Glam metal band Stryper performed a cover of Van Halen’s classic “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” for the first time Sunday night at The Chance in Poughkeepsie, NY. How do you think they did?
It’s no secret that the band are fans of the Mighty Van Halen. In 2010, they released a cover of “On Fire”, and in 2011, Michael Sweet cited Eddie Van Halen as one of his biggest influences.
In the 2011 interview with Noisecreep below, Stryper’s lead singer Michael Sweet talks influences, and his favorite era of Van Halen:
“When Van Halen came on the scene, the station would play them every hour on the hour. Out in Los Angeles, they were huge on the radio from the start.”
Also hailing from Southern California, Van Halen released their now classic self-titled debut album in 1978. On ‘The Covering,’ Stryper lay down a killer version of ‘On Fire,’ the closing track on the aforementioned record.
“David Lee Roth has such attitude and character to his voice and that was tough for me to get down at first. He’s got a signature style. At first I was trying to sound like him when we were in the studio, but when I let go of that and just sang in my natural voice, it clicked.”
“If I could speak open and honestly right now, I don’t want to take anything away from David Lee Roth, but he was never really an influence of mine vocally. My attraction to Van Halen was Eddie. I play guitar too, so Eddie is what got my attention from the start. David never really did it for me vocally. That said, I’m a bigger fan of David Lee Roth-era Van Halen than I am of the Sammy Hagar version of the group. Ironically, Sammy does it more for me as a singer than David does, but I preferred his solo stuff much more.
“It’s not so much that I didn’t appreciate the Hagar era of Van Halen, because I did. From a songs perspective, their writing matured so well during that time. They wrote some incredible songs in that time. Since I grew up with the David stuff, I just couldn’t get used to Sammy singing with them — it just didn’t sound like Van Halen to me. I think they should have just changed their name when Sammy joined the group.”