, in that I was getting wind down and whatnot. I just felt like, you know, I really need to focus on striper because it's it's the band that I started with my brother. You know, it's a band that we're going to, we're going to keep touring with and reporting with. And I need to really just set my sights on that. And I felt like if I had remained in Boston and continued on with him that I wouldn't be able to do that. Absolutely. Because they toured a tour quite a few times since.
Randy Hulsey 1:08:40
Yeah, absolutely. Well, let me shift gears with you real quick. I wanted to talk a little bit about and high level about equipment and tone. I think that you're using a Is it the ISP theta box still the Signature Edition Are you still with that product or using that product?
Michael Sweet 1:09:03
I am I said Michael Sweet signature theta fro. And it's, it's got my thing, my presets in it. There's a pre EQ circuit on that. That allows me to dial in my parametric pre EQ tone, you know, so it's just adding a lot of that seven 750 to 800 at a somewhat narrow range and it gives it that half cocked Wah kind of calm, calm, calm, you know, chunky, chunky thing. And I love the people I love buck and Shelly and they've really taken care of me man, and they did fairly well with that. Okay, and then they released the smaller version, and that's what I'm using live right now. If you come see us live, and you watch videos, we just did the Jericho cruise. If you go watch the live videos of that, you hear my tone. That's what that is. It's, it's come, I'm coming out stereo into the house direct. And then I'm going I'm feeding to Marshall or basic Boogie heads, whichever, whichever they have that sound good.
Randy Hulsey 1:10:12
Okay. Now this is a digital device. And you've I think you've said in the past, or I've heard it somewhere, correct me if I'm wrong, but it almost sounds analog. Explain this to the casual listener. What does that mean when you go from a digital device and it comes out sounding analog that that sounds counterintuitive or counterproductive? Like, why would I go buy a digital thing to sound like something completely opposite? Right, right?
Michael Sweet 1:10:41
Well, the thing about digital is, it's it's more easily programmable. It's it's a lot more convenient, more consistent. You he you know, analog stuff isn't as consistent. You know, when you're dealing with tubes and circuits and whatnot, things can go wrong, and things don't work properly, or they one thing gets turned and it sounds totally different. Or with the digital box, you get your tone and you save it. And that's it. You plug in every night. It sounds the same every night. Yes. So that's it. That's the greatness about that. And what I meant by the digital sounding, my analog thing is a lot of the digital. All in One boxes, you know, you've got camp camper, you've got a fractal it, those are the higher end and then you've got all that line six stuff that goes from high end down to low end and price wise. And then you've got the Headrush stuff, you've got everybody coming out with all these digital, all in one all your fax all your amps, everything your calves in one box, right? The problem with most of them is there's a big difference from plugging into one of those into an amp and then just plug it into an amp. My ears is a night and day difference. Absolutely. And it's something to do with the air you're moving with the break up with the natural sound of that tube circuit in the head and old martial versus an old martial being modeled in a digital box, you know, and they, some people will say, Oh, man, that sounds just like a martial law. Okay, really, we'll go get a real gold martial and then plug into that and then a b two, and then you tell me if it sounds just like it? Sure. No, it doesn't, at all. At all, you can make me sit there for 24 hours or 48 hours and tweak it with a bunch of added stuff to try to make it sound more like it. But it just went point is it's not that beats in. That's what I meant by with my blocks in particular to my ears, okay, maybe other people's ears. It doesn't sound that way but to my ears when I plugged into a line six. And I tried to get that analog sound that striper had back in the 80s and then I plugged in my box and I tried to get it my box sounds more like the analog more okay, that move in air kind of kind of taller you I'm able to play better because of that. And I feel better as if it's the way it responds. Okay to onstage? Yeah, the front of house and he and I just line six is the biggest selling you know, model are out there.
Randy Hulsey 1:13:49
I've got one sitting right there the matter of fact, right. Yeah, there. Yeah.
