Michael Sweet: Honestly- My Life and Stryper Revealed review

There’s no denying what Stryper have done for the Christian rock and metal community. They opened up the floodgates and doors for virtually every Christian rock and metal band today. Had Stryper not reached the monumental heights they did in the 1980’s, there would likely be no Skillet, Thousand Foot Krutch, Red, For Today or Demon Hunter. There might be but it would be very difficult.

When a band reaches that level and grows a fanbase as large as Stryper have, fans want to know everything there is to know about that band. Often times fans have questions that never get answered to their fullest or there are different sides to every answer.

One of the most recognizable voices in metal, not just Christian metal, is that of Michael Sweet, frontman of Stryper. Sweet is the man behind the lyrics and music to some of the most legendary songs in Christian metal history. “To Hell With the Devil,” “Soldiers Under Command,” “Calling On You,” “You Know What to Do” and others were all penned by Sweet and the level Sweet and his bandmates reached and the accomplishments they achieved were unprecedented at the time.

The level of scrutiny the band received was also very unprecedented and was very difficult. In Sweet’s first autobiography, “Honestly: My Life and Stryper Revealed,” Sweet not only answers questions Stryper fans have had for decades, but he also talks about his solo career and how difficult things really were for him when in the thick of his solo days.

To read Sweet talking about the Christian music industry in the 1980’s and how people within the Christian Church felt toward Stryper is eye opening to say the least. It really is true that you don’t the whole story until you’ve walked a mile in someone’s shoes and with “Honestly,” Sweet offers the reader a chance to see things through his eyes and shows a side that only a select few people know.

Sweet doesn’t hold anything back and is 100% honest about numerous topics that were obviously hard and trying for him and there are numerous subjects he could have chosen not address but you have to commend him for talking about them.

He even talks about the early days of Stryper and who auditioned to join the band- a group of names that included Poison’s CC Deville.

He goes into detail about not knowing all of the money that was being spent on music videos, production costs, jets to travel around the world and other things that eventually took the band into bankruptcy. Sweet discusses the real reasons why bassist Tim Gaines was absent from a few Stryper records, some of which fans will be surprised to read about and will finally get answers for.

One of the biggest questions Stryper fans have had for years is what really went on during the Against the Law days when Stryper broke up and was doing things backstage that was contrary to what they were singing about. Sweet goes into great detail about what was really happening and what ultimately led to his departure from the band. Fans will finally have the answers they’ve been looking for after so many years and it’s an eye opening and somewhat shocking experience to read about.

When Sweet discusses breaking the news of his departure to the band and the battles that went on in his head over when and how to leave fans will develop a deeper appreciation for what the band really means to Sweet and will see how difficult things really were.

The most moving part of the book comes when Sweet goes in depth about his wife, Kyle, getting sick with Ovarian Cancer. Sweet didn’t leave Kyle’s side and was there until the very end. He didn’t want to even tour with Boston so he could be there but did upon Kyle’s wishes and when he returned he was by her side 24/7. When he discusses the moment she passes, you’re brought to tears because you don’t just know how much she meant to Sweet but you see it and you feel it.

Sweet dishes out the real story on how he met his second wife, Lisa, and what the whole process of their relationship has been. While many people were judgmental about how fast it seemed to happen, no one truly knows the story until they read this book and it will be almost impossible for anyone to argue after reading what really happened.

Sweet talks about never wanting to rejoin Stryper and how adamant he was about never reuniting and it isn’t until reading the book that fans will get the real story about how the reunion came to be and what it took for it to happen.

After reading “Honestly: My Life and Stryper Revealed,” any longtime fan of Stryper and Michael Sweet will leave the experience with every question they’ve ever had answered in complete detail and will have a greater appreciation of the band and the man behind the band.

Rating: 10/10

-Reggie Edwards

Michael Sweet talks about \”Honestly: My Life and Stryper Revealed\” and I\’m Not Your Suicide album