Robert Sweet

Robert Sweet

American musician
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Robert Sweet

Robert Lee Sweet (born March 21, 1960) is the drummer of the Christian metal band Stryper. He and his brother Michael founded the band as Roxx or Roxx Regime. Robert became known as the "Visual Time Keeper" for his wild drumming and captivating drum kits. Unlike most drummers, Sweet faces in the direction of stage left or right while playing, not straight ahead, so that the audience can see him and not have their view of him obscured by his drumkit. Sweet also played a key role in the visual direction of the band itself as well as being a significant contributor to the group.

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Full name at birth
Robert Lee Sweet
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Claim to fame
Stryper
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Date of birth
21 March 1960
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Place of birth
Lynwood, CA
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Age
61
Occupation
drummer
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PERSONAL DETAILS

Height
5' 11" (180 cm)
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ADDITIONAL DETAILS

Net worth
$4,000,000 USD
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  • Robert: Yeah my Record Company is called World Gone Mad, and I’m their first artist, so there’s a lot of times where things will happen spur of the moment and this was one of those things. Sometimes it doesn’t leave me a lot of time to maneuver and figure out what I’m gonna do. Dano: Right... Robert: But I’m glad it worked out anyways. Dano: Amen. (NOTE...The preceding was about it took a long time to get together for this interview. His Record Company had arranged some spur of the moment engagements that postponed this, and it would have been delayed again tonight because World Gone Mad had arranged another last minute appointment.) Dano: Well...So you’re their first artist, huh? Robert: Yes Dano: Cause I was gonna say, I never heard of that Record Company before. Robert: Yeah, they’re brand new. Dano: OK, and they are putting out your new CD “Love Trash”? Robert: Yes Dano: All right, well tell me a little bit about the CD Robert. Is it out yet? Robert: All the recording is done. What I did is... I went in and I only had a week to record. I played all the...A lot of people just view me pretty much as a drummer...I’m just as much of a song writer as I am a drummer. Most people never really knew that. On this record I wrote it all, I produced it, I played all the guitars, all the bass, all the drums, and I brought in a singer to sing the stuff. I was going to try to sing it myself, but I found myself in an impossible situation of way too much to do. If you can imagine doing in one week 8 drum tracks, 8 bass tracks, and 48 guitar tracks. Dano: Wow... Robert: You know while working with two engineers and producing it. I got the idea for “Love Trash”...a lot of people have heard that and thought what in the world does that mean? They thought that with almost every Stryper record also. I named all the Stryper records, so there is definitely a meaning behind it. Dano: And the meaning is... Robert: A long time ago somebody said to me that the love that we represented, referring to Jesus was trash. And that always stuck in my mind. And so I coupled the two words together and you know I’ve seen so many of the Hollywood marriages fall apart, you know, like you see in the Enquirer, you see people who one minute they’re all in love, then three months or four months later they’re getting a divorce, at one minute it’s love then the next minute it’s like trash, something you threw away. So even though I took lyrically a more light handed approach at it. That was the basis behind it. Dano: OK... Robert: Was about how love just seems to be thrown away so easily. But what I didn’t want to do with this new record, I didn’t want it to sound like a Stryper record, because Stryper is a specialty. It’s in and of itself. Dano: Yeah... Robert: It’s something that you just don’t go around trying to duplicate it because it’s really special. And I think a lot of people might misinterpret if they hear this record and they don’t...I think a lot people are expecting it to be a Stryper record but unfortunately it can’t be. Stryper’s special. This is a Robert Sweet record and the basis of all the meaning is the same thing. I really try to structure the meaning of what I wrte to somehow be something good and to mean something good. But I felt like I couldn’t come out and have a serious “Accept Jesus” kind of record because that’s just something you can’t do assembly line, you know? Dano: So, you’d say that your spiritual life does affect the lyrical content of your songs? Robert: Well, absolutely. I mean, that’s where your lyrics come from, is from your spirit. Dano: Uh huh, yep. Robert: I mean, you know, I feel personally that behind all the arts, whether it’s painting, whether it’s acting, whether it’s music, whether it’s writing, whether it’s poetry, a book. This is something that is coming out of the inner man that’s in you. That’s how I believe. I don’t think it’s