Interview [Podcast]: Skillet

Skillet is set to play the Avalanche Tour 2011. Facebook.com/Skillet
Skillet, Stone Sour, Theory of a Deadman, Halestorm and Art of Dying, all on one bill. Sounds too good to be true, right? Wrong. Welcome to the 2011 Avalanche Tour. The hard rock trek kicks off March 24 in Chicago and wraps up May 8 in Jacksonville, Fla.

Interview with Skillet frontman John Cooper (podcast below)

In the song, “Hero,” Skillet vocalist and bass player John Cooper sings about losing faith in the world.

“Every time I turn on the TV, it’s like, ‘Really? Another sex scandal?’” he said. “This is absurd, from wars to violence going on all the time to the hurricane in Haiti. It’s a scary time to be alive, and it’s an easy time to lose your faith.”

Still, the Grammy-nominated new rock band stays positive, crooning, “I’ve gotta fight today/To live another day/Speaking my mind today/My voice will be heard today.”

Skillet’s latest album, Awake and Alive, is brimming with heavy guitar progressions, orchestral sections and pummeling vocals. It’s a heavy, but hopeful. Cooper checked in with Audio Ink Radio about the band’s new songs and how Skillet’s hard rock song landed on WWE.

Audio Ink: Is it true music was forbidden in your house growing up?

Cooper: Not all music, but anything with drums. Drums and guitar were the “devil’s instruments.” My mom was a piano teacher and voice teacher, so she loved music, just a certain kind. Classical, hymns and opera were okay. When I first heard Christian music, I felt vindicated, like, “It’s not the drums that’s evil.”

“Awake and Alive,” debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart. Why did fans related to this album?

I think it’s because Skillet has a lot more fans than just Christian music fans. We are a Christian band, but we work very hard at writing songs about issues that, in my mind, everyone can relate to: atheists, agnostics, Jews, Muslims. I see that in bands like U2 and Switchfoot. Those bands have done a good job of having positive and hopeful messages, without alienating certain people.

What’s it like being in a band with your wife Korey (keyboard, guitar)?

It’s awesome. She’s my go-to person to lean on when it comes to making the set flow and making songs sound better. She’ll do keyboard programming and songs will come to life. Personally, it’s nice on the road, because it makes the whole band feel more stable. We have our kids on the road, and it feels like a big family traveling and loving each other and having fun.

“Monster,” was No. 4 on the active rock chart last year and featured on WWE wrestling.

It was awesome. “Monster” is a song a lot of stations said they would never play because it came from a Christian band. But the song kept doing better and better, and eventually, most of those people ended up playing the record. What’s on your iPod right now? I’m a Breaking Benjamin fan. I also like a new rock band called RED, and I’ve been listening to a lot of Stevie Ray Vaughn. I like listening to people who can really play like that.

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