During a recent appearance on Chris Jericho’s Talk Is Jericho podcast, Stryper frontman Michael Sweet stated that unlike Slayer, who live a different lifestyle than what they represent on the stage, they’ve always kept their identity.
Stryper is known to be the first openly Christian heavy metal band to build a reputation in the mainstream. They have always tried to reflect their Christian beliefs in their outfits, lyrics, and shows. Although the heavy metal world is mainly associated with Satanic imagery, Stryper went in a different direction in their musical journey.
The band is widely described as a Christian metal band, but the lead singer Michael Sweet has continued to claim over the years that they are not a Christian band. He explained multiple times that Stryper just consists of Christian members. During the podcast conversation, he once again highlighted this claim and said that there is a big difference between being a Christian band and being Christians in a band.
Sweet explained that they just took a different path in their career by preserving what they always did. Then, Michael Sweet compared the essence of Stryper with Slayer and stressed that they are trying their best to represent Christianity. However, he thinks that Slayer’s image on the stage and their lifestyle don’t match. Sweet said Stryper members are no different on stage and off stage; they have the same identity.
Here is how Michael Sweet compared Stryper and Slayer:
“I recently, in the past few years, said quite a few times, and it’s really caused a stir, that we’re not a Christian band. And people say, ‘What?’ But we’re Christians in a rock band. And there’s a difference. We weren’t brought up in the church; we were brought up on the streets of L.A. playing Gazzarri’s, Troubadour, Whisky, and we became Christians. And we just continued doing what we always did, but with a different message.
We’re really not a Christian band. But if people wanna call us a Christian band, that’s okay. But I view us as just a rock band that decided to take a different path. So by doing so, so to speak, we practice what we preach. We’re not perfect — in any sense of the word, we’re not perfect — but we really do our best to represent Christ, represent God, and all that God stands for.
But it’s funny when you hear about Slayer, and you think Satanic band, pentagram, evil, and then Tom is going to church every Sunday with his kids. Which is great. But my point is it’s a polar opposite of what they represent themselves as. Stryper, on the other hand, you get what you get. We are what we are on stage and off stage.”
Michael Sweet also named the Slayer vocalist Tom Araya to support his opinions. He explained that Araya goes to church, but what he represents on the stage is entirely different. It seems like, for Sweet, the bands’ music should reflect their identity and lifestyle as they do.