a brain thing, I think it’s a soul thing. In everything that I do, you know... It’s Robert Sweet, it’s got my thing on it because I’m the one doing it so it has my personality mixed in with it, but it’s also because I am a Christian and because I feel the way I do about Christ. That’s the under-tone of it. But I don’t always want it to sound necessarily Christian, even though it is. Because I don’t want to do what a lot of other Christian bands do, and that was the beauty of Stryper, and that’s what I wanted to do when Stryper was formed back in 83. I wanted to get something out there in this world where people wouldn’t think of it as Christian Music and throw it away before they even listen it. Dano: Right Robert: And unfortunately that happens a lot in this world, and again that’s what I wanted to do on my Love Trash Record. For example there’s a song called “The F Word”. And what I’m saying is the F word is forgiveness. Dano: Ahhh...Awesome (laughs) Robert: And see, most people don’t take that approach, it’s either the F word is something sexual, or lets figure out a nice Gospel way of saying forgiveness. But that’s not really me. That’s what was cool about Stryper. It was able to come out and be something so bold...I guess, if that’s the terminology. It was pretty much in your face for Jesus, but at the same time it was total Rock and Roll. Dano: Oh yeah...It ministered to both the unsaved and the saved. Robert: you know, if it never touched anybody who wasn’t a Christian, I’d be failing at what I’m supposed to do. Dano: Right Robert: you know, I think a lot of Christian Bands have almost lost the understanding of what that is. For example if you work at the bank and you’re a Christian teller. If you’re a teller, you don’t do an altar call to everybody who comes up to the window to make a withdrawal. You be the best example you can be and you do what you can, but your there to do what you do, that’s your job. A lot of times I think the Christian musician has been put at an unfair position in the realm of Christian music. Let me give you an example. Christian actors, they are in the arts, but they are not held up to the standard that Christian musicians are. They are allowed to go play a Christian, they can go play the part of someone who is not a Christian or he can go play something that is completely the opposite to what Christianity is and that’s viewed as OK because he’s an actor. But if the Christian musician sings or does something that doesn’t quite sound Christian. A lot of times got a lot of pressure put on him or her by the church because they feel like well, your not doing what you’re suppose to do. And that’s really unfair. Dano: Well we get to where it’s Christians preaching to Christians and you know we’re suppose to go out to the world it says. Robert: Right Dano: It doesn’t say to preach to someone that’s already saved. Robert: Exactly, and plus here’s another kind of fa├žade too, musicians aren’t preachers. If they were they would be in a pulpit. I think a tragedy that’s happened here that you’ve had a lot of pastors who have said, “no, as a musician you’re a preacher”. No, that’s not true. That’s like saying, “no, because you’re a preacher you’re a musician”, that’s definitely not true, right? Dano: Right Robert: Well the Christian musician is not necessarily a preacher. He’s a musician who’s a Christian. A lot of times it has gotten so convoluted and mixed up that the church has ended up being against Christian music because it hasn’t fallen into the way that a church would operate. That’s something that we faced in Stryper quite a lot, was churches would get angry with us, “Well why aren’t you doing an altar call”? or “why aren’t you presenting yourself more like how a church would do it?” or “why aren’t you presenting yourself more like in a religious way?” Well, because that’s not what we do. Dano: Right Robert: And I think that’s kind of a tragedy because it’s diluted the power that God gives the musician. you know, and it’s kinda made the Church and the Christian Musician kinda look silly at times. I think that’s changing. I know a long time ago it was really bad. I don’t think it’s quite that way anymore, cause I think a lot of people have kinda realized how silly it is. As a musician you write the songs that you feel. If you’re a Christian and you’re a musician you write the songs that you feel and you try do your very best to live your life and do what you feel the Lord is pointing you towards to do. Dano: Right, I agree. Robert: Many are called but few are chosen. I mean just because somebody’s a Christian musician doesn’t mean they’re a preacher. Dano: Right, They are preaching a message through their music. No matter who’s doing the music, there’s people listening and taking it in. I mean you look at these satanist bands that are going around. And the kids they get into that music and start doing crazy things because they listen to that... Robert: Sure... Dano: It’s just like if they listen to the good stuff... Robert: Well, the music is definitely an influence, absolutely. But I don’t really know if because somebody is singing something if they’re preaching it. Dano: It’s two different things, but in a way it’s somewhat of