The history of the group "Skillet": information about the participants, interesting facts, creativity, influence
"Skillet" - well-known american Christian group from Memphis. Founded at the end of the last century, it still remains popular, and artists often delight fans with new singles and albums.
Acquaintance of participants and education of "Skillet"
Skillet was created by John Cooper and Ken Stewart in 1996. Cooper and Stewart were originally part of two different bands: Cooper in "Seraph" and Stewart in "Urgent Cry". The church pastor encouraged the two guys to open for Fold Zandura. After that, they recorded a couple of demos of the songs.
They continued to play together. Drummer Trey McLarkin then joined the duo. A month later, labels became interested in the group. The first company to offer cooperation was ForeFront Records, which specialized in Christian rock. The musicians agreed.
The decision on how the group will be called was made by the same pastor, who suggested that Cooper and Stewart play together. He said that "Skillet" (Russian frying pan) reflects the essence of the group. Three musicians combine different, at first glance, incompatible genres: Christian songs and rock. The frying pan here is a symbol confusion. The members liked the name, and it has remained unchanged since the band's inception.
Getting Started: Early Albums
During the joint activity, the guys have accumulated a lot of demos and texts. In 1996, together with producer Paul Ambersold, work began on the first album.
In less than a year, the release was ready, it included ten songs, three of which had video clips. In order to attract additional attention to themselves, the musicians decided to call the album same way, as well as the group - "Skillet".
The songs were written by Cooper and Stewart, and the ideas and meanings they put into the lyrics taken from the bible. The musicians explained that they wanted the album to help “lost” people and that God touched to people through their songs.
Album didn't bring group of big money, and the compositions did not hit any charts, but the album was rated by the Christian resource "Jesus Freak Hideout", which spoke positively about "Skillet", rated the album 8/10.
Right after failure the first album, the group began to record the next. If in "Skillet" most of the songs are performed in the grunge style, then in the second album, which was named "Hey You, I love Your Soul" the band tried to move towards a sound close to alternative rock. The tracks of the new album are similar to industrial and are not at all similar to the compositions of the previous album.
The second album of the group included 12 songs, and a video was shot for one.
After the recording, Cooper's wife Corey decides join to Skillet. And Ken Stewart soon will leave band because he can't combine performances with his college studies. Guitarist Kevin Halland will replace him. The third album will be recorded with the new line-up.
From 1999 to 2003, two more albums were released (“Invincible” and “Alien Youth”) and the line-up of the group changed several times, the quality of the songs also improved.
Alien Youth was more successful than previous albums, peaking at number 141 on the Billboard 200.
«Collide": the first success «Skillet"
The producer suggested that the band change their label to Lava", which was more popular than ForeFront Records. Skillet agreed, and the next album, called Collide, was to be released with two labels at once - with Ardent Records and Lava Records. The band expected the album to be released simultaneously on two labels, but Ardent Records decided to release the album as soon as possible in 2003, while Lava wanted to delay the release until 2004.
As a result, when the album was released under the Ardent label, the musicians had a lot of time before the release of the album with the Lava label, and they decided to add one more song to it "Open Wounds".
critics favorably accepted the album, noting that the group had reached a significantly new level. The album also peaked at number 179 on the Billboard 200.
"Comatose": the peak of the group's popularity
The sixth album was released in 2006. When recording, the group tried to move away from the topic of religion and write songs that affect the problems of all people. In addition, Skillet took twice as much time to record this album as it did to record Collide.
It turned out so well that the album was nominated to the Grammys. The group's rise in popularity led Comatose to number 55 on the Billboard 200. This is a success, Cooper himself said that he was proud of this album.
"Awake": another success
In 2009, an album called Awake was released, and he immediately took second place on the Billboard 200. The album was popular not only among the band's fans. "Awake and Alive" - the fourth song of the album, became the soundtrack to the third part of "Transformers".
In 2013, "Rise" was released. This is the first conceptual album Skillet. "Rise" tells about ordinary teenagers and their problems. The release was very successful, peaking at number four on the Billboard 200 and charting in Canada, Germany and Japan.
Three years later, the album "Unleashed" is released, which, like the previous one, takes a place in the top five albums of the "Billboard 200".
In 2019, the album "Victorious" was released, and on January 14, 2022 - "Dominion". There is nothing fundamentally new in the albums, which pleases some fans, but critics can hardly rate the new albums higher than "satisfactorily".
Some critics say the band is stuck somewhere in the 'Comatose' phase, but Skillet don't seem to care too much about it. They and further will be sing christian rock and that's the most important thing for their fans.