From Memphis, Tennessee, this Grammy-nominated Christian rock/metal band with their never disappointing shows is ready to blow the crowd away this weekend at Rock on the Range for the second time since their performance in 2010.
Founded in 1996 by lead singer and bassist, John Cooper and former guitarist Ken Steorts, both musicians met through two different bands, Cooper from Seraph and Steorts from Urgent Cry. The bands toured together briefly before disbanding, then John and Ken were encouraged by their pastor to start their own side-project. Soon enough, Skillet was formed with another member, Trey McClurkin (former drummer) and they signed with the major Christian record label, ForeFront Records. Later that same year, their self-titled debut album was released into the world. In 1997, the band announced they were to drop another record, Hey You, I Love Your Soul, released April 1998. In their record, a noticeable change was made known as they went from post grunge to a lighter alternative rock style. Through this change, Cooper’s wife, Korey, joined as a touring member on keyboards. Through the years of 2000 till 2002, they released three albums, Invincible, Ardent Worship, and Alien Youth. During this time span, quite a few changes were made to the band; Steorts left in 2000 to be with his family and to launch a college in Memphis (Visible Music College) and Kevin Halaand replaced him as their new guitarist; Korey became a permanent member as keyboardist; and McClurkin left and was replaced by Lori Peters. Before the release in 2001, Halaand left the band and the position was taken over by Ben Kasica.
The 2003 release of Collide blessed the band with more incredible changes and some in the new future, like Lava Records, a division of Atlantic Records signing them. Then, in 2005, the album was nominated for a Grammy under the Best Rock Gospel Album. October 3, 2006, another incredible record was dropped, Comatose, which was nominated for another Grammy for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album. In early 2008, it was announced that Peters was retiring and had trained Skillet’s new drummer, Jen Ledger, during the Christmas season. Their eighth record, Awake, was successfully released in 2009 with the top singles, “Hero”, “Awake and Alive” and “Monster”. Grammy nominated producer, Howard Benson, produced the album and the band lost another member (Kasica) and gained a new one, Seth Morrison. In March of 2011, Skillet released an EP with remixed versions of their songs from the Awake record: Awake and Remixed EP. Their single, “Awake and Alive”, was featured on the recent Transformers franchise soundtrack. In early 2012, the band announced that they were in the studio ready to work on their next record, Rise, scheduled to be released June 25, 2013, and their current three singles are “Sick of It”, “American Noise”, and “Rise”.
Be sure to catch the Skillet’s mind-blowing performance this Sunday at Rock on the Range.