the same. you know what I mean? Robert: I think a lot of times musicians don’t realize how powerful their message is. Dano: Yeah Robert: But because they don’t realize that, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re preaching. A lot of, yet, maybe a lot times people look at them like they are, when they’re really not. But I agree with you on the fact that it is a big influence. I think a lot of Christian bands, they need to understand what an influence they are. Dano: Yeah. Robert: But I think sometimes when the Christian musician is put in the position of...OK...your preaching to people through your songs. Man...that’s scary. Dano: Like you said...It does influence people. Robert: Yeah Dano: Well, speaking of influence, who was your biggest influence musically? Robert: Oh gosh man... Dano: Then we’ll tie it up with who’s your biggest influence spiritually also. Robert: Well, musically, I’m kinda one of these guys who I like a lot of different stuff. I grew up listening to stuff from anything from KISS to Zeppelin, to Aerosmith, to many of these. Dano: Same thing I grew up with. Robert: Yeah, exactly. I didn’t really grow up listening to a lot of Christian music because it really wasn’t in the mainstream, you know, when I was a teenager or in my early twenties. Christian music hadn’t really evolved into what it is today. But, I’m a guy who listens to all kinds of music. you know I enjoy everything from heavy stuff to soft stuff, to jazz, to country. When I write songs I try to, kinda try to pull a little bit of that mixture into it. Dano: Something for everybody out there basically. Robert: Well, if it ends up being that way then I guess that’s a good thing. I don’t necessarily try to make it be that way, but I think, I like a lot of different stuff, and so I try to put that in my music. And I think when you do hear my record you’ll hear that some of it is really different sounding. I’ve had a lot of people ask me well, “try to explain to me what your music is?” It’s heavy stuff, but at the same time it’s not heavy, you’re just gonna have hear it, you tell me. (laughs) Dano: I love the old Stryper, I like all the Hard Rock, but I also like the soft stuff. I like about all styles except for Southern Gospel and Country, but mostly Christian Metal is what I get into. Robert: Yeah... Dano: That’s my favorite. Robert: Yeah, I would agree with you. Dano: Well, who’s your biggest influence spiritually now? Robert: Well that one’s pretty much, I think that one’s a known one. I mean, really the only person I’m influenced by spiritually is Jesus. I don’t really classify myself as a religious person. Just because you’re a religious person doesn’t mean that you’re a believer in Jesus. I’m influenced by the words, the beautiful, poetic words from the man who was a prodigy, and a genius in human form, and the Son of God at the same time. That is Jesus. I can’t really explain how much of an influence it has been to me. It’s just touched me so much, it still does, but at the same time I want to let people know that I’m not really a religious person because through my years of going around the world and meeting with a lot of Christians and a lot of religious people. I’ve seen a lot of people jump head in to Christianity for what they thought Christianity was, to only end up embittered and angry. That’s kinda rampant right now in my opinion. I see that a lot. I think when that happens, what people have done is they’ve kinda connected with religion and they didn’t really connect personally with Christ. Dano: Right Robert: Their influence was maybe...OK, here’s what you gotta do, you gotta be in Church, it’s gotta be on Wednesday night, and you gotta do all this, and by the way...you can’t do this. And then it doesn’t turn out the way they think it should and they end up bitter. Who was the poor guy for what was that one band? Testament or whatever...I can’t remember the singer who’s just totally bitter right now. Dano: A Christian singer? Robert: Yeah. Dano: Well, there’s been a lot of stuff going on in the Christian music world. Robert: Oh, he is so anti-Christ now... Dano: Oh, yeah...from Vengeance... Robert: Yes Dano: Roger, was it Martinez? Robert: Yes...Now I’m not putting the guy down, and I’d love to be able to talk with him. But there’s a perfect example. Here’s a guy who got into the Christian scene, was hurt by some people, is bitter, but nobody out there has been hurt more than I have. In Stryper I was called a queer probably twenty times a day for eight years. I mean Stryper ended up being a blessing yet a catastrophe at the same time, because we had so many people who loved us and yet so many people against us. So I mean if there’s anybody out there who has a right to be bitter, it’s me. But just because Stryper at one point ended up falling apart doesn’t mean that I through the baby out with the bath water and I don’t believe in Christ any longer. And that’s why I don’t say I’m a religious person because I’ve seen a lot of people fall in love with religion, and that is just not my gig. Dano: Well if you remember...Jesus, the only people He really rebuked was the religious people. Robert: That was the only people He was really angry at. And that was