Michael Sweet 1:13:56
And I've got I've got one, I've got two. I've got the little tiny one. I've got the older big one. Sure. I get it. There's a reason why they're the biggest selling model are out there. And it's not about dogging line six. It's just that me personally, I can't get the tone I want to feel and hear out of line six. That just for live I'm talking about like,
Randy Hulsey 1:14:22
Yeah, well, at the end of the day, your ears are not the same as my ears. Like I can hear something. I hear something totally different. Yeah, if I'm listening to you play sit there noodle on the guitar. You hear it one way, and I hear it a different way, even though it's the same exact thing that we're listening to. Right. So. So it has to be it has to be pleasing to your ears first. Right? It has to satisfy Michael before it satisfies the world. Right? And if you're happy,
Michael Sweet 1:14:52
it's kind of sealed, right? It's the ears but then also the feel of it, you know, to get your legs that the speakers move The air moving your legs and all that stuff. Yep. And again, line six what I find it excels in that what I do like it the environment. I like it in the studio. You know it, that's a whole different thing. I'm just primarily talking about live life live guests. When you're cranking it through an amp. Yep. You know, there's just something there. And that goes for fractal. I have a fractal. I've toured with it. Same thing. I've always gone back to my box, because it just responds better in a live environment to me. Yeah.
Randy Hulsey 1:15:34
Is it my understanding that that unit will actually tune you down a half step, a whole step without you physically having to tune the guitar down?
Michael Sweet 1:15:45
Yeah, you got the volley. Fine. It's got the pitch shifting. So you could do not a smart pitch shifter, but you can drop down or go up, okay, it's so many steps before or half steps intervals before it starts to sound unnatural. And drop it down to two and a half or three steps is gonna start to sound
Randy Hulsey 1:16:07
short. Weird, then you're gonna have intonation probably issues, you know, where the guitar doesn't quite stay in tune. Because, uh, well, yeah,
Michael Sweet 1:16:18
I mean, it's just, it just sounds weird. It doesn't sound natural. It sounds very strange. But I mean, it works really well. The biggest thing about any type of pitch effect that you always want to make sure is the best it can be is the latency. You know, a lot of times when you drop stuff down with a lot of these units out there, you get a latency. So it's a lag, and you hit the cord and it comes out just a little late, you know, is that you can't have that going on?
Randy Hulsey 1:16:48
No. Now is that pedal is? Is it truly? Is it truly an all in one where you don't have any other pedals hooked up with that? Like you literally take one box on stage and drop it? Or do you actually have a couple of, you know, additional petals that that give you a different sound? Right? I don't want to steal your secret sauce or anything, right? But I'm just curious if if, if you were truly able to pull all of the Michael sweets striper sound through that one unit, right?
Michael Sweet 1:17:20
Yeah, do that one unit, the only thing that I have I have a wireless, the Shure wireless. And then I have a radial ra dia L blocks. And it's basically like a stereo di that I go through because it's got the one thing my box doesn't have is ground lifts and or phase reverse switches. So I got this radial box. So if there's ever phase issues or ground issues, I can lift the ground and reverse the phase. So that's the one thing that my boxes and have it you know, I wished it had that and they could obviously build one that has that. But I gotta be honest, I've never really come across that problem. Yeah, but usually, there's not any noise. There's no harm or Yes, phase issues at all. I walk into the venue and it's always pretty golden. Occasionally, you'll have some venue that has the worst power, and everybody's buzzing base, everybody. And you can't get rid of it. You know what I mean? So that happens on rare occasion.
Randy Hulsey 1:18:36
So jumping over to the guitar real quick. Now I know that you've been associated over the years with PRs and Washburn is suddenly the go to instrument for you these days or do I have my facts all non factual? Like are you still playing Washburn or prs? Or is it all solely or to talk to me in the listeners a little bit about guitar of choice or what you're playing?
Michael Sweet 1:19:02
Well, people, people always, I noticed online when I switch to a different company, they think, oh, man, you know, can't you stay with one company or, you know, I thought Washburn's were the best guitars and well, they were, but you know, things happen. And I'll tell you, I know, I don't want to eat up all the time here. But just to give you an example. I called PRs for years and spoke to a guy who used to work there. I don't believe he still works there by the name of wind and asked him if I could become an artist. It wasn't about getting free guitars. It's just because I love Paul Reed Smith guitars. I had to built for me, and I got 50% off that I paid for, you know, I had to build I haven't to this day. And I said when dude, I'd love to be an artist man. Wow, my uncle, you know, sorry. All we could do is you know, give you some pickups and give you a discount on the guitars. But you know, hey, who knows, maybe someday I call them again. Six months later or a year later Hey, buddy, dude, I'm playing are these PRS is that's it exclusively I love to become an artist. Well, you know the drill man. Sorry. So when I got the Boston gig. I called him up. And I said, Hey, man, it's Michael three to go. Hey, what's going on? Michael, before you ask, you know the drill. It's nothing we could do, man. I mean, you know, and I said, Well, I got to do get he goes, What do you mean, you got to do gay guys. I gotta do gay girls. What do you do? And I said, I'm going to be touring with Boston. 56 cities headlining and he goes, Boston. Boston, and he goes, what do you need? That was it. He sent me Seven Guitars. Just like that. So I kind of as much as I love file respect guitars. It
Randy Hulsey 1:21:06
soured you probably right. It
Michael Sweet 1:21:09
left a little bit of a bad taste in my mouth. I just don't like, okay. It didn't feel about the relationship to me. Yeah, about like just being seen.
