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  • Writer's pictureBill Hernandez




Stryper bassist Perry Richardson took time out of his schedule to talk with Rockbandreviews.con while hanging at Fort Lauderdale Beach. Richardson talks about the pandemic, new Stryper music, and the Kickstarter campaign for the highly anticipated Stryper documentary film.

To listen to the interview... Click on the YouTube box below and enjoy

Here is a bit of history about Perry Richardson...

Long before he became globally recognized as bassist and co-founder of hard rock heavyweights FireHouse or joined the ranks of fellow multi-platinum hit makers Stryper, Perry Richardson was laying the foundations for an immensely successful career in creativity. Somewhere around a mere age seven through his early teens, the South Carolina native started out by singing southern gospel, but the rock bug came biting shortly thereafter, sending the hopeful straight on the road right out of college.

Along with front man C.J. Snare of eventual FireHouse fame, Richardson tore up the touring trails with Maxx Warrior for about seven years throughout the 1980s, organically crossing paths with Stryper on a few occasions and becoming a longtime appreciator in the process. After Maxx Warrior broke up, he turned to North Carolina-based band Nantucket for two years, though by 1989, the beginning of FireHouse came into view.For much of the MTV era, Richardson and the guys changed hard rock history with a stable of massive singles such as "Don't Treat Me Bad," "Love of a Lifetime" and "When I Look into Your Eyes" (to name a few of their many timeless anthems). In 1992, FireHouse took home an American Music Award for "Best New Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Band," beating out even Nirvana and Alice In Chains. Over the course of Richardson's dozen years with the band, he racked up an impressive 16 gold and platinum records with over 7 million units sold worldwide and 13 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, including two Top 5 entries and four that landed in the Top 25!

“It was a dream come true,” Richardson recalls of the exhilarating era. “From writing and recording songs in our band house basement in Charlotte, to touring the world and winning an American Music Award was beyond anything we thought possible. Also, being inducted into the South Carolina Entertainment Hall of Fame in 1995 was a great honor. But by far the most enjoyable thing for me was being on stage and performing for the fans. Playing in front of people that are enjoying what you are doing is difficult to describe. It's one of the best feelings in the world.” After unplugging from FireHouse, Richardson went back to his southern roots, collaborating as bassist in the bands of familiar country faces Trace Adkins and Craig Morgan, which led to more touring throughout the 2000s. Along the way, he also popped up on an extensive list of TV shows including The American Country Awards on FOX, FOX & Friends, The Today Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, All-Star Celebrity Apprentice Season Finale, Christmas at Rockefeller Center on NBC, Great American Heroes, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Army Wives on Lifetime, Back to Bragg, and The Grand Ole Opry on GAC.

"I did some session work, but the majority of my time was spent performing on the road," he explains of the switch. "I grew up listening to a lot of country music. My dad played in several country and bluegrass bands. I got the bug very early, so there wasn't much of a transition for me. It's always kind of been there lying dormant." In the same respect, rock n' roll always held a place in Richardson's heart during his country years, so when the invitation from Stryper came following the group's immensely successful 30th anniversary celebration of To Hell With The Devil, it was as natural of a fit as it was the first time around. In fact, he's been earning rave reviews ever since officially joining in October 2017, becoming just the third bassist to fill the slot in the band's 34-year career and further enhancing Stryper's status as a true supergroup.

"The first time I met the guys in Stryper was in 1985, when Maxx Warrior opened for them in Charlotte," recalls 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." Continues front man 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!"

As for Richardson, he's raring to go with a steady schedule on the road where he's sure to reconnect with listeners from the last three decades and also catch the ears of an entirely new generation. "I'm very excited to be getting back into rock, again mostly because of the fans, and of course, the music," he echoes. "I love the songs, the vocals and the great dual lead guitars, plus all of their music has a positive and uplifting message, which is uncommon for most rock bands. I try to be a very positive person and I can already tell that all of the guys in the band really believe and live their message. I'm also really looking forward to becoming a part of a brotherhood again, to give 100% on stage every night and to win the affection of all Stryper fans."


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