really the only people He called hypocritical. Dano: Yep, that’s it. Well, what about a favorite Bible verse? Is it still...Isaiah...What is it? Fifty-three ....seven? Robert: Fifty-three, five. I can’t really say that’s my favorite Bible verse. I think that was the one that was relevant for Stryper. That was what we felt applied, and that’s what we were trying to tell people that by the stripes of Jesus we are healed. I don’t really know if I ever had a favorite Bible verse, but I would say that my favorite books of the Bible are the ones where Jesus is talking. If I could take all of His words and condense it down into one book, that would be my favorite. Dano: Yeah, I’ve done that before, just read the red letters. Robert: Yeah, Oh, I’ve done that before. I’m just being honest with you. I never wanna be one of these kinda people who will make up something and say “Oh yeah...this is my favorite Bible verse” and they’re making it up. I don’t really have a favorite Bible verse, but the favorite words of mine are the one’s that are spoken right from the lips of Jesus. Dano: I hear ya. That beats any answer that I think anybody could give right there. Robert: And I think it’s the most relevant as far as Christianity. I believe God’s Word is anointed and it is the Word of God, but I know a lot of times I’ve seen people have more of a love affair with Paul the Apostle than they do with Jesus. I’ve watched a lot of people who I viewed as being religious quoting Paul more than quoting Christ. I think that’s kinda scary. Dano: Well, it’s all under the inspiration of God and everything, but that is a good point Robert. Robert: Yeah, it’s all in the inspiration of God, but there is no greater inspiration than the Son of God. I think some of the words that Paul had spoken are totally beautiful. It is inspiration. Some of things, the way that he would word things were just so touching. But this is also a guy that was a Christian killer. you know, he chopped off the heads of Christians. He was a bad guy. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen where God had to take someone’s sight away, to get the point across to him. . I don’t know, I don’t mean that disrespectfully. I look at the Bible as the inspired Word of God. But I just think sometimes in people’s, they become kinda zealous, I wanna say...zealots. In that when you become really religious it’s easy to forget some of the teachings of Christ. I know that sounds maybe kinda silly, Dano: That’s kinda deep. Robert: But I think it’s true. Dano: Well, let’s see...I never did ask you, How’s the wife and kids, and when did you get married, and whence came the children and all that? Robert: Well, I got married in 1995. I have a six-year-old daughter, she’s my stepdaughter, but she looks exactly like me. Dano: Cool... Robert: We’re bonded like I’m her real Dad. My wife’s real name is Victoria, her nickname is Starri. And my son was born May 20th, 1997. Dano: Well that’s something cause I didn’t even know you were married and everything, well heck, most of the email I’ve been doing between me and you has been between me a her really. Robert: Right, you know I really didn’t talk about it a lot to people because it was at a point in time where the internet was coming into fruition, and there were a lot of freaky people contacting me. And some of them to the point of where I had to constantly change my number or my logon name or whatever, because some of these people were like psychos, they were dangerous people. And I just got to the point where I thought...you know, I want to leave my kids out of this. I actually had a couple times where I had some psycho people show up at my door. Dano: Wow... Robert: And I thought, OK, you know, after everything I’ve gone through and I’ve encountered hundreds of people who are psychotic who call themselves Christians. Believe me, that’s pretty prevalent. There’s a lot of people out there who are kinda messed up and who are looking to Christianity they’re not looking to Jesus, but they’re looking to Christianity to help change them, but they’re kinda psychotic. Like the guy who shot John Lennon was carrying a Bible and wore a cross. you know, and the devil told him to shoot John Lennon, and those are some of the people I’ve encountered before. Dano: That’s scary Robert: And that’s why I didn’t really talk about it, you know, I just kinda tried to keep my personal life personal. I didn’t do enough of that in Stryper. My personal life was way out there in the open. It became too much to deal with. Everybody has a right to have your life personal. There’s nothing wrong with that. I think a lot of times Christians are made to feel guilty because you don’t want your life thrown out in the open in front of everybody. I’m not saying that you’ve got anything to hide or anything, but sometimes you just don’t want people to know where you live, or sometimes you just don’t want a certain person to have your phone number, you know? Dano: Right. Robert: And you know, I think a lot of people have taken that wrong, like, oh they have something to hide; or, why didn’t you talk about this...? Dano: I think they know Robert, celebrities have to be careful cause like ya said, there’s a lot of deranged