Randy Hulsey 1:21:23
But it kind of goes, but it kind of goes back to that resume thing. I mean, that's just a prime example of that. When you you you had nothing. And then you mentioned Boston and now all of a sudden, oh, wait. Yeah, it's silly. It's a little silly. Right?
Michael Sweet 1:21:39
It is, it is. But it but that's what that's how that's the reality. Okay. That's why we you see bands who are breaking and they're young, and they don't have anything, and then all of a sudden, they're endorsed by everybody. Yeah. Because they're opening for this band or that band, you know, and it's like, I get it, but at the same time, I don't. And the reason why is because there's something to be said for the old dogs like me, who stuck by those companies for whether it's, you know, you
Randy Hulsey 1:22:13
name flavor of the day. Yeah. Yeah.
Michael Sweet 1:22:16
So that's what happened with prs. And I, when I left Boston, I moved on from prs. Because when I left Boston, what do you think happened?
Randy Hulsey 1:22:23
Well, the guitar stopped coming, for sure. Right. Miko had to go buy his own guitar. Again. That's
Michael Sweet 1:22:32
interesting that you guessed that Yeah. And then I wound up eventually, I was very hesitant to sign a deal with any other company. And I was with carbon. And I, they made me a beautiful guitar. And I performed at Anaheim, a House of Blues and I forgot to mention carbon. He was doing Nam, the show, I forgot to mention carbon from the stage. They were there seeing us that night. I'm just caught up in the moment. And the next morning, I heard stories about someone from carbon being upset and livid. There was some stand up of me and I guess they broke that into pieces. And they were just livid with me, because I forgot to mention that. Wow, I wrote an email apologizing by days with carbon we're done from that moment on. So this, I'm just giving you stories so people know like, why does he change come short. And then I want to eventually doing a deal with Washburn and they were amazing. And the guy there that took care of me became a dear friend, wonderful guy. Gills South Sea are so sweet might be so see. Gosh, just took care of me. Made me my own personal guitar. They released it. It did really well. Maybe another model, another model, another model. They made me an acoustic guitar and I just felt like wow, I finally have a family here. And I proudly played Washburn and then he left the company. And I knew when he told me he was leaving that that was the end of it. Because the other people that I dealt with they're just it wasn't easy to deal with. Not that they were bad people with this. It wasn't easy to get things done. I'm sure Gail Gail always got things so when he left Sure enough, that was it. And I parted ways with Washburn. So then I thought, okay, look, it's not about finding a big company for me. It's really not because I was talking to some big companies who wanted to bring me on board. And I could have done that. But I've been there and done that. And I wanted to find someone that just is a good person and respectable sure and who could build the best quality tar out there. And that solid. I don't know if you've ever played a Solly or if you've ever met Solly. But, you know, I've never met him in person, but I've, I've talked with him and we he texted email all the time. And he's just a incredible guy who builds like, killer guitars. And you know, it's just amazing. And I proudly play the solid. I tell you, I got to do another one comment, a signature model. And he's doing some imports that are coming out he sold out on the pre orders Michael Sweet imports, and that's why I'm playing salies right now. Okay. It's not about being a gear or be just jumping from company to company. A lot of people just assume that Sure. It's really not right.
Randy Hulsey 1:25:50
Well, where did you even hear for what did solely come up at Nam? Where did you hear about them? Because to be honest, like a no disrespect to them. I before you and before doing the show. I haven't heard of them. And I've heard of a lot of guitars. But again, I don't I can't know all of the guitars out there. Right.
Michael Sweet 1:26:08
I get it. I know. It's one of those things where, you know, hopefully someday soon, Sally will be
Randy Hulsey 1:26:17
a household name. Yeah. Yeah.
