John Cooper (musician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Cooper
Cooper at Hellfest 2022
Cooper at Hellfest 2022
Background information
Birth nameJohn Landrum Cooper
Also known asJohn L. Cooper, Doggie
Born (1975-04-07) April 7, 1975 (age 49)
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Occupation(s)Musician, singer, songwriter
Instrument(s)Vocals, bass guitar, piano, guitar
Years active1989–present
Member ofSkillet, Fight the Fury
Formerly ofSeraph

John Landrum Cooper (born April 7, 1975) is an American musician. He has been the lead vocalist, bassist and co-founder of Christian rock band Skillet since 1996 and the only constant member of his side project Fight the Fury since 2018.


Cooper was briefly in experimental rock group Seraph from 1989 to 1995. The band released a four-song demo, titled Silence E.P., before disbanding.[1]

Cooper playing bass guitar in 2017

Cooper formed Skillet in 1996 with Ken Steorts. Both had met while touring for previous bands; Cooper as vocalist for the Tennessee progressive rock band Seraph and Steorts as guitarist for Urgent Cry. The bands disbanded soon after, so Cooper and Steorts' pastor encouraged them to form their own band as a side-project. Coming from different styles of rock music, they decided to name the experiment Skillet. Soon afterward Trey McClurkin joined the band as a temporary drummer. Skillet was only together for a month when they received interest from major Christian record label ForeFront Records and were signed soon afterward. Ken Steorts left the band in 1999 and Trey McClurkin left the band in 2000 leaving Cooper as the only founding member of the band and primary songwriter.

Cooper provided vocals for !Hero: The Rock Opera. According to a review, Cooper did not tour with the rock opera. He only provided vocals for the Rabbi Kai on the soundtrack.[2] Cooper was the co-writer of the Decyfer Down single "Best I Can".[3]

He sang on the title track of TobyMac's album, Tonight, which peaked at No. 27 on the Christian Songs chart.[4][5] He performed vocals on We as Human's song "Zombie",[6] which appeared on their debut self-titled album and made a cameo appearance in the music video for "Strike Back".[7] He signed them to his record label.[6]

Cooper started a side project, Fight the Fury, in September 2018. He hopes the band will meet the needs of those who enjoy Skillet's heavier music. The band released an EP on Atlantic Records later in 2018 and then went on tour in Russia in December.[8] As of October 27, 2018, They have released five songs.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Cooper walking off stage with his wife Korey in 2017

John Cooper has stated on numerous occasions that he was born and raised in a very religious family and atmosphere, and listening to rock music was not allowed in his parents' household.[10] "You couldn't wear black, you couldn't listen to anything with drums, anything with guitars, you couldn't have long hair, you couldn't do this and you couldn't do that. Everything was so lifeless. I know I'd read the Bible and be like... 'This isn't what the Bible says. I like the idea of living for Jesus, but I hate the idea of living for you.' Ya know?"[11]

Cooper came from a musical family. His mother was a piano teacher and a singer in the church that he went to. He began singing at a very young age, playing guitar at around the age of 18 and bass guitar at the age of 19.[10]

As of 2024, Cooper and his wife Korey have two children.[12]

Cooper has been an outspoken critic of the "deconstruction movement", believing that many churches are neglecting to teach the gospel as written in the Bible:

"It is time for the church to rediscover the preeminence of the Word. And to value the teaching of the Word. We need to value truth over feeling. Truth over emotion."


He has also garnered controversy concerning his viewpoints, as he cited backlash in 2021 commenting on the live Grammy performance of Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion. Cooper said:

"We're living in a world where there are certain Dr. Seuss books that you cannot sell on eBay. They are just too much for anybody to be even allowed to buy, it's too evil. But you can and must applaud the sexual degradation of Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion simulating sex together on the Grammys. This is the perfect example. You must celebrate it; in fact, if you don't celebrate it, you're actually a bad person...and you kinda don't love people. The question is, who is gonna define what is good and what is evil? Every dictator says that what they were doing was good. That's what they believe. If you go back and you read some of Hitler's speeches, he's like, 'I'm gonna set people free – free from the bondage of the Ten Commandments'. In his mind, he's a liberator. It's always like that, you guys. All you do is you just redefine evil and you redefine good. That's what's happening right now on the Grammys."


