On October 31, Eclectic Arts conducted an interview with STRYPER frontman Michael Sweet. You can now listen to the chat below.
Asked how Oz Fox is doing, less than three months after the STRYPER guitarist suffered an onstage seizure while performing with a side project in Las Vegas, Sweet said: "He's absolutely a lot better. We're in a good place right. We're just kind of taking it a day at a time — not trying to push or rush or do too much. And I think that's the key — just to kind of go slow. And even though we're out on tour, we're trying hard to not do it at such a fast place and cram in four shows in a row, which we've done many times before. I don't think we have any four-in-a-rows. Even the three-in-a-rows can be a little bit much. So we're trying to just keep it a little bit more relaxed."
Sweet also talked about STRYPER's knack for straddling the line between classic songwriting and using modern recording techniques while creating new music. He said: "What's important when we record an album is… if you get the song style right and you refer to your past to a large degree, because you don't wanna alienate your core fanbase, which is primarily people that were watching us and listening to us back in the '80s — that's most of the people that come to our shows. But there's also new fans that come to our shows too, so it's important to add that modern spin to it. And that's done with the production or the arrangements. You can figure out ways to do that without compromising who you are and becoming a modern rock band. We're not a modern rock band, and we shouldn't try to be, because we're not. Just like a modern rock band isn't an '80s, classic metal band. So we try hard to stay true to ourselves musically, but also keep it with a little bit of a modern touch, so those new listeners — the younger generation — can put it on and say, 'Oh, this doesn't sound dated; this actually sounds very much today.' And that's the tricky part. But I think we've somehow figured out how to do it — with the last three albums especially. And we're gonna keep going down that road and stay on that path and continue to do that with the next album we make and albums from here on out."
STRYPER toured Australia and Japan as a three-piece in August, and later recruited Howie Simon (JEFF SCOTT SOTO, GRAHAM BONNET) to fill in on guitar during four American concerts in September.
Last month, Fox rejoined STRYPER for its fall and winter tour dates, beginning with an October 12 performance in Indianapolis, Indiana.
STRYPER's latest album, "God Damn Evil", was released in April via Frontiers Music Srl. The follow-up to 2015's "Fallen" marked STRYPER's first effort since the addition of former FIREHOUSE bassist Perry Richardson. Perry joined the band as the replacement for STRYPER's longtime bassist Tim Gaines, who was fired from the group last year.