Grunge is constantly credited with killing hair metal when the movement was in full bloom in the early 90s. Stripes‘s Michael sweethowever, takes a different view and does not believe this narrative and instead theorizes what actually wiped out the popular subgenre at the time.
On Instagramthe singer shared a photo of late Nirvana legend Kurt Cobain and collected his thoughts on the musical evolution of rock that seemed to reject almost everything about the hair metal scene.
“I don’t think grunge killed hair metal,” he confirmed, “I think a lot of hair metal bands stopped trying to some degree and because of that they started putting out mediocre music. Stryper included.”
Sweet looked back at the early ’80s hair metal scene and called it “incredibly powerful, fresh and exciting”, but by the end of the decade it had become “cliché, somewhat redundant and mostly recycled.” He cautioned that this did not apply to absolutely every band that played this style of music “but certainly many”, while making it clear “this is my personal opinion.”
With fans “looking for something new and exciting again” amidst a myriad of clichéd acts, grunge delivered just that, although “it wasn’t really that complicated musically” according to Sweet, who recognized grunge’s authenticity as he felt it was “raw and passionate” ,” a quality he feels “makes music appealing regardless of genre.”
“Originality and passion build the foundation of any great artist/band,” declared Sweet, before expressing how quick he was to embrace grunge when it began to explode.
“I’ll never forget when I first heard Nirvana,” he continued, “I actually 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 to myself – times sure do change and they did very quickly!”
With hair metal fading into the background, Sweet used this as a learning opportunity to improve personally and as a musician. “Personally, the grunge movement helped me work harder and try harder. I dug a lot deeper into myself from that time forward to become a better writer, performer, musician and producer. So I thank grunge for turning things around “, the Stryper frontman concluded.
These comments come as Stryper prepares to release what Sweet has dubbed the band’s “strongest release to date.” Although no new album has been definitively announced, Stryper has intentions of releasing the follow-up into the 2020s Even The Devil Believes later that year. So far, they’ve debuted two new singles, “Rise to the Call” and “See No Evil, Hear No Evil,” the latter of which can be heard further down the page.