BASSIST TIM GAINES IS NO LONGER A MEMBER OF STRYPER
Stryper bassist, Tim Gaines, has confirmed that he is no longer a member of the band, reports blabbermouth.net.
The musician’s exit from the band has been rumored for months, ever since guitarist Oz Fox revealed that Gaines was going through a divorce, forcing the group to take a hiatus and possibly consider a future without the bassist.
In a brand new interview with KNAC.com, Gaines spoke about his current status with Stryper for the first time, admitting that he was no longer involved with the openly Christian band that he played with for more than two decades.
“The Stryper thing is a touchy subject right now,” Gaines said. “I can’t really elaborate on too much of it. You would probably be the first person that I would say to that 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.”
According to Tim, “all hell broke loose” after he “ended up getting a divorce, which is taboo as far as Christianity, I guess.” He added, “Nobody bothered to look into why I got a divorce. It was twenty years of a bad marriage, but nobody bothers to look into the abuse and all the stuff that went along with it. They just see me getting a divorce and getting remarried and come to their conclusions. So whatever. People will be the way that they are. There’s nothing I can do about it. 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.”
Gaines is no longer listed as a member of Stryper on the band’s official web site.
A replacement bassist has not yet been announced.
Gaines is currently working with Faithsedge singer-songwriter Giancarlo Floridia on the band’s fourth album, tentatively due in the fall of 2018.
I’m guessing there’s more to this story than simply Tim’s divorce causing his exit from the band.
I saw Stryper perform with Poison and Witch at the County Club in Los Angeles in 1984. Stryper threw bibles into the audience. Michael Sweet is a great musician, and I loved that this band played Jackson guitars in the 80’s. But, I could really never get into Stryper’s music….I thought Michael’s voice was too pretty and I thought the songs weren’t “metal” enough. Also, I always questioned (and still do) the band’s sincerity to Christianity….I wonder if it’s just a gimmick, like Slayer’s and Venom’s satanic image gimmick.
I agree that there is probably more to this story than Tim’s divorce. He has been in and out of the band a couple of times, so I don’t think we know the whole story on this.
I liked the earlier Stryper albums, especially SOLDIERS UNDER COMMAND. That album still kicks butt, and I don’t care whether it was “Christian Rock” or not! Some of their later albums in the 80’s got too “pop” for my taste, but their recent albums like FALLEN has brought back the more hard rock/ heavy metal feel. All of the guys in the band are excellent musicians, and I’ve always liked Michael Sweet’s voice (sorry Rattle!). As far as their sincerity about Christianity, who knows? I’ll take them at their word, and I haven’t heard any stories about wild sex parties or drug/booze abuse from these guys. As far as I’m concerned, that’s between them and God.
I’m thinking like a lot of Christians they’re sincere guys who will have issues like the rest of us.
I’ve said it before, Michael Sweet is one powerhouse musician and singer. Agree with Keith on the early stuff, specifically Soldiers and Yellow and Black Attack EP. If Michael had been a secular act in the 80’s he would’ve been huge. If anything being a Christian Rock artist might’ve cost him money.
And Oz Fox is a monster on guitar.
Keith, the Yellow and Black Attack EP is my favorite Stryper release, with Soldiers Under Command my second favorite. But, again, I just really couldn’t get into all their music. I am not much of a fan of Robert Sweet’s drumming, as I think he could have done a lot more to better complete the songs. I find his drumming boring, actually. Thankfully, music is personal preference and that allows us to seek out other music we may enjoy more.
DR, good point about Sweet being a Christian artist maybe costing him money….but I think he gambled on the Christian gimmick and it just didn’t work out as all had hoped. Unfortunately, hard rock/metal is perceived as “bad boy” music and the Christian gimmick doesn’t really “fit” that stereotype. Also, Christianity can be a very polarizing topic that often can divide a population of prospective fans.
Astute observations here, I remember Stryper putting out a record late in the game where they were wearing those prison striped outfits, pretty much saying “Hey guys, we were just kidding about that whole Christian thing.” Their music wasn’t much to write home about, I’ll take Europe instead.
You are correct, Shannon. Stryper abandoned the whole yellow and black/Christian themed music around 1990 and did a complete image change. That further led me to question their sincerity to Christianity.
They released one album that, while not mentioning God specifically, still delivered content that rested very comfortably within the Christian world view. The yellow and black were jettisoned in order to work outside of the glam metal context.
I don’t personally believe that tempering their message to appeal to a broader audience is a lack of sincerity to Christianity. Might have been a bad decision as their Christian base wailed and gnashed their teeth in a ridiculous manner. I don’t want to delve too deep here, but there is an old saying in Christian circles- “Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.” One can get their message across in a very subtle manner without directly proselytizing. It’s actually less alienating to many people to see entities (people, bands, etc) speak/sing/perform about things they can relate too.
Now if that trend were to have continued, I think that your point would be taken. But they have continued since then to record music that is distinctly Christ-centered. Michael Sweet also put out solo material since then that was Christian-oriented.
But by being a “Christian” band they are pretty much targeting a specific audience’s wallets, and not much about converting anybody. So, then, by wearing prison stripes they were akin to St. Paul? I think I remember some interviews where they said it was all just a gimmick, that they didn’t mean it….Going to the second half of your message, I couldn’t agree more….God invented irony, for sure.
I don’t remember Stryper ever commenting that they were faking their belief in Christ. They dropped the whole “yellow and black attack” thing for one album, in order to distance themselves from the “hair metal” connection that they had. It didn’t turn out to be a very good move for them. Based upon Michael Sweet’s solo work, and even the stuff he is working on with George Lynch (Sweet & Lynch), I think he is very sincere in his Christian beliefs. All of the lyrics are very Christian oriented, even if it is not blatantly religious. Again, I’ve never heard of these guys being found drunk/ high out of their minds, or in compromising positions with women other than their wives. Ultimately, they will be judged by God on the sincerity of their beliefs (way above my pay grade!). So, I will take them at their word.
Ok, but I don’t think not being drunk or high, or not just being with women for pleasure, are what makes someone a Christian.
Good points Team. I’m thinking podcast with this group.