Not only is Michael Sweet the frontman of Stryper and one of the most recognizable vocalists in Christian metal, but he’s also one of the most talented solo artists you’ll find. His guitar work is impeccable, the octaves in his voice are unbelievable and his songwriting is out of this world. While his catalog with Stryper is legendary, there’s no denying how impressive his solo career has been as well. His self-titled debut spawned numerous anthems- from “Someday” to “All This and Heaven Too” to “J.E.S.U.S.” all the way through Real, Truth and even his two softer records- Hims and Touched, Sweet knows how to record an impressive record and put out songs that will be remembered forever. His latest solo record, I’m Not Your Suicide, is his first since 2007’s Touched and his first collection of hard rock solo material since 2000’s Truth. It’s a different one, too, with one of the most eclectic and diverse offerings we’ve seen Sweet do yet. Sweet took some time recently to talk to The Front Row Report about the upcoming release and what fans can expect \"Michaelfrom it. “It’s different,” explains Sweet. “I have the Stryper stuff that I do and Styrper has its own sound and if I do a solo album I’m obviously I’m gonna make it its own and it’s an opportunity for me to experiment a little more and try different things and stretch out a little more and that’s what I did on this album. “You’ve got songs like “Taking on the World Tonight” that’s a little more down the Stryper road and then you’ve got songs like “Coming Home” and “This Time” which are nothing like Stryper so it was really fun trying different things. With the different things Sweet tried on I’m Not Your Suicide, he went down a country road on a few songs- not in an extreme way, you’re not going to hear a deep-rooted country album when you listen to the record so Stryper fans need not worry. “It’s very diverse, there’s a lot of different things going on and when Stryper fans here ‘country’ it might make them raise an eye brow but what’s funny is I grew up in a country music home,” says Sweet. “My parents are country singers and songwriters. My dad actually wrote a number one country song in 1979 titled “I Don’t Wanna Have to Marry You. “So basically I grew up around county,” explains Sweet. “I was playing on my dad’s country sessions when I was a kid so I feel like there’s more legitimacy to that and it is real. I’m not just some guy who’s like ‘oh I’m gonna try country now,’ I tried country when I was 12 years old. One of the standout tracks on the record that will catch the ear of many listeners is Sweet’s cover of Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold,” which Sweet says he’s wanted to cover for years and finally had his chance with I’m Not Your Suicide. The record features two versions of the song, one of which is a bonus track featuring Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine’s daughter, Electra. “The song itself is one of my all time favorites,” says Sweet. “Lyrically I’ve always loved that song and I’ve always said I’d love to cover that song and this was my opportunity to do that and in doing that I wanted to retain some of the flavors the original had with the steel guitar and those hook lines beause they’re just so undeniable but I also wanted to give it a little more edge, which is what I did. “Then I’ve become really good friends with Dave Mustaine and his wife, Pam, and his family and I saw Electra sing on Youtube and she was performing on a television show on the west coast…and I was really blown away. “I was looking for a female voice to join me on that song and I thought she’d be perfect so I suggested the idea and they loved it and she was gracious enough to do it and I was thrilled to have her do it and she’s also in the video,” says Sweet. \"MichaelGoing hand-in-hand and being released shortly after I’m Not Your Suicide is the long-anticipated autobiography from Sweet, justly titled “Honestly: My Life and Stryper Revealed,” which sees Sweet delving deep into issues and topics you wouldn’t expect him to and that were tough to talk about at times. “I have, over my lifetime, learned that it’s better to be open and honest than to make people believe you’re something that you’re not,” explains Sweet. “I think that sometimes people view Stryper or the individuals in the band as something other than what they really are. They put us on this pedestal and think we’re perfect and we’re this and we’re that and we can do no wrong, when in fact we do wrong every day and I talk about that in the book. “Does that change my faith and my relationship with God? Absolutely not, it just in my opinion, solidifies even more so, why I need God in my life, why we all need god in our lives cuz we’re sinners. “I get into that in the book, I want to share with people a different side of Michael Sweet and it’s all open and honest, hence the title ‘Honestly’ and I think some things are gonna be read in the book that are gonna shock people. From when I was younger being arrested to how I felt when Kyle was sick to leaving the band…all sorts of things are in there that people just don’t know,” explains Sweet. So with some of the topics touched on, was it ever a thought to not touch on something or to hold anything back? Not really, explains Sweet. If anything, there just wasn’t enough time or pages to talk about everything he wanted to talk about. “Maybe there will be a second book or even a third book depending on how it does and if time and money allows but I get into pretty much everything,” he says. “For example I get into why I left the band and people have been asking about that for years and I’ve given a brief description about why but I’ve never gotten in depth,” elaborates Sweet. “Same thing with Tim; Tim didn’t play on a few albums and that’s been a big question on a lot of people’s minds. Well, I answer it and there’s a whole chapter devoted to that. “There’s a whole chapter devoted to my love/hate relationship with yellow and black and why I feel its hurt the band. There’s a lot of stuff and my perspective of things that I think is gonna surprise people. Will Sweet make fans out of everyone? Who knows, he says. He may make a few enemies but he makes it very clear that “Honestly” isn’t a book about throwing people under the bus like a lot of autobiographies are where it seems like it’s about hurting other people. “That’s not what this book is, this book is just about me sharing my life and my stories and, unfortunately, in those stories some other people were involved,” explains Sweet. \"Michael “I get into our bankruptcy and what happened that caused that and why I was completely opposed to what happened and how our finances were being run and my mom was managing at the time and my brother was leading the band,” says Sweet. “I get into a lot of stuff and it’s valid and true and that’s what happened and it led to me wanting to lead the band, a lot of stuff that went on and it’s all in the book. “It’s just an interesting point of view and I think people are gonna be surprised to hear something they think was the case and they’re gonna read the book and say ‘oh wow, that’s not at all what I thought it was.’” It seems to be the norm in Stryper’s history to get turned down by labels and promoters before they even hear the band only to change their minds upon hearing the glorious metal that is Stryper. So of course why would it be any different with an autobiography by the frontman of the group? “We sent it out to a lot of publishers who weren’t interested before they even read the book and that seems to be something that Stryper’s kinda used to,” says Sweet. “We’ll send music out to a label and they’re not interested before they hear us or a show- ‘we’re not interested’- before they hear us. But these publishers read the book and called back management and said ‘we are 100% interested, this is awesome.’ “Honestly: My Life and Stryper Revealed” will be out early May 2014 and is a must read for any Stryper or Michael Sweet fan. Michael Sweet talks to The Front Row Report about “Honestly: My Life and Stryper Revealed” and I’m Not Your Suicide: