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Skillet is an American Christian rock band, formed in Memphis, Tennessee in 1996. The band consists of John Cooper (lead vocalist, bassist), his wife Korey Cooper (guitarist, keyboardist, vocalist),Jen Ledger (drummer), and the newest member Seth Morrison (guitarist) Skillet has released eight studio albums, the latest two receiving Grammy nominations: Collide and Comatose.[1] Over the past 13 years, Skillet has spanned many different genres, including hard rock, industrial rock, and symphonic rock.

Band historyEdit

Early years (1995–1999)Edit

Skillet formed in 1995 with two members: John Cooper, former vocalist for Tennessee progressive rock band Seraph, and Ken Steorts, former guitarist for Urgent Cry. The two bands met through touring together, but those bands disbanded soon after, so John and Ken's pastor encouraged them to form their own band as a side-project. [1] Coming from different styles of rock music, they decided to name the experiment Skillet. Soon afterwards Trey McClurkin joined the band as a temporary drummer. Skillet was only together for a month when they received interest from major Christian record label ForeFront Records. In 1996 they released a self-titled debut Skillet. It was well-received, and the trio continued to write new material as they toured the United States.

Skillet recorded their follow-up album throughout 1997, entitled Hey You, I Love Your Soul, which was released in April 1998. Their second effort was a change in style from the band's first release. With this release, Skillet would abandon their post-grunge approach for a lighter alternative rock that was more dependent on John's keyboard playing. His wife Korey was enlisted soon after to play keyboards live in order to alleviate John's live performance duties.

Invincible, Ardent Worship and Alien Youth (2000–2002)Edit

Shortly before the band began recording for their third album, Invincible, Steorts left the band to be with his family, and Kevin Haaland joined the band as their new guitarist. Korey Cooper joined the band permanently and played keyboards for the recording of Invincible. Because of this change, the musical style on Invincible changed to a more electronic sound.[2] Soon after the release of Invincible in early 2000, Trey McClurkin parted ways with Skillet, and Lori Peters filled the drummer's position. Invincible would be Skillet's best selling record thus far.

The band released their first worship album, and fourth album overall, Ardent Worship in fall of 2000. The band kept much of their sound from Invincible on their next album Alien Youth.[2] With little time between touring and recording, Skillet released Alien Youth in 2001, which was the first album that John Cooper took on production duties. Before the release of Alien Youth, Haaland left the band, and Ben Kasica took over on guitar. The first single, the title track, was a major hit in the Christian market and drove Skillet into their first headlining shows.

Collide (2003–2005)Edit

In 2003, Collide was released by Ardent Records. It caught the attention of Andy Karp, the Head of A&R of Lava Records, and in 2004 the rights to Collide were bought by Lava Records, a division of Atlantic Records. On May 25, 2004, Collide was re-released under Lava Records, with an added track, "Open Wounds". Collidewas yet another musical shift for the band. Citing Linkin Park and P.O.D. as inspiration for the musical shift on Collide, Cooper said "Well I’m one of these song writers, everything I hear goes through my John Cooper filter of what I like and what I don’t like... all these things... have been an influence on me."[3]

Comatose (2006–2008)Edit

Skillet's album Comatose was released on October 3, 2006. It features the singles "Rebirthing," "Whispers In the Dark," "Comatose," "The Older I Get," "Those Nights," and "The Last Night". Skillet also released a B-side ("Live Free or Let Me Die") as a single, off their follow-up album Comatose: Deluxe Edition, which includes five acoustic tracks.

In January 2008, Skillet announced that their drummer, Lori Peters, was retiring from the band, feeling that "it's time for her to come off of the road and start a new chapter in her life."Template:Fact Peters' last concert with Skillet was on December 31, 2007.[4] However, during the 2007 Christmas season, she took the time to train Skillet's next drummer, Jen Ledger.[4]

On October 21, 2008, Comatose Comes Alive was released; a CD/DVD combo featuring live recordings of the band's May 9, 2008 concert in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It was shown on the Gospel Music Channel on December 5, 2008.[5]

Awake (2009)Edit

Skillet announced that they went into the studio January 12 to finalize the new record with Grammy-nominated producer Howard Benson. They added two songs ("Hero" and "Monster") from the new record to their setlist on April 2, 2009 in Evansville, Indiana as part of their Comatose Tour 2009.Template:Fact

The title of Skillet's next studio album, Awake, was announced on April 17, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.Template:Fact The album will contain 12 songs and will release on August 25, 2009.[6] "Hero" was released to radio on May 19, 2009 as the album's first single, and "Monster" was released on July 14, 2009. They are also releasing a deluxe version with two extra songs "Dead Inside" and "Would It Matter", along with the original, radio edit of "Monster" that does not have the distorted growl like in the single and in the CD. The song Hero was used in the publicizing of the first football game of the 2009 NFL season between the Philadelphia Eagles and Tennessee Titans.

Rise (2013) Edit

On June 21, 2011 John Cooper posted that the band rehearsed new music for the first time and that they were getting ready for a new album, recording a new record in January/February 2012. However, the band was then scheduled to headline the WinterJam Tour.

