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Interview with John Cooper ,
Vocals Guitar - Skillet
SKILLET Revelation Generation

Skillet

Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: August 2008

Official Site:www.skillet.com

Brian Rademacher: Hey John howís it going today?

John Cooper : Just great and itís good to talk with you.

Brian Rademacher: Tell us a little about the youth of John Cooper, what were you like in high school?

John Cooper: (I guess played music as a kid; my mom was a piano teacher. When I was a five I started taking piano and ever since I was always into music. I played Trombone in the marching band, music was an importantJohn Cooper @ Rev Gen thing and I was in my first band when I was fifteen. I also played basketball and really into recreational sports.

Brian Rademacher: As a youth what were your parentsí most proud of you for?

John Cooper: My mom was into playing music and playing piano. My dad was into me playing basketball (laughing) Iím not sure thatís the thing he was most proud of me, but he was proud of me for playing even thou I wasnít that great. I played guard in basketball. I did a few other sports, as a kid but wasnít good at any of them.

Brian Rademacher: My wife asked me to ask you did you get into music for the normal musician wanting women or other reasons.

John Cooper: Like I said I started as a kid, it wasnít for the girls. My mom kind of forced me to do music and Iím kind of glad once I got a little older and enjoyed music for myself.

Brian Rademacher: Iím sure as a musician when you got a bit older you saw drugs in the music world. How did you stay away fro that stuff?

John Cooper: That was really never around so much I didnít grow up playing the clubs. I was playing in a Christian band at that point and always wanted to do Christian music because thatís all I listened to when I was younger. I like the idea I could guide people and help their lives I really had a firm foundation and wasnít really into those type things. Itís only been the last couple years weíve been around things like that. Weíve been doing more mainstream events and being around the sex, drugs and rock n roll life. We are a much grounded band and know what we believe.

Brian Rademacher: For me I grew up on ALICE COOPER, KISS and worked for a metal mag. called Metal Forces. I was sent to photograph Black Metal, Death Metal to doing Pat Benatar and Rick Springfield so Iím open to all music. Yet when I heard Christina music I shunned away from that stuff. You CD is the first Christian listened too. My wife is a Christian and just went to Revelation Generation festival which you are part of.

John Cooper: All Right

Brian Rademacher: I mean I come home from work sheís sitting on the edge of the bed reading the bible and she takes my kids to Sunday School when Iím at work or when Iím staying home with my son because heís autistic and sometimes causes commotion. I reviewed you CDJohn Cooper @ Rev Gen "Comatose" and I gave it for point five out of five. Your CD kicked ass. That CD smokes. How do you feel about when you heard people say Iím a metal head Iím not listening to Christian music, I a true headbanger?

John Cooper: Cool thanks for the review; yeah I mean that does happen a little bit. A lot of the idea of what people think about Christian music is changing in the last few years like bands like P.O.D. and SWITCHFOOT and these band try and help to change that idea. People are more open a lot more then like five years ago. I still donít come out and tell people weíre a Christian Band. I just say weíre in a rock band its a lot less baggage. Those things begun to change and people give us a little more headroom then the use to.

Brian Rademacher: "Comatose" was a huge success with #1 songs Grammy Nominations, how long did that album take to writer.

John Cooper: I would say about a year, there are a couple of songs I wrote before that but once we really started to sit down to write it, it took us about a year.

Brian Rademacher: Then in December you released a "Comatose" CD/DVD Deluxe edition in December, was that your planning to do or did the record company come up with that and do you like that kind of packaging?

John Cooper: We did, I thought it was fun. The reason why I like it is because we had so much material. It finds me annoying when people put out a deluxe edition and just add an extra song, which is a rip off. It was cool because we had a lot of extra material. It made our fans happy. There is some behind the scene footage, it has some acoustic versions and an extra song, two music videos, and it was cool.

Brian Rademacher: You have two children Alexandria (born in 2002), and Xavier, with turmoil everywhere and you touring all the time what do you tell them when youíre away?

John Cooper: They come on tour, we have a nanny that comes on tour with us and do school on the road. My daughter who is almost six and we do traveling with the rock n roll thing, like the Osborne family thing (Laughing).

Brian Rademacher: Do they get to watch you on stage?

John Cooper: : Iím not sure they naturally like to, but every once in awhile they get to see us play. They donít realize itís out of the ordinary. My daughter just started violin lessons so thatís cool.

Brian Rademacher: You toured with BREAKING BENJAMIN, THREE DAYS GRACE and SEETHER last year, what other bands would you like to tour with?

John Cooper: : I would like to go out with LINKIN PARK or NICKLEBACK.

Brian Rademacher: Tell me about Panheads?

John Cooper: Panheads are people who just love SKILLET. It basically started when we first came out twelve years ago we were kind of edgy for Christian music. We were one of the bands that we did during the nineties with that whole grunge rock thing. We did not sell that many records but we noticed our fans were devoted and drive eight, ten hours to see us play. Thatís how it started; it was all about devoted fans and supported us for a long time.

Brian Rademacher: Do you have any feelings about TV evangelists?

John Cooper: Laughing! Everybody has lots of feeling about it; all people have feelings about them. I have a lot of feeling what Christians do or what people do in the name of Christianity. Some good some bad I can see both sides. I grew up in church and been going since I was five years old. In general we as Christians can be doing a better job of reaching the world and doing evangelism and loving people who donít know Christ, I think we can do a better job of that. Thatís what "Comatose" is all about, waking up out of your coma reaching out to people that are hurting and doing something about it.

Brian Rademacher: With a new president coming, what are your hopes that they can accomplish?

John Cooper: Iím really not a political person but I always voted but Iím not actually sure and Iím not trying to dodge the question. I do think a lot of people look to people to change America for Christ and I donít think thatís reasonable. There is somethingís I would like to see changed. I would like to see something done with health care issues.

Brian Rademacher: Do you have any feeling about people like terrorists and people killing people in the name of a God?

John Cooper: Well sure, I mean obviously they are not planning to be Christians. Thatís the thing with Christianity and my bible is that you never have to worry about God going to call be part of some radical terrorist unit for Christ, thatís not going to happen that is not what Jesus is about. In fact he said he did not come to kill man, he came to save man. I terns of that I say yeah thereís all kind of people that do terrible things in the name of God or their religion that may be. Iím convinced Jesus wants us to change the world by loving people and doing what we can John Cooper @ Rev Gento make this world a better place and except people. Thatís what my mission is.

Brian Rademacher: Do you pray everyday?

John Cooper: Yeah absolutely!

Brian Rademacher: What is the most deceiving thing about being a rockstar you think music fans donít understand?

John Cooper: I donít know, itís a ton or work and itís not near as glamorous as people think it is. Itís not like everywhere you go people love you and everything is easy and you get to ride a tour bus and be really cool. Thatís not what music is really like. Its hard work setting up your own gear, setting up merchandise and all the other things that goes into it. Getting to the airport at 4am to make the next show it has its good point but if definitely has its down points too. Laughing

Brian Rademacher: Are you working on new material for the next release?

John Cooper: Yeah we are, we are looking to record this year, we are recording in October and the release should be in April 09.

Brian Rademacher: Well John canít wait to hear the new material and we wish you the best

John Cooper: Awesome see ya soon bye.

 

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