Skillet’s John Cooper Talks New Deluxe ‘Dominion’ Project, Wedding Anniversary, Rock Wrestling Connection

Skillet’s John Cooper Talks New Deluxe ‘Dominion’ Project, Wedding Anniversary, Rock Wrestling Connection March 18, 2023

In 2023, rock band Skillet isn’t slowing down, but pushing ahead to deliver hard driving music and explosive live shows. Earlier this year, the group released a deluxe version of its 2023 and delivering back-to-back tours, including “Rock Resurrection” with Theory of a Deadman and the “Day of Destiny” European tour kicking off next month. “Psycho in My Head” from the deluxe release was also featured during the WWE “Elimination Chamber” headline match last month in Montreal, Canada.

Skillet image courtesy of The M Collective.

Front man John Cooper says the mission remains the same, celebrating the transformative work of Jesus. At the same time, he’s noticing more people still reeling from the shutdown and using music as a method of healing. In this exclusive interview with DeWayne Hamby, Cooper explains the band’s energy in 2023 as well as how his marriage to bandmate Korey is a testimony to God’s design for marriage.


How did it feel for WWE to use “Psycho in My Head” for their headline match?

It’s such an incredible blessing. I always like to brag on WWE when I can, and now I get another chance to brag. When we first were going, releasing our songs mainstream, we were having a hard time getting it played at first. WWE was actually our first major supporter. It was a huge thing, because it gave a lot of credibility to the band and, “If WWE is playing it, maybe we will, too.” So, I have a lot to thank them for over the years.


You’ve got a new deluxe version of your latest album that’s out. Is anything you want to tell me about that?

I think what’s interesting about the deluxe version is that we released the album in January of 2022. I was like, “When do you release the record? Do you release it while people don’t know when this thing’s (the pandemic) is going to end? Are we still in it? Or are you anticipating it ending?” When you release a new project, you want to tour it. So, it was a tough decision. But I really wanted to release the record last January, I just felt like “it’s a new year. It’s a new day, we’re turning a new page.” I knew it was a little early, but I wanted it to be the at that record that gave people that final push that they needed to get through it. So, we did. But as we’re releasing the deluxe version a year later, I’m finding there’s a lot of fans that didn’t even know you had a new record out. In some cases, people really sort of just checked out of life during the pandemic, which is kind of hard to explain, but I think everybody understands that. I think it’s really good. We added four extra songs. I think the songs are, are really exciting, and “Psycho in My Head” I think is maybe one of the catchiest songs that we’ve written in a very long time.


How does it feel to be like getting back out on the road being 100%? After, you know, being shut down for a little while? What is what’s the energy level?

We were one of the first acts touring again and I felt like that was important for us to do. I knew it was going to help people. I’m aware that music helps people, and I knew it’d be what they might call positive. But I was really impacted because at every show, I would meet people that would say, “You have no idea how much I needed this.” And they would share their stories. I knew people suffered during the during the pandemic, but I think that they suffered more than I was aware of, psychologically. They lost people. They felt certain guilt about not being able to say goodbye to loved ones, maybe their grandparents or somebody or, or else. They just hadn’t seen their family in three years. They felt this guilt about it. People were so heavy. I hear the same thing every show. It’s a year later, but I’m still hearing it every show. “Thank you, guys, for touring. Thank you for the music.” So, I think that people are looking for hope. That’s what I love about music. It brings people together. I especially love it because I get to sing about my faith, which very excited about because I found hope in Jesus Christ. I want to share that through my music.


You also have an anniversary coming up, right?

That’s right, in March, 26 years.


It’s a good testament since you’re in an industry that’s not always kind to marriages.

Yeah, that’s true. It is a good testament, because staying married is a miracle. I mean, it’s a miracle we believe that God does through to the Holy Spirit, He joins us together. He makes us one. In this spiritual covenant, you can make this thing work. It’s incredible. I think that it is something that Christians used to talk more about. Maybe we don’t talk about it as much anymore because we feel like it’s a little bit—I don’t know if “legalistic” is the right word . . . or “traditional.” I think that’s a real mistake, because it’s something that is a miracle that we should be saying to the world, “This is how we do this. This is how we stay together. Love is not an emotional sentiment. Love is a commitment. Love is about honor. It’s about loyalty.” I think that the church makes a mistake when we when we think that’s too traditionalist. Because rock music is so typically anti tradition. That’s the whole point. That was the whole point of these 60s Rock rights, rebellion, sex, drugs, rock and roll. That’s not what rock music is about. For me. It’s about art, and I get to express my creativity about my Creator, to my Creator, to other people to share this great news. So I think in the rock market, it is a wonderful thing to be able to brag, not only ourselves, but brag about the fact that we have stayed together because of this gift from God. I think it’s an amazing thing that we should shout from the rooftops of Christianity.

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