Former TNT singer Tony Harnell will guest on the new solo album from STRYPER frontman Michael Sweet, due this summer on Big3 Records. Harnell will be a special guest vocalist on the song “Taking On The World Tonight”.
Commented Sweet: “I think Tony is truly one of the most underrated singers of all time. He’s always been one of my favorites and is an incredibly nice, humble guy to boot. I’ve always wanted to work with Tony and I knew this would be the perfect song and opportunity to do so. ‘Taking On The World Tonight’ is very heavy with a combination of old-school riffs and solos yet it’s got a very modern, relevant sound as well. It’s the best of both worlds! You won’t be disappointed.”
Harnell joined STRYPER on stage on March 24, 2011 at B.B. King Blues Club Grill in New York City to perform a cover version of the JUDAS PRIEST classic “Breaking The Law”. Fan-filmed video footage of his appearance can be viewed below.
Sweet recently released instrumental audio samples (no lead vocals) of three songs — “Unsuspecting”, “All That Left (For Me To Prove)” and “Taking On The World Tonight” — that will appear on his forthcoming solo album. You can now check them out below.
Sweet entered the studio on December 18 to begin recording his new solo CD. He previously revealed that Kenny Aronoff (CHICKENFOOT) would be drumming on the record and that there would be a few “guest musicians/singers” as well.
Sweet‘s last solo album, “Touched”, was released in December 2007 exclusively through Michael‘s official web site, MichaelSweet.com. The CD, which included reworked versions of four STRYPER songs, was not made available in stores.
Writing on Facebook, Sweet stated about reaction to the solo album sampes, “First, thank you for all the amazing comments on the solo record samples! I can assure you that this record will be the best solo record to date and that you (at least most of you) won’t be disappointed.
“Second, to the handful of people who think it sounds like STRYPER — well, earth to moon, I am the singer/guitarist/songwriter for STRYPER so there is the remote chance that their will be similarities right? Maybe you can’t comprehend that but I think most people here do.
“For those of you who wonder why it isn’t a STRYPER record, the truth is that I had the opportunity to make a record and I took it. It’s been almost 12 years since my last solo release and I felt it was long overdue. There is a lot of down time with STRYPER and life goes on, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. This doesn’t mean that STRYPER is going to take a backseat. We have big plans for the band as well including a re-record record with two new songs, touring throughout 2012 and eventually a new, all original STRYPER record.
“We all have done solo projects over the years and it’s a great way for all of us to be artistic and express our musical ideas individually. I love what I do and I hope it shows!
“For the 99.9% of the people who do get it, you advance to the head of the class. To the 0.1% of the people who don’t get it, you’re in detention for the rest of the year :-)
“Seriously, thank you all for the incredibly positive feedback/comments on my new solo project and I can’t wait to release it so you can hear the songs in their entirety. You’ll hear similarities (duh) and yet you’ll also hear me. God Bless you guys and see you out on the road.”
Sweet is currently writing his first “book/autobiography,” which he promises “will outline my life and give you a page-by-page layout of the early years, the ups and downs of being in a Christian rock band, behind-the-scenes stories of what really goes on ‘behind the scenes’ of a successful Christian rock band (good and bad), getting through the toughest battle of all, joining the legendary classic rock band BOSTON, and much much more.”
STRYPER recently released short audio clips of “Bleeding From Inside Out” and “Blackened”, the two new tracks which will be included on a collection of re-recorded versions of the band’s classic songs, to be released in the summer of 2012. The CD will contain a total of 16 cuts — two from “The Yellow And Black Attack”, six from “Soldiers Under Command”, six from “To Hell With The Devil”, as well as the two aforementioned new tracks.
Michael Sweet will perform his faith-based “storytellers” solo acoustic show in churches around the world this year. The performances are a combination of STRYPER classics, new solo material, and notable praise and worship songs.
If you are interested in Michael Sweet performing at your church, please have your church leaders contact Dave Rose at Dave [at] DeepSouthEntertainment.com.
“Unsuspecting” audio sample:
“All That Left (For Me To Prove)” audio sample:
“Taking On The World Tonight” audio sample: