Stryper frontman, Michael Sweet, recently took some shots at rock stars who’ve tried to crossover into country music, saying it’s often a “money grab.”
He says that unless a hard rock musician has a country background, it’s just wrong when they try to jump to the country genre as if they’re trying to “cash in.”
“I love country music,” Sweet told Totally Driven Radio. “I grew up around it myself. My dad wrote a No. 1 country song in ’76, I played on his sessions when I was kid. I love country; I love old-school country music especially. But I would never try to be a country artist — just as I would hope that Blake Shelton would never try to be a metal artist.”
In his music video for “Radio,” he uses irony to mock these rock-to-country genre-jumpers. The song opens with a rockin’ banjo and shows him and other rockers wearing cowboy hats and cowboy boots. Sweet sings, “I’m gonna write a country song and it won’t be long until I’m on the radio.”
He said music has to matter to the songwriter and that people shouldn’t simply make music with the money in mind.
“When you’re doing music and you’re writing a song and recording it, it’s gotta be real, it’s gotta come from the heart,” he said. “Otherwise everybody listening or watching is gonna know it. Fans are not stupid; they’re very smart. And this is the reason why when a lot of these artists do try to do it, and they expect the album to do well and it doesn’t, that proves my point, ’cause fans aren’t gonna buy it unless it’s real.”
And Sweet understands that some people may not care what he thinks on this topic.
“It’s really none of my business,” he continued. “And I’m sure a lot of people, when they read this…interview, are gonna be, like, ‘Dude, it’s none of your business.’ True, it’s not, but we all have opinions, and I wrote a song about it, so that’s why I’m giving you mine.”