In a brand new interview with music writer Joel Gausten, Michael Sweet addressed Tim Gaines‘s departure from Stryper and revealed plans for a new documentary which will cover the band’s entire career.
Sweet says that “Prior to the band parting ways with Tim Gaines, things were going terrible. It was a nightmare, to be honest.”
The musician’s exit from Stryper has been rumored for months, ever since guitarist Oz Fox revealed that Tim was going through a divorce, forcing the group to take a hiatus and possibly consider a future without the bassist.
Gaines told KNAC.COM in August that “all hell broke loose” after he split up with his previous wife, “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.”
A few days later, the remaining members of Stryper released a statement denying that Gaines‘s divorce was a factor in their decision to part ways with the bassist and blaming Tim‘s “erratic and hostile behavior” for his dismissal from the group.
“Things are going fantastic in the band now,” Michael said. “Prior to the band parting ways with Tim Gaines, things were going terrible. It was a nightmare, to be honest. That was just based on a lot of stuff going on internally within the camp and whatnot — things that were being said online and done, tarnishing the brand and the name and all that stuff. It was a real bummer, but we’re through that now. We’ve parted ways; we let Tim go, and we really had no choice.
“People ask us all the time, ‘Can’t you guys work it out?’ Yeah, we tried to for thirty-four years,” he continued. “This is the third time he’s been out of the band. It kind of answers all the questions, if you just stop and think about that briefly. It hasn’t always been a bed of roses; we’ve had issues over the years.”
Despite Stryper‘s acrimonious split with Gaines, Sweet insists that he and the other members of the band “love Tim; he’s our brother. We’ve done a lot with him; there’s a history there,” he said. “We’ve done some incredible things with him and seen, done and experienced a lot. We’ll never forget that, and hopefully he won’t, either. At this point, we just have to go our separate ways, and we wish him well. We hope that he does something great and gets in another band and does big, wonderful things — and we’re going to keep doing the same. That’s about as simple as it is. We’ll be able to talk a lot more about things once we find a bass player and move forward with new stuff.”
He added: “At some point, I’m sure people will know a little bit more about the situation, but there’s also a lot of stuff that people don’t need to know. It’s not like it’s really anybody’s business in terms of the gory details.”
As for the documentary, Sweet says that it will be a “career-spanning” release which will focus primarily “on the good that Stryper has done. All the people we have influenced and the lives that have been changed — people who were once drug addicts [and] alcoholics who are now pastors or they really moved on to do great things. People in other bands who you might not ever imagine are Stryper fans. It’s going to be really cool, man. We’ve got it all laid out, and we’re going to start work on that really soon. It’s going to take us a couple of years to complete, but it’s going to be a big deal. It’s not going to be just some typical documentary like most. It’s going to be really unusual and interesting in a really cool way. I think when people see it, they’re going to be completely mind-blown.”
As previously reported, Stryper are preparing to enter the studio next month to record a brand new album. “With a powerful message and music that will move mountains. It’s a turning point for the band and we really appreciate your thoughts and prayers.”
The band has not yet announced a replacement for Gaines.
Gaines is currently working with Faithsedge singer-songwriter Giancarlo Floridia on the band’s fourth album, tentatively due in the fall of 2018.Faithsedge third and most melodic release to date “Restoration” has been released June 24, 2016 through Scarlet Records. Our review of “Restoration”can be found here.
Michael Sweet solo acoustic show:
Dec 14, 2017 – The Spire Center for Performing Arts, Plymouth MA
Feb 11, 2018 – Monsters of Rock Cruise 2018, Miami, FL
Feb 12, 2018 – Monsters of Rock Cruise 2018, Miami, FL
Feb 13, 2018 – Monsters of Rock Cruise 2018, Miami, FL
Feb 14, 2018 – Monsters of Rock Cruise 2018, Miami, FL
Feb 15, 2018 – Monsters of Rock Cruise 2018, Miami, FL
Feb 16, 2018 – Monsters of Rock Cruise 2018, Miami, FL
Stryper is one of the top Christian rock bands of all time. Rocking since 198 4, the band is responsible for such ’80s metal classic albums as “Soldiers Under Command”, “To Hell With The Devil” and “In God We Trust”.In fact, Stryper is the first band to ever have two songs in MTV’s Top 10 simultaneously with their hits‘Free’and ‘Honestly.’ After a sabbatical for much of the 1990’s, Stryper returned strong in the early 21st century. To date, the Dove Award-winning and Grammy nominated band has sold over 10 million records worldwide.
Stryper‘s ninth and latest album, “Fallen”, has been released on October 16th. 2015 via Frontiers Records, the album entered The Billboard 200 chart at position No. 43 with first-week sales of just over 10,000 units — nearly all from pure album sales.
Our review of “Fallen” can be found here.
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