The Record That Changed My Life: Michael Sweet of Stryper Discusses 'Van Halen'

Van Halen
Van Halen (1978)

“When I heard the first Van Halen album, I immediately thought, What the hell is this? I was not only inspired by the guitar virtuosity of Eddie Van Halen but, equally as important, by the songs and the energy of the band. David Lee Roth was and will forever be one of the greatest frontmen to grace the stage.

“That record exploded at a volatile time in music and will always be remembered as an album that rewrote music history. I’m proud to say that it was a huge part of my musical education, and it really helped to shape me as an artist and a musician. I recall practicing a little harder and a little more often after hearing Van Halen for the first time. And to this day, Eddie is one of my biggest influences. I really started experimenting more and more with guitar tone and trying new things to improve mine.

“Not too many bands or albums come along that have the impact that Van Halen had, and I’m grateful to have been there through it all.”

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