Michael Sweet Doesn’t Think Nirvana’s Success Damaged Stryper’s Career


Michael Sweet of Stryper shared his thoughts on grunge through his Instagram account. He stated that neither Nirvana nor grunge was why hair metal ran its course or impacted Stryper’s career.

Even though the heavy metal world is mainly associated with Satanic imagery, Stryper adopted a different image during their musical journey. Although the media has defined them as a Christian band, the members have often described themselves as a group of Christians. As their career in the metal scene has spanned for decades, they were also a part of the hair metal era.

Many bands of the hair metal era weighed in on the endless debate about the rise of grunge in the early 1990s. The discussion has mostly been about how the rise of grunge drove most hard rock and metal bands off the radio and even caused album and tour sales to plummet. Leading 1980s rock and metal musicians, including Stryper’s Michael Sweet, have weighed in on the grunge influence in the glam-rock scene.

Sweet stated that he doesn’t think grunge killed hair metal. According to him, after the novelty wore off from a new metal music genre that rose in the ’80s, most bands started to release mediocre music, including Stryper. He added that fans wanted a unique sound, and grunge provided that. Michael Sweet also talked about the first time he heard Nirvana. He mentioned that Nirvana and grunge inspired him to push himself to be a better writer, performer, musician, and producer.

Michael Sweet’s IG post read:

I don’t believe that grunge killed hair metal. Many hair metal bands stopped trying to some degree, and they started releasing mediocre music. Stryper included.

When ‘hair metal’ exploded on the scene in the early ’80s, it was compelling, fresh, and exciting. A movement that changed the times. As the ’80s ended, ‘hair metal,’ for the most part, was cliche, somewhat redundant, and for the most part, recycled. I want to be fair and say not all bands but undoubtedly many. Also, this is my personal opinion.

Fans were looking for something new and exciting again. Enter grunge. It was a movement as well. It wasn’t as intricate musically speaking, but it was raw and passionate, making music appealing. No matter what genre.

Originality and passion build the foundation of any great artist/band.

I’ll never forget when I first heard Nirvana. I loved it and immediately went out and bought the record. I played it for the guys, and they didn’t seem quite as excited about it as I was, but I thought – times were changing, and they did very quickly!

Personally, the grunge movement helped me to work harder and try harder. I dug a lot deeper within myself from that time forward to be a better writer, performer, musician, and producer. So, I say thank you to grunge for turning things around.”

You can see the IG post below.

Photo Credit: Michael Sweet – Instagram