Band page - Stryper
|Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - New Release From Stryper, 'The Covering'|
|Christian rockers Stryper are offering fans a head-banging view of who their influences were early on, with the arrival of an almost entire album's worth of cover songs titled The Covering. Set for release on February 15th via Big3 Records (Sony), the album includes twelve rocking covers, as well as the all-new original tune, "God." And most significantly, the album marks the return of original bassist Tim Gaines back into the Stryper fold, setting up the first Stryper release in years to feature the definitive line-up of Michael Sweet (vocals/guitar), Oz Fox (guitar), Tim Gaines (bass) and Robert Sweet (drums). |
According to Michael Sweet, the impetus for putting out a mostly covers set was a simple one. "Every Stryper album is pretty serious and pretty bold in the lyrical faith sense of the word. We just wanted to roll our sleeves up, cut loose and have some fun." And when it came time to pick out a listing of tunes to cover, all the band had to do was look back upon their club days. "Growing up, before Stryper was even Stryper, we were a cover band. We played Gazzarri's on the [Hollywood] Strip for years - we would do originals but also do covers, as well. We always did [Judas] Priest covers and [Iron] Maiden covers, all those bands we grew up on and who influenced us."
What fans get is a CD that runs the gamut from 1970's era classic rock (Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song," Deep Purple's "Highway Star," Kiss' "Shout It Out Loud," etc.) to 1980's era heavy metal (Black Sabbath's "Heaven and Hell," the Scorpions' "Blackout," "Iron Maiden's "The Trooper," etc.). "A few things we set out to do on this album was to stay true to the original - we didn't want to disrespect the original versions," explains Michael. "I'm never going to sound like Bruce Dickinson or Ronnie James Dio, nor would I ever try to. And having me sing the song puts our own spin on it. We just all did our own thing and with our own touches and feel - Robert, Tim, Oz and myself - it has that Stryper feel to it as well."
The album also includes an all-new Stryper tune, "God." "Something that I was concerned about doing a covers album was the backlash," says Michael. "Being a Christian band, I was afraid we would get beat up pretty good. And sure enough, people in the press were saying early on, 'What are they doing? Are they Christian still?' All this nonsense. I just felt like, 'We really should put a song on there that solidifies our faith.' And that tells everyone questioning our faith, 'No, we haven't turned our back on God, we're still serious about it.'"
Big3 Records Chairman Bill Edwards adds, "We are excited to be releasing yet another record from one of rock music's legendary acts. Stryper continues to build a new generation of fans while consistently delivering for those worldwide that have followed them from the beginning. We are looking forward to making The Covering their most successful release to date."
Stryper will be supporting their latest release with a world tour, which will see the quartet dust off a handful of originals they have not performed in ages, as well as selections from The Covering, and all the expected hits. Beyond that, Michael has high hopes for what lays in store for Stryper. "We're really excited about the future. We feel like the band is in the best spirits and the best place musically, spiritually, and physically speaking than we've ever been. We feel really good. We're all pushing 50, but man, I feel like there's so much more life for this band, and some incredible things in store for the group. We're hooked up with some great people - we've got new management, a great album, a great label. We just feel like everything is coming together, and hopefully some big things are to follow.."
In 1984, Stryper broke onto the scene with their debut EP The Yellow and Black Attack, and have since gone on to sell over 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 Devilwas the first Christian album to go platinum and was named one of the "100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music" by CCM Magazine. Stryper was also the first Christian band to get airplay on MTV, where they had several hit videos, including the #1 "Most Requested" videos "Free" and "Honestly." The band supported their 2009 release Murder by Pridewith a year-long 25th Anniversary World Tour which took them throughout North America, South America, Europe and Australia.
'THE COVERING' TRACKLIST:
1. Set Me Free (Sweet)
2. Blackout (Scorpions)
3. Heaven and Hell (Black Sabbath)
4. Lights Out (UFO)
5. Carry On My Wayward Son (Kansas)
6. Highway Star (Deep Purple)
7. Shout It Out Loud (Kiss)
8. Over The Mountain (Ozzy Osbourne)
9. The Trooper (Iron Maiden)
10. Breaking The Law (Judas Priest)
11. On Fire (Van Halen)
12. Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin)
13. God (Stryper)
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|Saturday, April 18, 2009 - Stryper announces 50 city 25th anniversary tour|
|Legendary Christian rock band 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 25th Anniversary Tour, scheduled to launch in September, 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!"
Stryper is booked by APA Nashville and managed by Deep South Entertainment. All confirmed Stryper tour dates will be announced at www.Stryper.com and www.MichaelSweet.com.
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