Sweet was an extra in the 1983 movie Terms of Endearment. The producer, Jim Brooks, visited a film class of Sweet's and announced that anybody who wanted to be an extra was more than welcome. Sweet, a huge fan of cinema, is visible walking past the camera in the background of one scenes.
He formed his first band with Lisa Stipe, the sister of Michael Stipe of R.E.M. Both Sweet and Lisa were students at the University of Georgia. Sweet was a huge fan of R.E.M in high school, and began a pen pal correspondence with Michael Stipe that ultimately brought him to Athens, GA and led to his introduction to Lisa. Sweet and Lisa have since married.
Sweet first began recording music in high school using a simple four-track tape machine. He was initially very self-conscious about sharing his music, and while he would allow friends to listen to his recordings over headphones, he would never play the music for them while he was in the same room.
Besides his solo work, Sweet is also known for his Under the Covers series, done in collaboration with Susanna Hoffs, lead singer of Bangles. The series features the pair covering classic songs. The first Under the Covers focuses on music from the '60s, while the second draws from the '70s. Both artists have alluded to plans to record a third entry which would be comprised of '80s music.
Sweet's song "Girlfriend
" was featured on Guitar Hero II
. It was included unbeknownst to Sweet, who first heard the song in-game during a party. Sweet was convinced that the song used was his original and, since this was without his knowledge, intended to sue. However, the Guitar Hero II
version of "Girlfriend" was actually a cover, and thus legally permissible.
Near the end of studio sessions for his seminal 1991 album, Girlfriend, Sweet recalls throwing a watermelon off of a tall building while somebody on the street below recorded the sound of the subsequent explosion with a microphone. This unorthodox attempt at percussion, however, never found its way into any of the songs.
In the 1997 movie Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery he's seen backing Austin on bass in the band Ming Tea.