“This song and video is having a little fun with all the guys that think they can just throw on a cowboy hat, some cowboy boots, move to Nashville and become country stars. It’s just not that simple and that’s just not reality. The same would apply to country stars trying to become metal heads … Country music, just like rock, is a lifestyle rich with history and authenticity and each genre should be treated with great respect. You can’t fake it. You can try, but the fans will see right through it.”
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This is the pointed and timely take on the recent onslaught of rockers who’ve sought the shelter of the country music format to help further their careers and hopefully make it once again on radio from the lead singer and guitar player for the Christian heavy metal band Stryper.
Michael Sweet says he has his own history in country, and has enough respect for it to where he sees right through the Steven Tylers and Brett Michaels who think you can turn into a country star like flipping a switch.
“I grew up with country music, played on my dads country songs (he cowrote a No. 1 country song in 1976 called ‘I Don’t Want To Have To Marry You’) and I know and respect the country music world,” Sweet tells Loudwire. “I wrote the song ‘Radio’ based on my history in country music and on what seems to be a surge of rock stars trying to become country stars … Just as metal is a life style, country is as well and you have to live it, not just wake up one morning and decide you’re gonna be a country star and have the respect of the country world.”
No punches are pulled in the song and video for “Radio,” and though it lampoons the rock gone country folks, it very much remains a glam metal song that you would expect from the lead singer of Stryper, aside from the banjo cameo, just like many of the “country” tunes that truly should be slotted in rock.
The song and video came out just ahead of Michael Sweet’s newest solo album One Sided War where “Radio” appears.