Stryper’s Michael Sweet Talks About Covering Black Sabbath’s ‘After Forever’
Sweet delved into the subject during a recent interview with The Great Southern Brain Fart, responding to the observation that, in covering Sabbath's "After Forever" for Fallen, they recorded a new version of something that was already "pretty much a Christian metal song." The faith-based overtones of the song's lyrics weren't lost on Sweet, who used them as an example of how little Sabbath's image has to do with the band's music.
"We love Sabbath, and we grew up on Sabbath," said Sweet. "I’ll be honest, it’s not my favorite Sabbath song. It’s a good song, but it’s not my favorite, but the lyric is what sold me on it. Once I read the lyrics for that song, I was blown away."
In fact, Sweet laughed, "I was thinking, 'This is more Christian than any lyric we’d ever do.' It’s crazy and here it is, Black Sabbath and the Prince of Darkness. I don’t know how they got that label of being evil and Satanic. If you dive into their lyrics, most of their lyrics are about war, politics and even faith."
Sweet's point of view is backed up by Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler, who talked about "After Forever" in an interview earlier this year and shrugged off the group's devilish image by pointing out that "people like to find negative in everything."
On the subject of faith in metal, Sweet argued that his band's Christian stance is much more than the "gimmick" some see it as, and represents much more of the genre's true spirit than many might be willing to admit.
"If people only knew the heat that we've taken and still take on a daily basis because we stand for what we stand for," he said. "I feel like we're bigger rebels than most bands out there because of what we stand for. Metal is all about rebellion, and guys who sing about God are a bunch of wimps and they're not rebellious at all. I've been challenging that statement, saying that we're more rebellious than most out there."
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