Christian band Skillet released a new album 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, and it was written during the 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 (2019) for 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 recording 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.
“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. The band consists of 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 and a Billboard Music Award and has been nominated for two Grammy Awards.
Success over the years
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.
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.
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 wherever music is sold, and Skillet can be seen headlining the Winter Jam tour across the country.
Reprinted from Baptist Press (www.baptistpress.com), news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.