Michael Sweet 1:26:21
I hope that happens it because he deserves that because his guitars are trust. They're their killer. They're every bit as good as the old Jackson guitars. The original Jack's is there. They're right up there. And oddly enough, I know he really respects that Grover, they actually released the guitar together. And I think Grovers taught Sony a lot. And he builds guitars like the old Jackson's that's why I love them so much. Where's that? I just learned about him because I started researching. I talked to a good friend of mine, Adam River at FAU tone. And he highly recommended Solly and I started looking at all the models and stuff and I was I was blown away. If you go to the website, you look at all their guitar, it's just like, man, he makes some killer stuff.
Randy Hulsey 1:27:14
While it's interesting that you say that about the guitars. I had Randy Jackson, not the American Idol Randy Jackson, but Randy Jackson, the lead singer of The Rock Band zebra on my show, and he plays he's he's an exclusive Michael Kelly now, and I had never before him I had never heard of Michael Kelly either, right? So it's like, again, it's kind of along the same lines as as you were you you're you guys, you both you and Randy are introducing a little bit more of an unknown guitar. I mean, the household names are, of course fender and Taylor and Martin and, you know, whatever. But Sully and Michael Kelly are just they're not household names yet. And I think by having guys like yourself, world renowned artists, as as spokespeople for their instruments that that will help grow their brand tremendously, I would think or hope. Right? And I'm sure you would hope the same thing for for Sally too, right?
Michael Sweet 1:28:18
Absolutely. And I tell you, man, I wouldn't play it. If I did feel it was the best guitar to play. Oh, for sure. And I've gotten I've gotten guitars from other companies. There were other companies that built me guitars and and it just didn't feel right. Yep. So I didn't play. I didn't wind up going with that company. Yeah. And because it just wasn't right. But you know, it's got to be right. It's got to feel right. Look, right. And if it doesn't, I'm not gonna do it. Absolutely. I have a bunch of guitars. I'll just play my old jazz. I mean, well,
Randy Hulsey 1:28:57
and you still Yeah, and I think you and I both are in a position that we could just go buy our own guitars if we wanted to buy our own guitars, right. It's not a it's not even a money thing. It's it's really, you know, about just having the right instrument in your hand. The carpenter has to have the right hammer. It's not any old hammer. It's the right hammer. And they said that about what the 19 or 1980 Miracle on Ice team because I spent a lot of years in professional hockey myself. So I always go back to that analogy. You know, her Brooke says I don't want the best players. I want the right players. And those those right players won a gold medal right in Lake Placid. So I mean,
Michael Sweet 1:29:42
so true. It's so true. But I mean, there are those people that just assume that Oh, you're doing just the you know, the because they're giving you guitars are you doing it because they're paying you or they're and it's like it's so sometimes it's pretty comical to read some of the
Randy Hulsey 1:29:58
Sure well, these are These are people and I know you're a nice guy and you you're a little bit more public and don't say ugly things about people. But these are a lot of times these are our armchair critics that know nothing about the business. They just have opinions bright, and just you just have to let them talk, I guess is the best way to put it. Do you? Do you feel like over the years that you've continued to grow as a guitarist? Do you feel like you're getting better? Do you feel like do you try to get better? Are you in the same place? Are you stuck? Like I think we all go through these these mindsets is guitarist where we just like, gosh, I've been playing the same stuff for the last two years. And I don't I can't breathe. You know what I'm saying? Like we're just it gets stagnant. And you're like, What in the hell is going on here? D? Do you is a at the level that you're at? Do you feel the same way sometime? Like, am I getting better? Am I actually better? Like
Michael Sweet 1:31:00
I do. I do feel that I mean, I think that I've gotten better. In terms of crafting a soul. And writing songs and writing solos for those songs. I think I've gotten better at that. What I haven't gotten better at is delivering the performance. So back in the day, I played a lot more my fingers were more fluid and agile, and I could deliver the performance in one tank. Okay. One take man, boom, there it is. What do you think Michael Wagner Wow, perfect, right. And now, I gotta warm up before that solo for half an hour, and then go in the room, and maybe get it, you know, three or four or five ticks? is a lot more work to get my fingers to do. Now granted, maybe if I played more if I played everyday, I gotta admit, I don't play everything, right. It's not that I'm not doing other things. I'm doing other things. But I don't have time to play guitar like I did when I was 16 years old.
