STRYPER frontman Michael Sweet says that the band got guitarist Oz Fox's blessing to go ahead with its Australian tour later this month.
Fox suffered a seizure while performing with SIN CITY SINNERS Saturday night (August 11) at Harrah's in Las Vegas, Nevada and will be unable to join his bandmates on the trek.
In a post on STRYPER's Facebook page, Michael wrote: "I met Oz when I was almost 13 years old. We went to high school together and we've been through it all together. We've been a 'duo' for almost our entire lives and I love him. He's family and a brother to me. Unexpectedly, Oz fell ill and is now in the hospital. We're all waiting to hear good news and we're all praying deeply for that. We so appreciate your thoughts and prayers.
"The Internet is a great place to rally people for support and if there was ever a time for that, now is the time.
"This happened just a few days before we were to leave for Australia and Japan for a two-week run. We spent Sunday and Monday speaking with promoters trying to figure out how to proceed. We were able to postpone Japan (which was and is our first option). We tried to postpone the Australian dates as well but due to financial restraints (on the Australian side, mind you), we made the very difficult decision to go after all and do what is best for all involved.
"The first thing we did was to get Oz's blessing and being the person that Oz is, we received that. Although it will not be the same at all without Oz, we did what we felt we had to do and we did it the best way we possibly could.
"The important thing right now is Oz's health and well being. Please continue to pray for him at this time. Pray for Annie [Lobért, Oz's wife] and his family as well. We’'ll be releasing updates as they come in.
"We look forward to seeing you all on the road — with our brother, friend and partner Oz."
STRYPER's tour of Australia is scheduled to begin this Friday (August 17). The band is also slated hit the road in the States in September for a number of scattered dates that run through November.
35 years after its inception in Orange County, California, STRYPER has spent the last several months promoting a new album, "God Damn Evil".