Iconic rock band Stryper will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its multi-platinum album “To Hell With The Devil” this fall with a world tour, featuring all four original members and complete with the original yellow-and-black costumes. Released by Enigma Records on October 24, 1986, the Grammy-nominated “To Hell With The Devil” is the band’s third studio album and the first Christian metal album to achieve platinum status.
Throughout 1987, the music videos for ‘Free’ and ‘Honestly’ ranked #1 on MTV’s list of most requested videos, and the video for ‘Calling on You’ reached #2. Stryper was the first band to ever have two songs in MTV’s Top 10 simultaneously.
“To Hell with the Devil literally changed our lives,” says frontman Michael Sweet. “During that tour we went from playing theaters and mid-sized clubs to arenas, all in a very short amount of time. We never could have predicted the wild popularity of those songs and videos – especially in the mainstream market.”
Regarding the “To Hell With The Devil” songwriting sessions, Sweet told Guitar World magazine: “We always strive to outdo ourselves, so when we made ‘To Hell With The Devil’, we wanted to make it better than ‘Soldiers Under Command’. We just went in and made a record, and it just so happens that it wound up being our most successful and most beloved. God really blessed that album.”
Added Stryper guitarist Oz Fox: “I think it came at the right time, too. Back then, MTV was doing the whole ‘Dial MTV‘ thing and we also had video budgets. The music definitely fit in with what was going on but it was also different enough to have its own niche.”
Sweet also talked about the controversy over the album’s original cover art. He said: “There were some Christian bookstores and carriers that wanted to carry the album, but they had a problem with the cover showing angels and the pentagram being ripped from Satan. They thought it was too controversial, and because of them threatening to not carry it, we decided to change it to a black cover. It actually wound up making it even more controversial because now the album is really rare.”
Unlike many of their counterparts, Stryper is comprised of all four original members with Michael Sweet on vocals and guitar, Robert Sweet on drums, Tim Gaines on bass and Oz Fox on guitar. Rocking since 1984, Stryper is responsible for such classic ’80s metal albums as “Soldiers Under Command,” “To Hell with the Devil” and “In God We Trust.” 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.
William Morris Endeavor (WME) has partnered with Stryper to book this fall’s tour. “To Hell with the Devil” Tour dates will be announced at a later time. For all 2016 tour dates and exclusive VIP Meet & Greet packages, visit Stryper.com.
Stryper’s “To Hell with the Devil” Tour is sponsored by Manwell DeCoudres Restaurant Group, The Salty Snapper, Woodstack BBQ Tavern, Pro Shot Basketball and Ucreative.
Confirmed dates so far are as follows:
Sep. 29 – Atlanta, GA – Center Stage
Sep. 30 – Lake Buena Vista, FL – House of Blues
Oct. 01 – Jacksonville, FL – Murray Hill Theatre
Oct. 04 – Charlotte, NC – Amos’ Southend
Oct. 05 – Valdosta, GA – Salty Snapper
Oct. 06 – New Orleans, LA – House of Blues
Oct. 08 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall
Oct. 09 – Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey Live!
Oct. 14 – Riverside, CA – Riverside Municipal Auditorium
Oct. 15 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues
Oct. 16 – Anaheim, CA – City National Grove of Anaheim
Oct. 26 – Denver, CO – Summit Music Hall
Oct. 28 – Omaha, NE – Sokol Underground
Oct. 31 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues
Nov. 02 – Minneapolis, MN – Cabooze
Nov. 04 – Peoria, IL – Limelight Eventplex
Nov. 05 – Hazard, KY – The Forum
Nov. 06 – Louisville, KY – Mercury Ballroom
Nov. 08 – St. Louis, MO – The Ready Room
Nov. 09 – Nashville, TN – [venue to be announced]
Nov. 11 – Grand Rapids, MI – Intersection
Nov. 12 – Cleveland, OH – Agora Theater
Nov. 13 – Columbus, OH – Alrosa Villa
Nov. 16 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrews Hall
Nov. 19 – Asbury Park, NJ – The Stone Pony
Nov. 20 – New York, NY – Gramercy Theatre
Nov. 21 – Raleigh, NC – City Limits Saloon
Video below: ‘Free’
Video below: ‘Calling on You’
Video below: ‘Honestly’