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New Skillet album a ‘positive rebellion’ against fear

NASHVILLE (BP) – Christian band Skillet released a new album today (Jan. 14) that lead singer John Cooper said represents a “positive rebellion,” against forces influencing Christians to live in fear.

The album, titled “Dominion,” is the 11th studio release for the highly successful rock band. It was written during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cooper said he wasn’t sure if the band was even going to write a new album because they did not get to perform the songs from their previous album (released in 2019) for very long.

Yet as the pandemic raged on, Cooper said the songs “just started coming out of me.”

“There are times when you just get inspiration,” he said. “Something hits you and you know you need to say something. That’s really what this record was like.

“I would say the main theme of the record is not being a slave to fear. It’s a rebellion against forces trying to get you to live in fear. The record is kind of telling you ‘do not give into that.”’

Cooper described the process of recoding the album as “unique” and “bizarre,” considering the band members were never in the same room as the producers they were working with.

The band and their producers would start with writing sessions together over Zoom. The band would then record music in their own studio and send the tracks to the producers in another state. Everyone would then come back on Zoom to talk over needed changes.

Cooper said the unusual process allowed the group to create the familiar sound the band is known for, but also to experiment with new things they might not have been willing to try before.

“It’s a really energetic record. It’s a very hopeful positive record, but it’s also got this sort of Christian defiance to it,” he said.

“I mean that sort of spirit of ‘We need to stand up for what’s right because of the times that we’re living in.’ It might cost you something …, but it’s time for Christians to really stand on the Word of God and not back down.”

Skillet has been making music together since 1996, and currently comprises Cooper and his wife Korey, lead guitarist Seth Morrison and drummer Jen Ledger.

Over the last 25 years, the group has achieved significant success both in the contemporary Christian music genre as well as the mainstream heavy rock genre.

They have sold over 11 million units worldwide, have multiple music videos with hundreds of millions of views on YouTube and have toured all over the world.

The band has won multiple Dove Awards, a Billboard Music Award and been nominated for two Grammy Awards.

When looking back on the success of the band, Cooper said he never imagined “in a million years,” that he would still be making music full-time all these years later.

In addition to music, another of Cooper’s passions has come to the forefront the past few years – standing up and speaking out about the truth of the Bible and the Gospel. For a variety of reasons, Cooper has become more vocal about Jesus and Christian values.

He published a book in late 2020 compiling his thoughts about the Bible and current culture titled “Awake & Alive To Truth: Finding Truth In The Chaos Of A Relativistic World.” In it, Cooper describes the different reasons he’s chosen to become more vocal about Christianity.

The opening story of the book describes a conversation Cooper had with a successful music agent a little over 10 years ago. The agent told him Skillet had everything necessary to become a superstar rock band, if they would just stop talking about Jesus.

They could talk about love, helping people or even spirituality, but he advised Cooper to stop talking specially about Jesus and to disassociate from the Christian music genre all together.

“That conversation was a milestone in my understanding of what the world was willing to accept and what the world was not willing to accept,” Cooper said.

In addition to realizing the music world would not accept talk about Jesus, Cooper said the recent movement among some Christian artists and celebrities against trusting the Bible also prompted him to become more vocal.

“I had a naivety that everybody knows what it means to be Christian,” he said. “I didn’t know there would ever be people who would claim to be Christians, but would disbelieve that the Bible is real and is the Word of God.

“If Christianity has sort of a line of defense or offense, there is a gap in the line of Christian ‘celebrities’ that are willing to put their necks on the line for the Gospel. There is a need that is not being filled for someone to really hold the line on Christian values and that Jesus Christ is Lord.

“We have a lot of great preachers and a lot great theologians saying such good stuff, but in the ‘celebrity,’ or Christian entertainment world there aren’t a lot of people standing up. I’m not going to try to teach crazy Bible theology; I’m just trying to say why we need Jesus in a simple way.”

Despite everything going on in the world and in American culture, Cooper said he encourages all Christians to build the foundation of their life on God’s Word.

“In the end, your belief in the Word of God is going to have an incredible effect on the stability of your life with God,” Cooper said. “We don’t know what is going to happen, but what I’m sure of is this – if you radically build your life on the unchanging Word of God then you will be unshaken and unstoppable for the kingdom of God no matter what happens.”

“Dominion,” is available now wherever music is sold, and Skillet can be seen headlining the Winter Jam tour across the country.