John Cooper (musician)
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John Cooper at the Alive Festival in June 2013
|Birth name||John Landrum Cooper|
April 7, 1975 |
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
|Genres||Christian rock, Christian metal, alternative metal, hard rock, post-grunge, industrial metal (early)|
|Instruments||Vocals, bass guitar|
John Landrum Cooper (born April 7, 1975), professionally credited as John L. Cooper, is an American musician, singer and songwriter. He has been the lead vocalist, bassist and co-founder of the Grammy-nominated American Christian rock band Skillet since 1996.
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".
John formed Skillet in 1996 with Ken Steorts. Both had met while touring for previous bands; John as vocalist for the Tennessee progressive rock band Seraph and Ken Steorts guitarist for Urgent Cry. The bands disbanded soon after, so John and Ken's 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 afterwards 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 afterwards. Ken Steorts left the band in 1999 and Trey McClurkin left the band in 2000 leaving John 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. Cooper was the co-writer of the Decyfer Down single "Best I Can".
He sang on the title track of tobyMac's album, Tonight. He performed vocals on We as Human's song, on "Zombie", which appeared on their debut self-titled album and made a cameo appearance in the music video for "Strike Back". He signed them to his record label.
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. "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?"
John met his future wife Korey, the current keyboardist, and guitarist for their band when he was visiting friends at his church in Memphis, Tennessee. Ironically, John, then 20, met Korey a week after he made a commitment to God to quit dating. John felt that dating had become an idol for him. On the flip side, 23-year-old Korey, a resident of Wisconsin, had never dated. "I never thought there would be any way she would like me," John says. "I thought she was amazing and it never crossed my mind that we would get married." Although they lived in separate states, they kept running into each other. About a 1-1/2 years later, they began dating. They were engaged two months later.
Cooper is a huge fan of Dr Pepper, and can often be seen drinking it in numerous Skillet podcasts and pictures. This happens so often that former Skillet guitarist Ben Kasica referred to him as a professional soda connoisseur in one podcast. He has also started to like Ted's Escondido in Tulsa, Oklahoma and collects life-sized posters of Spider-Man and Batman.
In one podcast he made a comment that his pet peeves are bare feet and getting wet. He said that when he goes to the beach he wears his tennis shoes because he doesn't like having sand and dirt on his feet. He hates looking at people's feet and getting into pools. His nickname, often mentioned in Skillet podcasts, is "Doggy".
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.
On his music influence, Cooper stated that "When I was growing up, I listened to Christian music only at my house, bands like Petra and Stryper, but all my friends were listening to metal, so I was more (influenced) by bands like Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe and Metallica. As I got older I began to be influenced by U2 and Bono; the way he has used his platform to have a message greatly influences Skillet". His favorite bass guitar players are Chris Squire and Doug Pinnick.
- "Skillet Closes Out 2007 With Grammy Nomination And R&R's No. 1 Christian CHR Song Of The Year". CCM Magazine. Retrieved April 16, 2008.
- US. "Seraph | Gratis muziek, tourneedata, foto's, video's". Myspace.com. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
- !Hero – The Rock Opera Tour. Jesusfreakhideout.com. Retrieved on January 9, 2012.
- Rodney (November 5, 2009). "Decyfer Down Best I Can". StereoTruth.net. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
- Creation Festival 2010, YLO Interview
- "Skillet: Love Sizzles In Skillet". Retrieved June 13, 2013.
- "Monster Vid Shoot". YouTube. September 6, 2009. Retrieved July 6, 2011.