Randy Hulsey 1:32:18
I'm the same way. I mean, I don't I don't. I played upwards to 130 shows a year at one time. And I never played every day. I mean, you just you can't play it every day. I mean, there's just has to be, whether it's guitar playing, or ditch dig, and you need a break from that from time to time. You know what I mean? You got to break the monotony at some point in time. So
Michael Sweet 1:32:41
I let these guys these guys that are killing it. Literally that are just like mind blowing on YouTube. I just played it gig with with one of them. They they play every day. Like from morning just to do that from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed. Yeah, yeah. And it's great. I used to be like that. Yeah. But you know, and these guys, maybe they're not married or they don't have kids. They don't have a you know, who knows? Yeah, whatever that man i that those days are gone. Yeah. So because of that, it takes a lot more work. That's all.
Randy Hulsey 1:33:24
Absolutely. Well, I just went to a Tommy Emmanuel concert not too long ago. And, and you know, he said the exact same thing. Like I used to just sit and play for 1520 hours a day. And I'm like, Oh, my gosh, well, it shows in his playing right. Like, there there is an outcome that we could all see from Tommy sitting and playing 15 hours a day. The guy is no slouch on the on the guitarists on the guitar, so
Michael Sweet 1:33:51
he's insane. He's he's one of the most gifted players on the planet. Yeah, never be another one. Like, um, you know, but yeah, I mean, and it's, that's not just from the 15 or 20 hours of playing, but that's just an internal gift to you know, yeah. God made it's been a little bit more time on him.
Randy Hulsey 1:34:14
He didn't cheat him out of talent for sure. No, Tommy took all my talent, I think is what the problem was. And well, I have to mention real quick that back in a 1989 i i had proposed and married my wife still to this day, and I had a girl by the name of Laurie Jones fly in to play piano and sing at our wedding. And it was your song together as one that was played at our wedding. So I wanted to let you know that I thought that was pretty cool that I was I was getting to talk to the guy that wrote the song that we had played at our wedding, what seems like 173 years ago but yeah 1989 So
Michael Sweet 1:35:04
I'm just trying to get my Not that I need it, but I'm trying to get my light. I'm sorry. No, you're good. It's really weird. It just shut off. There we go. Okay, we're good. That's awesome. Yeah. One of our songs for your wedding. Yeah,
Randy Hulsey 1:35:16
I think I think the Lord's Prayer was done and then together as one were worthy to live songs that we had played at the wedding. So I thought you'd appreciate that.
Michael Sweet 1:35:26
And it's awesome. My light just went out. I don't know what's up with it. So I'm just going to be a little darker for you.
Randy Hulsey 1:35:31
Yeah, I know. You're, you're good. In your, in your own words. Why do you feel there's been? I don't, I need to figure out how to phrase the question. Because I don't want it to sound negative. Yeah, let me just ask it. And then if we need to rephrase it or reward it, we can we can certainly do that. In your own words, why do you feel over the years there's been so many critics of striper and their music? Or do you feel like there's been a lot of critics I feel you know, just the outsider looking in like there was you guys were always under you seem to always be under a microscope like different from others. Do you think it was because of like you were trying to enter mingle positive into hard rock fashion and the the true hardcore metal people just No, you don't you don't sing about those things? And metal? Do you think that that's what it was? Or talk to me a little bit about your thoughts around the critics and why they might have been a little harder on striper than maybe other bands?
Michael Sweet 1:36:50
That's a good question. I think it's just a natural thing. Whenever you stand for God. Whether it's on stage or in the workplace, or anywhere, you're gonna instantly have some tough critics. Because it's just face it. God's not the most popular, you know, subject in this world. It's just not. And especially in metal. It a lot of people just say it's a, you know, it's something that you can't mix. And it's it. I find that very interesting because those same people that say that are okay with mixing Satan with metal. Sure. So that's okay. For some reason, but yet you can't mix the one that created Satan. The devil, sure. Lucidchart. Yes, it was an archangel, if you believe that, sure. Which, which I do. But I mean, it's just very interesting, because it's okay to mix that side of religion with metal but you can't mix the other side with this,
Randy Hulsey 1:38:06
like Newell standards.
Michael Sweet 1:38:07
Like you got to it's it's just it's silliness. And that's the mentality.