Regarding the controversy that ensued on social media, he later said he was taken out of context.[17] He also garnered criticism regarding his views on COVID-19 vaccines and masks and his subsequent criticism of Rage Against the Machine for promoting them.[18]


His favorite bass guitar players are Chris Squire and Doug Pinnick.[10]


With Seraph[edit]

  • Silence EP (1994)[19]
    • Alone
    • Silence
    • Wild Honey
    • Fading Love

With Skillet[edit]

With Fight the Fury[edit]

Extended plays[edit]

Year Details Peak chart positions


Hard Rock

2018 Still Breathing [A] 1 37 12


Year Single Peak positions Album

2018 "My Demons" 25 Still Breathing
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Other appearances[edit]

Year Title Peak Chart Positions Artist Album Notes
US Christ.
[citation needed]
US Christ. Airplay
2010 "Tonight" 27 27 TobyMac Tonight Featured artist[23]
2011 "Zombie" 23 We As Human We As Human Featured artist[24]
2018 "Warrior" 2
LEDGER LEDGER EP Featured artist, writer[26]
2023 "Wolf" 21 Saint Asonia Introvert/Extrovert Featured artist[27]


Eden graphic novel series

  • Cooper, John (September 3, 2019). Eden: A Skillet Graphic Novel. illustrated by Chris Hunt. Z2 Comics. ISBN 978-1940878294.
  • Cooper, John; O'Sullivan, Ryan (September 29, 2020). Eden II: The Aftermath. illustrated by Chris Hunt. Z2 Comics. ISBN 978-1940878430.


  • Cooper, John (2020). Awake and Alive to Truth.
  • Cooper, John (2023). Wimpy, Weak and Woke.[28]


  1. ^ Still Breathing did not enter the Billboard 200, but peaked at number 31 on the Top Album Sales chart and at number 9 on the Top Digital Albums chart.


  1. ^ "Seraph | Gratis muziek, tourneedata, foto's, video's". Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  2. ^ !Hero – The Rock Opera Tour. Retrieved January 9, 2012.
  3. ^ "Decyfer Down". Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  4. ^ "tobyMac Tonight Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  5. ^ "Tonight (feat. John Cooper Of Skillet)". Amazon. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Justin Cordle of We As Human". August 6, 2013. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  7. ^ "We As Human - "Strike Back" (Official Video)". August 3, 2013. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  8. ^ "SKILLET's JOHN COOPER Launches Metal Project FIGHT THE FURY". September 19, 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  9. ^ "Fight The Fury - Still Breathing EP". Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  10. ^ a b c "Skillet – Interview with vocalist and bass player John Cooper". Guitar Mania EU. November 21, 2013. Archived from the original on December 19, 2021 – via YouTube.
  11. ^ Creation Festival 2010, YLO Interview
  12. ^ "Skillet: 5 Things to Know About the Band's Touring Family". Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  13. ^ "Skillet's John Cooper says it's time to stop putting people as Christianity's 'source of truth'". Retrieved May 21, 2023.
  14. ^ "Skillet's John Cooper is Deconstructing Deconstruction". January 28, 2021.
  15. ^ "Christian Rocker on Deconstruction Movement: Too Many Churches Not Preaching the 'True Gospel' - Michael Foust". Retrieved May 21, 2023.
  16. ^ "Skillet frontman faces backlash after comparing 'WAP' Grammy performance to Hitler speeches". NME. March 22, 2021.
  17. ^ a b "Skillet frontman John Cooper attempts to clarify comments about Cardi B, the Grammys, and Hitler". March 19, 2021.
  18. ^ "Skillet's John Cooper - Rage Against the Machine Are 'Government Rock'". Loudwire. December 3, 2021.
  19. ^ "Seraph (6)". Discogs. Retrieved March 7, 2023.
  20. ^ a b c d "Chart Search | Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  21. ^ "Fight The Fury Chart History (Christian Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  22. ^ "tobyMac Chart History (Christian Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  23. ^ "Tonight". February 5, 2010. Retrieved March 7, 2023.
  24. ^ "Zombie (feat. John Cooper)". June 21, 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2023.
  25. ^ "Christian Rock | Week of 8 December 2018". Billboard. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  26. ^ "Warrior (feat. John Cooper)". April 13, 2018. Retrieved March 7, 2023.
  27. ^ Wolf (feat. John Cooper of Skillet), November 10, 2023, retrieved November 10, 2023
  28. ^ "Wimpy, Weak and Woke w/ John Cooper – Ezra Institute". Retrieved November 7, 2023.

External links[edit]