When you think of Christian rock, yellow and black spandex and makeup in the 1980s, what band springs to mind? Legendary Christian rock band Stryper, of course!
Now Stryper has announced plans for a 25th Anniversary Tour, hitting 50 cities in North America this fall before going international in January and February 2010. Stryper's upcoming studio album Murder by Pride (Big3 Records) will be released in July.
The Stryper 25th Anniversary Tour, scheduled to launch in September 2009, will be a two-set show. The first set will feature new Stryper material and include current bassist Tracy Ferrie, along with original members Michael Sweet, Robert Sweet and Oz Fox. The second set will feature all four original members, including original bassist Tim Gaines, wearing the original yellow and black stage outfits and performing the band's hits from the last 25 years.
"After recently learning about how precious life is and how often we take for granted the time that we have here on earth, I realized that this tour may very well be the most important tour in the history of Stryper," said Michael Sweet. "Tim, Robert, Tracy, Oz and myself are all stepping out together to show the importance of unity and forgiveness and the only way to show this is to live it. We've been faced with challenges over the past 25 years but two things have remained certain within our hearts and within our lives - the power of God's love and the beauty of God's grace."
The tour will be a family project, with Michael Sweet Jr's band Flight Patterns opening all dates. Their debut album will release on Fifty Three Five Records in July.
In 1984, Stryper broke on to the scene with their debut EP Yellow and Black Attack, and have since gone on to sell 8 million albums and tour the world spreading an inspirational message through their branded sound of rock songs, heavy guitars and pristine harmony vocals. The group's unprecedented 1986 album To Hell with the Devil went platinum and was named one of the “100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music” by CCM Magazine.
In 2008, Michael Sweet joined legendary band Boston on vocals and guitar for their 54-city summer headlining tour of North America, performing the band's classic hits like "More than a Feeling," “Peace of Mind,” “Amanda” and “Don't Look Back.” Boston has sold over 30 million albums worldwide, including the band's 1976 self-titled debut, which has sold over 17 million copies to date and was the highest selling debut of all time.
Murder by Pride will include a cover of the Boston song "Peace of Mind" that features Boston guitarist Tom Scholz on the recording. Ironically, Stryper had recorded "Peace of Mind" and planned to put it on their 2009 release long before Michael Sweet was even considered as a new member of Boston.
In 2008, Boston's Tom Scholz and Gary Pihl joined Stryper on stage to perform “Peace of Mind” for VH1 Classic's "After Math: The Station Fire Five Years Later" – a televised benefit concert also featuring performances by John Rich, Dierks Bentley, Gretchen Wilson, Aaron Lewis (Staind), Tesla, Twisted Sister, Winger and more.
"This record is a true miracle," said Michael Sweet. "We began rehearsing the new material in 2006 and now here we are looking at a 2009 release. It's been an extremely difficult process yet through this came one of the most powerful records that we've ever made. We decided to go back to what we were known for - vocal harmonies, guitar harmonies, solid grooves and melodic melodies and arrangements. We put our hearts and souls into making this record and we can only hope that it changes a few lives along the way. If so, it was all worth it!"
From our archives - October 16, 2009