Photo by Florian Stangl,

Photo by Florian Stangl, Abby Gillardi

Stryper lead vocalist Michael Sweet has been high on his luck when it comes to his new studio releases over the past few years. The rock frontman worked alongside inventive mind Tom Scholz on a bold cover of Boston‘s “Don’t Look Back” on Stryper’s 2009 ‘Murder By Pride’ album, received warm reception across the board for his work with Stryper on the 2013 studio album ‘No More Hell to Pay,’ and found similar success with his 2014 solo album ‘I’m Not Your Suicide.’

Sweet’s time within the recording studio doesn’t end there; the members of Stryper return tomorrow (October 16) with their sixteenth release ‘Fallen,’ which includes a cover of Black Sabbath‘s “After Forever.” The Yellow and Black Attack mainman is also in the middle of working on another solo effort alongside Will Hunt of Evanescence for Rat Pak Records, and Sweet feels he is more than capable of assisting one of the largest names in hard rock to make their own infamous comeback.

The subject was brought up when Sweet was asked during an interview with The Metal Voice which album he felt was the most disappointing in the past few years. “I’m gonna go with the Van Halen album [2012’s ‘A Different Kind Of Truth’], the one before the live one [2015’s ‘Tokyo Dome Live in Concert‘],” Sweet replied. “I’m a huge Van Halen fan — about as big as they come — and I’ve always loved the band and everything. And I just feel like the last album… You know when you feel like a band is just going through the motions and they’re just not giving it their best? That’s what I felt with that album.”

‘A Different Kind of Truth’ was subsequently considered by critics and fans alike as one of the strongest comebacks in recent memory, however Sweet admits that he doesn’t resonate with those statements. “It got some really good reviews — people were saying, ‘This is great. This is great’ — and I’m just kind of sitting there reading them, thinking, ‘Okay, I’m hearing something completely different than these people are hearing, apparently.’ And I have absolutely no clue what I am talking about, because I just didn’t get it. I didn’t get it.

“There’s qualities there that you’ve come to expect that are still there that you love — you know, Eddie Van Halen‘s playing… Eddie could play two notes and cause chins to drop, ’cause he’s Eddie. But… I don’t know, man.”

What Michael Sweet does know is that he would be able to help Van Halen create a classic sounding studio album. “I’d love to get hold of those guys, man, and take them into the studio and take them back to the old-school days and help them make an album that, basically, is comparable to ‘Van Halen’ and ‘II’. That’s what I’d like to hear, and I know they can do it, man. It’d be killer. They’d probably have a platinum-selling album if they did that.”

Next: Michael Sweet on Working With George Lynch and His Van Halen Influences