Veteran rockers STRYPER will continue making albums and touring despite the band's recent announcement that they will "take a hiatus" in early 2017.
Asked by Nick of the WSOU radio station if STRYPER was still planning to go on a break following the completion of the recent tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of their multi-platinum album "To Hell With The Devil", frontman Michael Sweet said (hear audio below): "Well, some choices were made that affected the band and made us have to step back — kind of forced us to step back — and re-evaluate who we are and how we're gonna continue. Without going into all the gory details… That being said, we have no plans of stopping. 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, we just don't know how and when exactly."
Sweet also talked about whether it's likely that STRYPER will carry on without bassist Tim Gaines, whose "personal matters" were previously revealed to be the reason for the band's hiatus plans.
"Well, I mean, that remains to be seen, but it's very possible, and I'd probably go as far as to say even probable," Michael said. 'But we don't really know quite yet. It's something that very well could happen, absolutely."
The fact that STRYPER appears to be considering a future without Gaines flies in the face of Sweet's recent public proclamations 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 said: "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. But, again, thinking about it more and sleeping on it more, I think about how, you know, 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."
Sweet reiterated the fact that STRYPER will "keep going" and added that "We're gonna do another album; we just don't have it on the books yet. But we've already got a deal in place with a label, and that's going to happen. And there's gonna be more touring at some point. I'm just looking at it because of what's taking place, it's a good opportunity for me to go out and do some solo touring, and we're gonna do another SWEET & LYNCH album [Sweet's collaboration with DOKKEN and LYNCH MOB guitarist George Lynch] and do some SWEET & LYNCH touring as well."
STRYPER's latest album, "Fallen", entered The Billboard 200 chart at position No. 43 with first-week sales of just over 10,000 units — nearly all from pure album sales. The set followed the No. 35-peaking "No More Hell To Pay", which was released in 2013.