Veteran rockers STRYPER have recruited FIREHOUSE bassist Perry Richardson. He joins the band as the replacement for STRYPER's longtime bassist Tim Gaines, who was fired from the group earlier this year."The first time I met the guys in STRYPER was in 1985, when my first band, MAXX WARRIOR opened for them in Charlotte, North Carolina," says Richardson. "From that first meeting, they have always been one of my favorite bands and a huge influence on me personally and musically. To have the honor of becoming a member of STRYPER today is an indescribable experience for me. I am so overwhelmed, I can't put it into words. To be asked to be a member of one of my favorite all-time bands is one of the greatest honors of my career. I'm so looking forward to being a part of this next chapter in STRYPER's legacy. I'm ready to rock the world with my new brothers!" Adds STRYPER frontman Michael Sweet: "Perry is a perfect fit within our band. He's an amazing singer, an excellent bass player and just a great human being. The moment we first rehearsed with Perry, we knew that it was right. We sang harmonies, and the vocals sounded awesome. He shared stories of how STRYPER was one of his favorite bands and that he's always respected us. It meant a lot to hear him say that. He has brought a kind and humble spirit to the band. He is a professional and an absolute gentleman. His resume is quite extensive and as impressive as it gets. We're honored to have him on our team and we're extremely excited about the future!" Gaines'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. STRYPER is scheduled to enter the studio in November to begin work on in its new album for an early 2018 release. Tim is currently working with FAITHSEDGE singer-songwriter Giancarlo Floridia on that band's fourth album, tentatively due in the fall of 2018.
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