Rocking out at jam-packed shows across the country and globe, Christian Rock band, Skillet, have maintained a reputation for being genuine and sincere in their efforts to deliver all that they’ve got on stage night in and night out. Riding the wave of benevolence and bliss from their dedicated fanbase worldwide and in the midst of their undeniably powerful ‘Unleashed Tour 2017’, I had the pleasure of catching up with Skillet rocker, Korey Cooper, to get the rundown on their latest collaboration with ‘The Shack’, her twenty year anniversary with her life partner and fellow Skillet rockstar, tattoos and more.
Congrats on the twenty year anniversary between you and John. Tell us how the chemistry and dynamics in your partnership have shifted ever since you have shared the stage together.
I think that it has gotten better. The initial relationship excitement and all of that stuff gets deeper and matures once you get to know each other better. Our love just keeps getting better. You know, maybe you lose some of those initial feelings because there isn’t idealism anymore. We are in this together. You have a choice to keep loving each other in spite of some of the weaknesses and through that, you discover more of the strengths.
Totally. I bet that as your partnership has deepened over the years, you both have acknowledged certain facets of each other that aren’t necessarily colorful and bright, but that is what makes the partnership a lot more potent and real.
Totally. Everyone wants to be loved. And most people fear the discovery of terrible things about themselves and think that when other people discover them, they are going to walk away. I think that love is so great because yeah, you discover those things, but the two of us have committed to loving each other; it is not always going to feel great. And when someone discovers your gross things and they are still in, it’s even better!
So, Skillet is killing it all over the country on ‘The Unleashed Tour‘. I’ve seen so many photos of packed houses! How does it feel to look into the crowd and see so many different walks of life?
You know, it’s so cool. It’s so humbling to do music and have it touch so many people. It’s kind of why you do it; you want to touch people’s lives and either communicate a message, help other people feel better, or help other people feel some peace in their heart. I find it humbling when you see how many people your music is reaching. We have been doing it for twenty years and every night when I look out into the crowd, I have the same feeling. I can’t believe that I am still doing this and I can’t believe that so many people are hearing this and identifying with it. It’s pretty awesome.
Right. And your music, in particular, has further influenced many individuals relationship that they have with their higher power. I perceive that Skillet has always been known for that.
Oh, that’s cool!
So, do you feel as though your personal relationship with your higher power has enhanced over the years of being a musician with Skillet?
Yeah, for sure. For me, that is the reason that I do music. Some of the tattoos that I love embody how God has grabbed a hold of my life. I want to live for something that is going to make a difference. I don’t just want to live for myself. I don’t want to be caught up in trying to gratify whatever it is about me. I want to live my life serving other people, loving other people, and making a difference in other people’s lives by doing those kinds of things. I think that as I am walking that out, I do feel closer to God. I feel like he is doing what he is asking me to do. I do feel like the actual immediacy of some of the Bible’s principles definitely get me closer to God. Less about myself, every day. And more about God and his purposes, which is more fulfilling to me than anything else.
Wow, Korey. That is powerful. I heard you speak of tattoos that you have that are influenced by your relationship with God. Can you tell us about some of them?
Yeah. My inner forearm is a quote that I love that is basically about God touching me at a young age and wanting to live for him, no matter what that meant. The other side of my forearm is a girl wrapped up in fire, in a vine which represents the girl grabbing a hold of something bigger than herself, you know? That is how I feel about a lot of my life. I want to make a difference. I want to love people. I want to help so many people that are hurting, and I want them to feel better. I want them to know that someone loves them. Even if the only thing that they take out of it is that I care, I want them to know that someone cares. Everyone is special.
Wow. Absolutely. How did your recent collaboration with ‘The Shack’ soundtrack come about? Give us a little rundown of the movie.
I read the book for ‘The Shack’ when it came out years ago and loved it! I loved the message of it, so when they asked us to be a part of it, John and I were both super excited because we had both read the book. We got to see the movie and it is just as powerful as the book! Just the overall message that there is a greater power, as you would say, out there. I love the overall message of forgiveness in the book and the movie, and the message of there being a creator (God) who actually cares about your life enough to get involved and to communicate his love to you in spite of your anger or ideas about him that aren’t necessarily true. God overlooks all of that because he wants you to know how much that he loves you.
What’s going on with Skillet for the rest of the year?
We will be touring for the remainder of the year. You know, our album came out last summer, so we are going to be really hitting all of the markets. We are on our headliner tour right now that runs through the end of March, and then we are hitting summer festivals and fairs. We have a tour date coming up in the summer with some other bands, and we will probably hit the Christian market in the Fall because we haven’t done that fully yet. We will be playing dates all the way through the end of the year!
How do you keep your performances fresh playing back to back shows?
It can get super monotonous. You are exhausted and you’re playing five shows a week, and you rarely have days off. I tell myself that our fans have paid money to see us, and that’s a big deal to me. Therefore, I always commit to giving them the best show that I possibly can regardless of anything that is going on behind the scenes. Honestly, right when I hit the stage, it is so exciting to me because I love our fans so much. You just want to engage. You remember what you are doing on stage, and you remember that these people are here to hear your music and for the experience that they are about to get, and I just want to be engaged in all of it. Between the electricity of the fans and the mixture of our own excitement behind the fact that we can do music for a living, those are the things that I remember when I am up on stage. And that is what keeps it exciting and fresh every single night.