STRYPER has denied that Tim Gaines's recent divorce was the reason for his exit from the band.
After months of rumors, the bassist confirmed his departure from the openly Christian group late last month, telling KNAC.COM: "I am officially no longer a member of the band. It's been out there for about a year now that things have been going sour. It hasn't been officially said by either myself or the band, but, yeah, I'm no longer working with them."
Tim claimed that "all hell broke loose" after he "ended up getting a divorce, which is taboo as far as Christianity, I guess." He added: "I'm not the only guy in STRYPER to have gotten a divorce. Everybody in the band is married to divorced people. And I'm the bad guy, but everybody else has done it too, so? Whatever. Live in glass houses and everything will be exposed at some point or another."
Earlier today, STRYPER frontman Michael Sweet posted a message on the band's official Facebook page indicating that he, guitarist Oz Fox and drummer Robert Sweet are "so excited to move forward and make the best album" of their thirty-four-year career. He added: "God is good and positivity prevails. We'll stay faithful and keep moving forward no matter what. The best is yet to come."
While answering questions from fans in the comments section below his original post, Sweet confirmed that Gaines is "no longer in the band" and revealed that Tim's replacement will be "someone who is grateful, respectful, courteous, honest, hard-working, talented and blessed to be a part of the team."
Sweet also said that Gaines's divorce was "not the reason" for his departure from STRYPER, claiming that it was a "private matter" which will remain "between the members of the band and not anyone else." He added: "We didn't push Tim out as if he wasn't part of God's plan. His contributions to the band will never be forgotten or ignored. We're going to live life, be happy and answer to our calling. We're also going to record our best album in November."
Michael told the WSOU radio station at the end of last year that STRYPER had "no plans of stopping," despite the latest setback. He explained: "I mean, we had considered it and thought, well, maybe we should, but then we realized, well, that's just fair to us, that's not fair to the fans. So we're gonna continue on for sure."
Sweet also said at the time that it was "probable" that STRYPER would carry on without Gaines, explaining that "if we were to disband or dissolve or stop, it really wouldn't be fair to the fans, it wouldn't be fair to the other guys, and it's important to keep that in mind as well."