Tim Gaines has confirmed that he is no longer a member of STRYPER.
The musician's exit from the band has been rumored for months, ever since STRYPER 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.
In a brand new interview with KNAC.COM, Gaines spoke about his current status with STRYPER for the first time, admitting that he was no longer involved with the openly Christian band that he played with for more than two decades.
"The STRYPER thing is a touchy subject right now," Gaines said. "I can't really elaborate on too much of it. You would probably be the first person that I would say to that I am officially no longer a member of the band. It's been out there for about a year now that things have been going sour. It hasn't been officially said by either myself or the band, but, yeah, I'm no longer working with them."
According to Tim, "all hell broke loose" after he "ended up getting a divorce, which is taboo as far as Christianity, I guess." He added: "Nobody bothered to look into why I got a divorce. It was twenty years of a bad marriage, but nobody bothers to look into the abuse and all the stuff that went along with it. They just see me getting a divorce and getting remarried and come to their conclusions. So whatever. People will be the way that they are. There's nothing I can do about it. 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."
Gaines is no longer listed as a member of STRYPER on the band's official web site.
A replacement bassist has not yet been announced.
STRYPER frontman Michael Sweet told the WSOU radio station at the end of last year that the band had "no plans of stopping," despite the latest setback. He explained: "I mean, we had considered it and thought, well, maybe we should, but then we realized, well, that's just fair to us, that's not fair to the fans. So we're gonna continue on for sure."
Sweet also said at the time that it was "probable" that STRYPER would carry on without Gaines, explaining that "if we were to disband or dissolve or stop, it really wouldn't be fair to the fans, it wouldn't be fair to the other guys, and it's important to keep that in mind as well."
The fact that STRYPER is continuing without Gaines flies in the face of Sweet's public proclamations in a June 2016 interview that "it's important that the four of us stay together, or it's not STRYPER." Asked how he reconciles his previous comments about original lineups remaining intact and STRYPER's possible plan to move forward without Tim, Sweet told WSOU: "I still feel that way. It is important [for original members to stay together]. But, sadly, sometimes things happen that keep that from happening. People make decisions and choices, and, unfortunately, it does affect other people many times, and then you have to re-evaluate things. But that is the ideal situation, for it to be the original lineup. But, you know, sometimes things get in the way of that, and that's sad."
STRYPER is scheduled to enter the studio this fall to begin work on in its new album for an early 2018 release. Sweet told Good Company about the band's planned follow-up to 2015's "Fallen": "We're gonna start recording a new album in October — we start pre-production — and we'll probably be done by before Christmastime, at the latest just after Christmas. It will come out — if I had to guess — probably around April."
Gaines is currently working with FAITHSEDGE singer-songwriter Giancarlo Floridia on the band's fourth album, tentatively due in the fall of 2018.