STRYPER's MICHAEL SWEET: 'We're Very Blessed' To Still Have Three Of Four Original Members

November 24, 2022

In a new interview with Eric Dahl of Fox17's "Rock & Review", STRYPER frontman Michael Sweet spoke about the fact that his band still features three of the four members who got together as the pre-STRYPER group ROXX REGIME in 1983. "It's amazing," he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "We're very blessed to have that. A lot of bands have one original member, if any. FOREIGNER, for example, there are times when they don't have one original member [performing at their live shows], and they're still carrying the torch; people wanna hear those songs. I think that's what it's all about — people wanna relive those great memories that they have, the nostalgia. They wanna have fun and listen to the songs. Not to undermine the bandmembers…

"I don't think STRYPER is a faceless band, but I think you can pretty much put anyone that can hit the notes or play the parts up there in a yellow-and-black costume and they'd probably get away with it," Sweet continued. "Certain bands are faceless. I was in one — the band BOSTON. I don't think any people can say, 'Oh, that's so-and-so,' and necessarily know who it is and recognize them. I could be wrong. I don't know."

Original STRYPER bassist Tim Gaines left the band for the seemingly final time in August 2017 and was replaced by Perry Richardson (ex-FIREHOUSE). The musician's exit from the group had been rumored for months, ever since STRYPER guitarist Oz Fox revealed that Tim was going through a divorce, forcing the band to take a hiatus and possibly consider a future without the bassist.

More than a year before Gaines's departure from STRYPER was made official, Sweet said in an interview that "it's important that the four of us stay together, or it's not STRYPER." Asked how he reconciled his previous comments about original lineups remaining intact and STRYPER's decision to move forward without Tim, Sweet told WSOU: "I still feel that way. It is important [for original members to stay together]. But, sadly, sometimes things happen that keep that from happening. People make decisions and choices, and, unfortunately, it does affect other people many times, and then you have to re-evaluate things. But that is the ideal situation, for it to be the original lineup. But, you know, sometimes things get in the way of that, and that's sad."

Formed 39 years ago, STRYPER's name comes from Isaiah 53:5, which states: "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

STRYPER's albums include "To Hell With The Devil", "Second Coming", "No More Hell To Pay", "Fallen", "God Damn Evil", "Even The Devil Believes" and the band's latest effort, "The Final Battle".

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