fans and stuff out there. There’s good and bad, and the Internet has just opened it up so it’s an even place for everybody to get on. Robert: It sure has, more than what anyone has ever even thought that it would. I don’t look at myself as a celebrity, and I’m honored that people out there would look at me in that way. That’s a nice thing. But I guess I went through a couple things where I actually had some people threatening to show up at my house. It was the strangest thing bro... This couple wanted me to send a picture of myself to them on this guy’s, his wife’s birthday. Well these are strangers, I don’t even know who these people are. Dano: (laughs) Robert: OK...and they send my wife an email saying... Could you please have Robert send an autographed picture of himself and make sure it gets here on this day? Well, I’m out of town and my wife doesn’t happen have anymore 8 x 10’s of me to be shipping out to people. And so consequently this person who I don’t even know, I’m in another state recording on someone’s record and they don’t get their picture on her birthday. So, they start writing threatening letters and threatening phone calls. And I go out of my way, I get on the phone and say...Hey, I’m really sorry, lemme send you something. So I round up 6 or 7 things and send it to these people. And about two weeks later I get it back in the mail, telling me what a hypocrite I am, and how dare I send this stuff late, and who do I think that I am? And it was really bad, it was really bad. Dano: That’s amazing, the kind of people out there. Robert: Oh, you have no idea bro. It got me to the point of going, I can’t deal with this anymore. This is way too scary. Dano: I’ve gotten some hateful email from Pastors before, too. Just because I enjoy Contemporary Christian Music and that’s what NewSong Online is all about, and that trips me out. Robert: There’s that religious spirit and religious spirit is exactly what Jesus spoke against. Dano: That’s the ones that crucified our Lord Jesus is the religious people. Robert: Jesus said to love your enemies. If a Pastor is just waiting to destroy somebody because he doesn’t like the form of music they listen to or they perform. That person is doing exactly the opposite of what Jesus told said to do. Jesus said to love, to not send hate mail. Dano: Yep Robert: It’s really weird man, In my opinion a lot of Christianity has really become twisted. And I think it’s a tragedy and this is why a lot of the world kinda laughs at Christianity. Because it’s been divided off into so many different belief systems. I mean you got the Catholic Church, then you have the Protestants, and the Protestants have divided into 50, 60 different branches. And then you got the Protestants and the Catholics killing one other in Ireland. Dano: Yeah, still. Robert: And you’ve got so much, so many different things going on in the realm of Christianity, and it’s purely hatred or it’s purely political and it has absolutely nothing to do with the Word of God. And it just goes to show that at the end of the day we are just people. I get tired of hearing people say... Oh I heard from God, you know that’s a bunch of BS. Very few people hear God’s voice, and most the time when I read the Scripture people who heard from God’s voice, they drop dead on the ground or they fell flat as dead. There’s a lot of really strange teachings out there that border on cultism. Dano: Yeah, when somebody says that they heard from the Lord, the Word says that you need to know them that labor among you, so if you don’t the guy, you don’t know if he heard from the Lord or not. Robert: That’s just one example of freakishness. I mean God has touched me before where I have felt something so strong. I have felt OK...take your jacket off and give it to this person, or pull a hundred dollars out of your pocket right now and give it to this person, or listen to what this person is telling you. Those feelings are overwhelming and I know they are coming from God. But I can’t really lie to somebody and say...Oh yeah I heard God’s voice speaking to me, because I didn’t. And I’ve heard that so often, you know coming from people at Church. Dano: Yeah, some people wear it out. Robert: Yeah, they sure do. Dano: Yeah, well...lemme see, well we can backtrack here. After Stryper broke up you were like with a former band Titanic, called Blank weren’t you for awhile? Robert: I wasn’t with the band Titanic. What happened is, Stryper, my brother left in February of 92. Oz, Tim and I carried on for about a year longer. We did a bunch of concerts over in Europe without Mike because we didn’t want to let the people down over there. Stryper kinda really, even though it was over when Mike left. It really ended a year later. And at that point I played on a few other people’s records, then I played on a record with a band called King James. I went out on a few tours with them. Pretty much I would just get calls to just play on people’s records. Titanic was a band that was already together, and they had released a record already that I didn’t play on. The word got out that I had played on it, and I never even played on it. Dano: You didn’t play with them till they made the band, Blank, right. Robert: