Walmart Won’t Carry New Stryper Album
Attention, Walmart shoppers: If you're looking for the new Stryper album, you're going to have to take your business somewhere else.
According to a press release issued by the band, the retail giant has refused to carry Stryper's upcoming God Damn Evil LP due to "concerns over the album title." Given the somewhat confrontational language used, that may not be the most surprising decision, but naturally, the band members are disappointed.
"Stryper has always been about making people think outside the box," counters frontman Michael Sweet. "Our new album title God Damn Evil is a statement that's needed in our society. We've seen evil rise to new levels and this title is simply a prayer request asking God to damn or condemn all the evil around us. Many chains have joined us in making such a statement. Walmart unfortunately has not."
As previously reported, Stryper anticipated some degree of controversy over the title, and explained their decision when God Damn Evil's release was announced. "We thought long and hard about this title," said Sweet at the time. "It was actually considered quite a few years ago and it just didn't feel like the right time. Now, with all the evil in the world that we see around us on a daily basis, it made perfect sense."
Aside from publicly venting their frustration, the members of Stryper have little recourse against Walmart at this point — but they may be able to take some solace in the notion that the publicity surrounding this decision might attract listeners who haven't yet been drawn to the band's religiously themed hard rock. As Sweet told National Rock Review, that's always been a part of their mission.
"If your goal is just to go out for the Christians, then you know, you’re not reaching the lost and the people that need to hear it," he pointed out. "That’s always where our heart has been, to go out and reach those people that don’t go to church, the people that have been turned away, or are Satanist or atheist and to try to write really powerful music that they like and then maybe after listening to Stryper they will hear the message and that will start to set in, hopefully."