John Cooper (musician)

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John Cooper
Cooper in 2017
Cooper in 2017
Background information
Birth nameJohn Landrum Cooper
Also known asJohn L. Cooper, Doggie
Born (1975-04-07) April 7, 1975 (age 47)
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Occupation(s)Musician, singer, songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, bass guitar
Years active1989–present

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


Cooper was briefly in experimental rock group Seraph from 1989–1995. The band released a four-song demo, titled Silence E.P., before disbanding. The track listing was "Alone", "Silence", "Wild Honey", and "Fading Love".[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, on "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 2016, Cooper and his wife, Korey have two children.[12]

Cooper has been an outspoken critic of the "deconstruction movement" (a phenomenon that has led many Christian celebrities to abandon their faith, most notably author Joshua Harris and musicians Marty Sampson and Jonathan Steingard), 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."



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


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.


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.


  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)". 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'".
  14. ^ "Skillet's John Cooper is Deconstructing Deconstruction". January 28, 2021.
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b c d "Chart Search | Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  17. ^ "Fight The Fury Chart History (Christian Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved July 19, 2019.