Michael Sweet says that "things were going terrible" in STRYPER prior to the band's split with longtime bassist Tim Gaines.
The musician's exit from STRYPER had 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.
In a brand new interview with music writer Joel Gausten, Sweet addressed Gaines's departure from STRYPER and revealed plans for a new documentary which will cover the band's entire career.
"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."
STRYPER is scheduled to enter the studio in November to begin work on in its new album for an early 2018 release.
The band has not yet announced a replacement for Gaines.
Tim is currently working with FAITHSEDGE singer-songwriter Giancarlo Floridia on that band's fourth album, tentatively due in the fall of 2018.