Right. Then those same musicians, we decided to try something a little different. And we just started working together and the singer, I believe was the one who came up with the word, Blank. But it never really ended up working out because you know a lot of people, a lot of musicians are really kinda different people. They’re wonderful people, but a lot of musicians think because you work with someone who is famous or who they perceive is being famous that your gonna be a rock star in a month. That kinda thing doesn’t happen. A lot of people that I’ve worked with in the past have quite a month or two down the line. And I’m standing there thinking...What in the world are you doing? And they’re under the false illusion that your gonna become this rock star. Well, what you gotta do is stick together and you gotta work at it. Dano: Yeah that’s it. Robert: I mean some people just think it’s a free ride and there you go. Dano: (laughs) Robert: And that’s not how it is. I mean I had to work so hard just to make Stryper happen. Stryper was something was ten years in the making before it ever happened. I pretty gave up everything, I didn’t date, I was rehearsing five nights a week. And in my spare time it was go, go, go, go. I was playing in Hollywood at nineteen years old, my brother was doing it at sixteen. you know we had a lot of years of working really hard and it finally began to pay off when we became Stryper, and when we asked the Lord to anoint the music and to do with it what He wanted, it started to pay off. But it took a lot of years to get there. The frustrating thing for me was knowing what it takes to succeed at it, and then after Stryper split up, working with so many guys that were younger or even guys my age who had never been successful, and they didn’t even have a clue. They had no idea that to succeed in this business you don’t quite after a month. So, so many rumors have gone around of so many bands that I played with or so many people I worked with that I either didn’t work with, or I worked with for a little bit and they decided that they weren’t a rock star yet so they quit. Dano: OK, so the rumors...I heard that you worked with a band called Blank, toured with King James. Robert: Yes Dano: you played on the Valediction self titled CD Robert: Yes, which hasn’t come out yet, Dano: It still hasn’t come out yet? Robert: But I did do that. Dano: Ok, you worked with Ken Metcalf’s JustaBand on the CD, Under Construction, I think. Robert: Yes Dano: And I believe that was it, then Love Trash is coming out. Robert: Well, I also did something with Tammy Winters. I don’t know if you heard of her. Dano: No... Robert: She’s a real beautiful girl, she’s got a real heavy voice, kinda along the lines of Ingvey meets Megadeth or something Dano: Wow... Robert: What an awesome person she is. She is incredible though. I’ve done a lot of stuff with a lot of other people that hasn’t been released yet. I’ve even done stuff two or three years ago that hasn’t even come out. But yeah...the Love Trash thing has kinda been in the making for awhile. There was one time back in 1995 I went up to Oregon to begin recording some of the songs that I had put on the Love Trash record. I was working and I had Led Zeppelin’s engineer come down and it was sounding really good, and there again I was doing all the guitars and bass, and drums. Was gonna bring in a singer at a later date to do it, and I finished recording it all. And while I was finishing up some of the bass tracks, the twenty-four track machine caught on fire and destroyed the tape. Dano: Oh man! Robert: Yeah! (laughs) Dano: Wow... Robert: So I drove all the way home from Oregon almost in tears with my wife who I, we were like just devastated like God why, oh why? And I went through a lot of that. you know, so this record has been hard. Dano: Five years in the making (laughs) Robert: Yes, it’s been a long time in the making. What it is, the budget was only enough to do eight songs. Biblically the number eight is like new beginning. And so what I did is, I did eight tunes. And what I believe is gonna happen is there is gonna be a cassette tape included with the CD. And on the cassette tape is gonna be stuff that’s different than what’s on the CD. Dano: So, all the recording is done now, right? Robert: Yeah, it’s been done for a couple months now actually. The record was supposed to be out like last month. But the artwork got held up, and of course the holidays didn’t help anything. So it just kinda held it up some, so I’m hoping we’ll get the final draft of the artwork back soon. But you know I just want to impress on people that I’m not trying to do a religious record here. But I’m also not trying to do a record that doesn’t have anything to do with Jesus. This record is a Robert Sweet record that is a little bit lighter lyrically and it’s a little different than Stryper. But the meaning of it points to Jesus in every single song. It’s my way of saying Hey, God exists and look here’s some things to listen to. I’ve always been a strong believer. And there was a time there in the eighties when Christian Bands were being pressured to look, do salvation records, one right after the other. And I just don’t think that’s how