Stryper is a Christian glam-metal band. The Michael and Robert Sweet are brothers, and were both born again in 1975.
They were originally called Roxx Regime. They changed the name to Stryper after a passage in Isaiah 53:5: "With His stripes we are healed."
Their Christian message is a constant theme in their music. It was the Sweet's mother who convinced them to perform overtly Christian material when they formed the band.
Stryper's look is built around yellow and black stripes which show up on their instruments, their stage setup, and their clothing.
They throw bibles into the crowd at their shows. Michael Sweet told Songfacts
: "People used to leave the bibles on the ground, and then we started putting Stryper stickers on them and they were never left again. Because they were a little memento. And we figured if it's just a souvenir and that's how they view it, maybe someday they'll read it. Sure enough, we get story after story of people that say a year or two or three of collecting dust, I opened it up and read it."
Randy Jackson of American Idol fame played bass on their song "Shining Star."
Their original guitarist was Bruce Johannesson, who later changed his name to C.C. DeVille and joined the band Poison.
The Sweet brothers were inspired to spread their Christian message after watching Jimmy Swaggart on TV. But the televangelist spoke out against Stryper when they hit it big: Swaggart devoted a chapter of his 1987 book Religious Rock 'n' Roll: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing to slamming the band. The next year, Swaggart was caught with a prostitute in a Louisiana motel.
In the 2009 movie Whip It, Ellen Page's character wears a Stryper concert T-shirt.
After the temporary breakup of Stryper in 1993, Michael Sweet released two solo albums, but got discouraged with his record label. He moved from California to Massachusetts to work at his father-in-law's business, which was a campground in a cranberry bog. He recalled to Beyond The Turntable: "I worked in the bogs for about five years. Put on hip waders get out there corralling berries. It was cool! I had a great time doing it. It was a change I desperately needed. I'm not a farmer to save my life. But I just enjoyed getting out there and working."