Randy Hulsey 1:38:14
Yeah. I don't even I don't even know why I wanted to ask that question. I just, I guess it's always kind of burned in the back of my head, like, you know, you you read the trade rags or, or whatever. It's like, why are people so I mean, these are talented. These guys are overly talented musicians that write amazing songs. And why are you guys so hard on you know, you know what, I'm sorry. I just always seem to get that feeling a little bit like, you guys were always under the microscope. And again, I say that from my own as the outsider looking in, or from my point of view, right? Maybe, again, maybe that wasn't ever the case. And I was dreaming and woke up from a dream. But
Michael Sweet 1:38:58
no, it's it's hard, dude. It's it. We we get a lot of flack to this day, and we always will to we're gone towards dead and gone. And it's the God day. I mean, it's who would you say is like the most respected metal singer out there?
Randy Hulsey 1:39:17
Well, I think if, you know, alive or dead, I think do was always up there.
Michael Sweet 1:39:23
Right deal deal. If deal had come on the scene, when he you know, join rainbow and that was really his first on a big stage or like, you know, taking the world by, you know, if he had come out at that time, and was singing about Jesus and talking about Jesus, what do you think would have happened?
Randy Hulsey 1:39:49
I don't think that they he would have had near the star power that he does as as singing about, you know, Heaven and Hell or what you know, whatever the song of the day is For for he would
Michael Sweet 1:40:00
he would have he would have been laughed out mocked. And he'd be looked at as a completely different person. Yeah. Even though he's probably one of if not the greatest metal singer of all time, absolutely looked at completely different if he had stood for Christ. And that proof that if anyone argues with that, okay. You're just not willing to see. See it for what it is because that's just the truth of the matter. And I think I think a deal over here himself, he probably agree with that. But, you know, that's, that's what it is. It's because we sing about Christ. And people are just immediately drawn to be literally that not all people. Not all people. I mean, we got a lot of fans out there a lot of people that support us, but you know, that sign the majority of that soccer, it's just a natural thing. Yes, guys. Oh, my God, oh, well, I
Randy Hulsey 1:41:09
think it just goes to the point that people want to put you in a box, they want to say that do sings about these things. And if do does something outside of that box and sings about Christ, then he's a sellout. And I don't want to listen to him for the same reason that they would probably say, Michael Sweet is a Christian artist. And if he were to go up and sing Iron Maiden songs, you'd either get laughed out of the place that like you're the same singer, you have the same vocal ability, but you change the subject, and you're not the same guy anymore. It's just the it's a thought process. That's weird.
Michael Sweet 1:41:50
man and man at the same time, they'll sit with no problem whatsoever and listen to the most satanic lyric. From whatever band you want to pick from, you know, whether it's a slayer lyric or you know, whatever, pick pick one. Sure. And they'll listen to that. And that's perfectly fine. That's cool. That's right. That's acceptable in the metal world. But you start singing about Christ, man, it's just it's not accept that there's this again. That's that's the way of the world it's Yeah. I mean, this is why Christ was crucified. I mean, it's it's the same thing. Yes. He proclaimed to be Christ. And what are they and they killed it? They crucified Him. So it's just the the world is no different now and it was dead.
Randy Hulsey 1:42:39
I think there's a cool, a cool factor with with the dark side of metal that doesn't carry the same cool factor over to heavy Christian, right? It's like, yeah, yeah. Yeah, we could go on for days like that. But
Michael Sweet 1:42:56
here's the thing about stripe real quick, I'll leave it at this. We, we've learned and we have tough skin. You know, believe it or not, some might not agree with that. But we've, you wouldn't even believe what we've heard over the years and what we've seen and what has been said to us and done to us. And we just, we grin and bear it. We you know, striper keeps coming back. We're not going anywhere. We're still here. And that's the beautiful thing about it is you can't the people that hate us can't stop us. Yes. And maybe that's why they hate us even more.
Randy Hulsey 1:43:33
Well, at the end of the day, you have to do what you love. And there's an old adage that you can't please everyone and as much as perfectionist like you and I we want to go to our shows. And we want everybody to walk out the doors loving what we did that night. The fact of the matter the sad reality or the fact of the matter is, there's going to be one that didn't give a damn about a what we were playing. And we'll never think that we sounded good. And for those you have to discard that one. And and and cater to the masses, I think is is the point I'm trying to make you you're never going to please every you're not going to have everybody's not going to be a striper fan. everybody's not going to be a randy Hulsey fan. So we just try to please who we can and if we touch you know 100 people in the room with our music that's 100 More than we had the day before. I think that that's almost how you have to look at that shark.