God has it done. God gives you your inspiration for something and you do it. For example, the first song on my record is called Help Me To Help Myself. And it’s written in the form of a prayer. And there has been so many times in my life even as a Christian. There would just be things that I would be going through where I would be going, God I really need you to help me, I don’t know what to do. Dano: Yeah Robert: I can’t say no, I can’t say yes, I don’t know where to go and I just can’t guess. It doesn’t necessarily sound like it’s a Christian song but coming from Robert Sweet that is about as real as it can be. It’s like God I need you to help me help myself. And that’s every single day. I don’t know how many more days I have left here to live. I might live to be a hundred I might be gone tomorrow. But everyday no matter how rich I’ve been or how poor I’ve been, I’ve always needed Jesus. And that’s the opening song of Love Trash. The first song is my prayer to God, help me. The second song is about I’ve known quite a few famous people and I’ve watched how love is been thrown away. The third song is The F Word, like I mentioned earlier, but in the middle of the song it spells out F O R G I V E. The F word. So my way of doing it isn’t what you would necessarily call, it doesn’t necessarily come up to the standards of a Church way of doing things. But it’s real, it’s my way of how I feel that God wants me to do what I’m suppose to do. Dano: You don’t have to speak Christianese to get the message across. Robert: I don’t like Christianese, I like realness. That’s what struck me about reading the words of Jesus, it was so real, it’s just so down to earth, and so simple, and yet so, it’s like love hitting you in the face like a fist, but it’s love, I mean it’s so strong. you know and that’s what I wanted my tunes to be. But I hope no one misunderstands it at the same time, cause I’ve had a lot of email from people going, Why are you calling it Love Trash? But then I laugh, and I would remember back to the days of people going, well why did you call this record To Hell With The Devil? Dano: (laughs) Yeah... Robert: you know or why did you put a hundred dollar bill on your In God We Trust record? It’s like somebody is always trying to find something to de-value your relationship with Christ. And I don’t understand that. I’ve never gone out to try to say, Oh this person is not real. Dano: Well, a lot of reasons people do that is because there’s something lacking in their life with their relationship. So if they can pick on somebody else it’s less noticeable perhaps to others. Robert: Life is just to short, by the way, Jesus said don’t judge. Dano: That’s right. Robert: In the time you spend putting somebody else down. There’s a guy out there, I’m trying to remember his name, he’s on the Internet. Something Ministries, his whole ministry is mocking Christian Music. Dano: Yeah, I had him send me an email before. Robert: Oh, you did? Do you remember his name? Dano: No...uhhh.... Robert: Bob something? Dano: It’s something like In Light or something like that... Robert: This guy is just horrible, and he puts a picture of me up there as Mr. Effeminate Dano: Yeah...that was the first thing that came up on the search engines Robert: Exactly and I just kinda crack up about it. I gotta be honest with you. I’ve never ever wanted to look like a girl, I just wanted to be a good looking guy. And at the same time I wanted to be Rock and Roll looking. When we were doing the Stryper thing, that was what was in. But that didn’t have anything to do with it, because I don’t care what’s in at the time. I’m just me. Dano: Well, I think you could ask any woman in Christian or otherwise if your good looking guy, and they would, I guarantee you probably 100% of them would say yes. Robert: you know I never looked at myself as a good-looking guy. I guess what I wanted to try to do is I wanted the people out there who listen to Rock and Roll music to listen to Stryper. you know, Stryper wasn’t about wearing a tie and having a big cross on. Dano: I’m glad it wasn’t. Robert: Yeah...That wouldn’t have been real. Dano: Well, that so-called ministry was badmouthing you and Stryper because you didn’t look or sound like they thought you should, but I never heard you guys fight back. Robert: I’m not into that at all. Dano: I never thought you were. Robert: It just amazes me. Dano: That’s what that guy picks out. I mean that’s what he’s gonna pick to pick on. Like these other guys pick something else to pick on. Robert: Right. Dano: It’s a shame. It’s a black eye on Christianity. Robert: You bet man. It sure is. What a perfect way of saying it. They just waste their time and they make their living off destroying others. That’s what they make their living off of. Dano: And there’s plenty of souls to be saved and people to witness to. If their witness is to see who they can tear down and show others they can tear other people down, that’s ain’t a witness of Christ. Robert: you know I heard a story one time, you’ve probably heard it too. And I hope revival comes to the Church in America where the Church becomes like this. It’s a simple story of England, London, after World War 2 is over. And there’s a kid