In an Interview on January 26, 2013 In Beaumont TX, John announced that the new album would be titled Rise and would be coming out in May 2013, but was later scheduled for a June 25, 2013 release.

"Sick of It" was released via the iTunes Store on April 9, 2013. The lead Christian radio single, "American Noise", was released on April 16, 2013. The title track "Rise" was released May 14, 2013. The fourth track from the album "Not Gonna Die" was released on June 11, 2013. The band performed the title track off Rise on the July 11, 2013 airing of Conan.

According to Howard Benson, the album was not meant to be a concept album, but John Cooper said "I don't love concept records typically; the emphasis is on the fact that it's a concept record rather than good songs."

Unleashed (2016) Edit

On February 16, 2015, Skillet announced they were writing material for a new album with recording to begin in June with a potential release in the late half of 2015 or early 2016, however it got pushed back to a later-2016 release date on August 5, 2016. The band worked with Brian Howes, who previously produced their 2006 album, Comatose, along with producers Kevin Churko, Neal Avron and Seth Mosely. Cooper stated he felt "'really inspired'" before going into the studio to record the music. Even though he said "'the songs are very aggressive, very in-your-face'", he said the new material is genuine to the Skillet sound they have crafted.

On April 8, Skillet released a preview of a new song, later revealed to be called "Out of Hell", on their social media pages. On May 20, 2016 the album's title, Unleashed, was announced and is to be released on August 5, 2016 on Atlantic Records. A lyric video, "Feel Invincible", was also made available. On May 26, the lyric video and digital single "Stars" was released, along with a preview for another song titled "Back From the Dead". On July 8, the full version of "Back From the Dead" was made available for purchase online, followed by "I Want to Live" on July 29.

ToursEdit

Skillet Live 2

Skillet performing live on April 12, 2008 at Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana.

In the middle of 2006, Korey Cooper took a break from performing, due to her pregnancy with their second child. Her back-up guitar and keyboard role was temporarily filled by two people: Drea Winchell (who would later become the Cooper's nanny) on keys, and Chris Marvin on guitar.

Skillet teamed up with Ron Luce & Teen Mania Ministries on their Acquire The Fire Tour across the United States & Canada in 2007. When they returned Skillet teamed up with Flyleaf to co-headline the Justice & Mercy Tour, (Live Photos from That Tour) that tour was postponed/canceled after a number of shows due to Flyleaf's lead singer, Lacey Mosley's vocal problem. They will team up with Luce's Global Expeditions program on a missions trip with teens this summer on a trip to Mexico. In 2008 they joined up with Teen Mainia Ministries and toured Acquire the Fire.

Skillet joined Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, and Seether on the first half of their tour in fall 2007.[7] Then Skillet headlined their own Comatose Tour alongside Thousand Foot Krutch, and traveled to approximately 30 cities. The tour started on March 28 and ran through May 11, 2008.[8] Skillet toured again from April 2009 through June 2009 with Decyfer Down and Disciple. This tour was called Comatose Tour 2009 (essentially a second branch of the 2008 Comatose Tour). In fall of 2009, Skillet will tour with Hawk Nelson, Decyfer Down, and The Letter Black to promote Skillet's album Awake. The Awake & Alive Tour will encompass 50 cities from October through December.[9]

Band membersEdit

Current members
Former members
  • Ken Steorts – guitar (1996–1999, founder of Visible School in Memphis, TN, a music and worship arts college)
  • Trey McClurkin – drums (1996–2000)
  • Kevin Haaland – guitar (1999–2001)
  • Lori Peters – drums (2000–2007)
  • Ben Kascia- guitar (2001-2011)
Touring members
  • Faith Stern – keyboards, backing vocals (2002–2003)
  • Chris Marvin – guitar, backing vocals (2002–2003, 2005–2006)
  • Drea Winchell – keyboard (2005–2006)
  • Tate Olsen – cello (2008–present)
  • Jonathan Chu – violin (2008–present)

DiscographyEdit

Main article: Skillet discography

AlbumsEdit

Billboard-charting singlesEdit

Year Title Chart positions Album
U.S. Mainstream Rock U.S. Hot Christian Songs
2004 "Savior" #26 - Collide
2006 "Rebirthing" - #9 Comatose
2006 "Whispers in the Dark" #34 - Comatose
2007 "The Older I Get" #27 #14 Comatose
2007 "The Last Night" #38 #16 Comatose
2008 "Those Nights" - #22 Comatose
2009 "Hero" - #32 Awake
2009 "Monster" #27 - Awake

In the mediaEdit

TelevisionEdit

Video gamesEdit

FilmsEdit

AwardsEdit

Grammy Award nominations
  • "Best Rock Gospel Album" in 2005 (Collide)[10]
  • "Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album" in 2007 (Comatose).[1]
GMA Dove Awards

"Rock Recorded Song of the Year" for "Comatose" at the 39th Annual GMA Dove Awards on April 23 2008.[11]

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit


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