I was a senior in high school in 1987. My friends and I were hanging out one night with some guys from our class that we didn’t normally see much. One of our barely familiar classmates claimed that his Stryper cassette was stolen from his car and wanted to fight. We all laughed ourselves silly until it was pointed out that he was bent out of shape over a misplaced Christian metal cassette. I wonder if he ever found it, or if one of my spoiled buddies really did steal it. The truth is we’ll never know.
I told that tale to Micheal Sweet, leader and singer for Stryper when we talked by phone on the eve of the release of the band’s new album, “The Final Battle.” We also talked about the longevity of Stryper and how the popular ’80s metal bands have come full circle and are recognized as heritage artists instead of a novelty genre.