that’s been orphaned and he doesn’t have a place to live and he doesn’t have a Mom and Dad and he’s standing outside of a doughnut shop. And he’s hungry, and an American GI walks in the doughnut shop and looks around and sees the kid standing outside and buys a dozen doughnuts and walks outside and gives them to the kid. And the kid looks at him and says...Mister, are you God? Dano: Oh man... Robert: And see...in that there’s no preaching, there’s no altar call, there’s no religious experience, there’s no tract, there’s no religious paraphernalia, like a cross, there’s no making sure everybody’s watching you pray before eating lunch, there’s love. Dano: What do they say? I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day. Robert: And without love it’s all worthless, it’s all worthless. And that’s what I wanted Stryper to be and that’s what I want my life to be. you know, somehow, someway, I ask God everyday, God help me somehow to not fool myself or to delude myself, help me to be what you want me to be. Dano: There you go. Robert: you know it’s got to count for something. Dano: That’s the only person you have to please Robert, is the Lord. It doesn’t matter what other people think. Robert: Yeah that is true. Dano: That’s all that counts. (laughs) Well, lemme see, you answered about all my questions before I got to ask some of them here. Robert: Well, I told you I kinda ramble sometimes. Dano: You do some good rambling there buddy. Robert: Well, thank you. Dano: (laughs) You got experience. Robert: I just try to be real. I just try to talk and you know, I’ve done thousands and thousands and maybe tens of thousands of interviews over the years, but I just try to be real. Dano: That’s it. It’s better than being fake and you know some of these people just say something to say something. Robert: you know I hope that when people hear my record I hope they can listen to it and enjoy it for the music. I hope that they can already understand Robert Sweet. I hope people can already from reading this interview that they’ll read I hope that they’ll already know what the real Robert Sweet is. I am the same that I was twenty years ago. I wasn’t one of these guys that was a big druggy then had to come to the Lord. I didn’t do drugs. Dano: You weren’t a VIP sinner. Robert: I just was a normal guy. I was a straight A student. I came home and I played drums. I wasn’t a bad teenager. I didn’t get thrown in jail. I didn’t sleep around. I wanted to do my music. I was serious about it. But when I came to know the Lord, it was a soul alternation for me, it touched me, but I didn’t become wacko or weird. I didn’t you know get weird like I’ve seen a lot of people do. The world doesn’t need anymore weird people who call themselves Christians. The world needs some Christians who call themselves Christians. Dano: Yep. Robert: That’s what I hope that people can hear coming out of these songs. I hope they can hear that Robert Sweet is trying to really in his own way say how real the Christianity is and how real the music is. Dano: Well, I’m sure they will. Robert: I apologize for the delay. you know I’m only one guy and I only do so much, but the record is finished. Dano: Well you’re one busy guy. (laughs) It’s been awhile getting up with you, but it’s been worth it, I know all your fans are looking forward to this. And I believe that’s about it. Well that winds down the interview Robert. Robert: Well, I hope I was able to give you what you were looking for. Dano: Well, I believe you did, and I know your fans will be appreciative. Shined some light on your new album coming out, maybe help boost some sales and they can pick it up at your website? Robert: Yeah, they’ll be able to find out more. I know the website has been kinda down for awhile because of the holidays, but within the next couple weeks they’re gonna be able to see a lot more stuff showing up on the site. So yeah, if they go to RobertSweet.com they’ll be able to find out a lot more about it. If you can please mention the record label in the interview, I would appreciate that. Dano: Yeah...World Gone Mad. Oh, one more thing...I hate to keep you so long, but The Stryper Expo coming up, you’re gonna be doing that pretty soon here.. Robert: The 21st I think, May 21st. Dano: Yeah. Can you give me some insight on about what you plan on doing? Robert: I have absolutely no idea of what were doing... Dano: (laughs) Robert: To be honest with you I believe Mike and Tim, and Oz, and I are gonna get up and play. I don’t know what were gonna do, but we’ll just do it. That’s how it’s always been I don’t know what I’m doing, so I just go ahead and do it anyway. Dano: You are gonna be there, right? Robert: Yes, I’ll be there. Dano: I reckon that’s it cause your not gonna have any tours or anything coming up for the Love Trash, cause you ain’t got a band or anything together yet? Robert: If I do, I’ll let you know. Dano: All right man. Well it’s been really good talking to Robert. Robert: It’s been good talking to you too, buddy. Dano: If you send me one of them CDs, I’ll be glad to do a review on it. Robert: You betcha... stay in touch OK? Dano: All right man. Robert: Take it easy.

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