Michael Sweet 1:44:33
There's no doubt about it. That's just the name of the game and you know you got it. That's why you got to just be able to you got to toughen up and just keep doing what you're there and called to do. Absolutely. With a smile on your face because you're you're doing you're doing as you're following your dreams and that's all it matters.
Randy Hulsey 1:44:51
I agree. What is coming up from the Michael Sweet camp and the striper camp that you can share with the listeners. New Tour New Music What can you talk about there?
Michael Sweet 1:45:03
Well, we've got a new album we're gonna start working on in January. Recording anyway, I'm working on it now writing it. We met our goal with a Kickstarter campaign for a documentary. And our goal was 100,000, we wound up raising incredible like to just over $220,000. And we're going to make a killer documentary. Over the next two years, it's going to take a while. We're gonna be touring next year, we just started announcing tour dates, we've got many more to announce. And I've got a couple projects. I'm working on this band called, I can't even really say the name of this one yet. But I got a band that I'm working with Joel Hoekstra, Nathan James on vocals, Tommy Aldridge on drums and Marco Mendoza on bass. And we're doing we did an album together. That's cool. That's, that's gonna be coming out this year. I got another sweet Lynch album. I'm working on that. That's gonna come out. Probably Probably next year, early next year. And I'm just staying busy man. It's because it's busy and active as I can. It's trying to get better with my I got a lot more to do.
Randy Hulsey 1:46:25
Absolutely. You're making a fashion statement there for sure. You know, you might you might continue where and that after all this is healed? You know, like, it's the new look. Yeah, you know, you're rocking it. Yeah, I might have to go buy me one of those and see if I can get some attention to I would probably be a little. I wouldn't say disrespectful is the right word. But insensitive maybe is the right word. If I didn't ask how AWS is doing these days. And you don't need to elaborate on anything. Just I just I was just curious. Okay, go.
Michael Sweet 1:46:58
Oz is doing great, man. It's been through two surgeries. And he's doing great. And he came right out and those surgeries like they never even happen. So it's really great.
Randy Hulsey 1:47:09
That's awesome. That's very awesome. And where can the listeners find you and the band on social media these days?
Michael Sweet 1:47:18
Oh, man. Well, Michael, sweet and striper are on Instagram. We are on Twitter and we are on Facebook. Okay. We're all over the internet. I don't think I'm gonna do it right now. And I have no plans to do it is tick tock.
Randy Hulsey 1:47:37
Do you ever think about like I'm too old for I love watching them. I have to admit, Michael I love I get hooked on watching the videos. I just don't know if I'm the age that needs to go making the videos. That's what, that's where I am with the whole tick. I have the Tick Tock channel, but I don't think I posted one video. I just I love watching them, but I just can't get my man. You know, I think I have to tap on that one. So Well, I think to help you out there. The listeners can find your information specifically on the web at Michael's sweet, calm and striper.com. And I think that that's where they will find your merch pages where they can buy music and merchandise check the the tour calendar and that type of thing. That's a good one stop shop as well, for those that are still, you know, that love the website, I still have a website to you know, the Randy hulsey.com I know it sounds archaic, like who looks at websites anymore. But you know, it's still it's still a great tool. It's a great tool to use. So, you know, I would encourage you guys to go out and check out the sites and buy up some of that merch by some of the the new material the old material. I'm sure the band and Michael would appreciate that. Michael, I want to thank you for being a gracious guest and joining the show. I wish you guys continued success. You with your solo efforts and everything related to upcoming endeavors. In and around the band striper. I asked the listeners to absolutely I asked the listeners to follow Michael on social media and also get out and, you know, check out those websites again and help support the band. Also, I remind you to like, share and subscribe to the podcast. You can always find the show at Facebook at backstage pass radio podcast on Instagram at backstage pass radio, Twitter at backstage pass PC and on the website at backstage pass. radio.com You guys make sure to take care of yourselves and each other and we'll catch you right back Back here on the next episode of backstage pass radio.
Adam Gordon 1:50:04
Thanks so much for joining us. We hope you enjoy today's episode of backstage pass radio. Make sure to follow Randy on Facebook and Instagram at Randy Hulsey music and on Twitter at our Halsey music. Also, make sure to like, subscribe and turn on alerts for upcoming podcasts. If you enjoyed the podcast, make sure to share the link with a friend and tell them backstage pass radio is the best show on the web for everything music. We'll see you next time right here on backstage pass radio