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Music / Skillet

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Current lineup (left to right): Seth, Korey, Jen and John.
Skillet is an American Christian Rock band founded in Memphis, Tennessee.

The band currently consists of:

  • Vocalist/Bassist John Cooper
  • Guitarist/Keyboardist/Vocalist Korey Cooper
  • Lead Guitarist Seth Morrison
  • Drummer/Vocalist Jen Ledger

Former Members:

  • Drummer Trey McClurkin
  • Guitarist Ken Steorts
  • Guitarist Kevin Haaland
  • Drummer Lori Peters
  • Guitarist Ben Kasica

  • Skillet (1996)
  • Hey You, I Love Your Soul (1998)
  • Invincible (2000)
  • Ardent Worship (2000)
  • Alien Youth (2001)
  • Collide (2003)
  • Comatose (2006)
  • Comatose Comes Alive (2008)
  • Awake (2009)
  • Rise (2013)
  • Unleashed (2016)
  • Victorious (2019)
  • Dominion (2022)

Not to be confused with Skrillex.

I must confess that I feel like a troper:

  • Abortion Fallout Drama: "Lucy" is about the guilt a young couple feels after getting an abortion.
    Now that it's over
    I just wanna hold her
    I'd give up all the world to see
    That little piece of Heaven looking back at me

    Now that it's over
    I just wanna hold her
    I've gotta live with the choices I've made
    And I can't live with myself today
  • Abusive Parent: "Open Wounds" and "It's Not Me, It's You" reflect John Cooper's father's behavior when he was younger, focusing more on emotional abuse less than physical like "Open Wounds" suggests. Subverted in "The Older I Get", which has John Cooper forgiving his father.
  • Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable: I-I feel like a monSTER.
  • Action Girl: The little girl in the PV for "Not Gonna Die".
  • Alternative Metal: Their later material starting with Collide. Before that, they ventured in grunge, and then industrial rock.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: The music video for ‘’Back From The Dead’’ has John Cooper becoming a zombie at the end.
  • As the Good Book Says...: Unsurprisingly for a Christian band, some of their lyrics are quotes from the Bible, such as "we live by faith and not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7) in "Lions".
  • Badass Boast:
    • "Battle Cry".
      If we believe we can’t lose
      Even mountains will move
      It’s my faith, it’s my life
      This is our battle cry
      They can’t take us down
      If we stand our ground
    • "The Resistance".
      You can take my heart, you can take my breath
      When you pry it from my cold, dead chest
      This is how we rise up
      Heavy as a hurricane, louder than a freight train
  • Bandaged Face: John on the Awake album cover, and in the Monster music video.
  • Battle Cry: "Battle Cry".
  • Big Damn Heroes: "Hero".
    A hero will save me... just in time!
  • Call-Back: A callback to the end of "Monster" in "Back From The Dead" with the same characters and setting.
  • Call-Forward: "I Can", the first song on their very first album, has lyrics that appear to reference the title track from Hey You, I Love Your Soul, as well as "More Faithful" from that same album. Those songs wouldn't be released for another two years.
    And do You really love my soul even after I hated You?
    And do You really know my name, can I really come to You?
    And are You really more faithful than the changing of the seasons and the morning sun?
  • Calling the Old Man Out: The song "Open Wounds" from their Collide album is said to be about the bad relationship John had with his father.
  • Careful with That Axe: I must confess that I FEEL LIKE A MONSTER.
  • Christian Rock: They started out with songs that were not at all subtle about worshipping Jesus, but eventually turned their sound more mainstream, switching to lyrics that were kind of about Jesus. Lead singer John Cooper has stated in interviews that it is the band's desire to be relevant to Christians and non-Christians alike, but they're still very much a Christian band. Given that they still (as of 2009, at least) read from the Bible during concerts, that seems to indeed be the case and John does preach too.
  • Circus of Fear: "Circus For a Psycho".
  • Concept Album: Rise is a Coming of Age story.
  • Crisis of Faith: "Awake And Alive" is about overcoming one.
    When my faith is getting weak
    And I feel like giving in
    You breathe into me again
  • Despair Event Horizon: "Falling Inside The Black".
    Falling in the black
    Slipping through the cracks
    Falling to the depths can I ever go back
  • Driven to Suicide: The girl in "The Last Night." The song tries to convince her not to go through with it. This was a real life situation when a girl told Cooper she was going to kill herself and he encouraged her not to.
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: The title track to Collide. Also notable is the opener Skillet's used for live concerts since their Comatose days.
  • Enemy Within: One possible interpretation of Monster.
  • Fading into the Next Song:
    • "Eating Me Away" segues into "Kill Me, Heal Me" without missing a beat.
    • The first seven tracks of "Rise" do this seamlessly, and when you listen to the tracks you feel like something's missing when the interludes aren't there.
  • Final Love Duet: "Will You Be There (Falling Down)" is a duet between John and Korey.
  • The Freakshow: A freakshow is mentioned in the title track.
  • God-Is-Love Songs: Well, they are Christian Rock band catering to a mainstream secular audience.
    • "Whispers in the Dark" is written from the perspective of God, to humans, affirming that "you'll never be alone". If you don't know about it, you can think it's a Stalker with a Crush song.
    • "Salvation" is about faith in God, but can be viewed as a wholesome ode to a loved one.
  • Great Balls of Fire!: Used in "Hero"'s music video.
  • Greatest Hits Album: The digitally exclusive, The Early Years.
  • Guttural Growler: John Cooper is well known for this. He's even lampshaded it during concerts: "I have two types of voices: raspy and raspier."
  • Heroic Sacrifice: "Hero".
    A hero's not afraid to give his life
  • Holding Out for a Hero: "Hero" provides a beautiful subversion. After repeating: "I need a hero to save me now" over and over, they end the song with the following:
    I've got a hero
    Livin' in me
    I've gotta fight for what's right
    Today I'm speaking my mind
    And if it kills me tonight
    I will be ready to die
  • Industrial Metal: A prominent influence in their sound.
  • Kaleidoscope Eyes: John's eye was colored blue for the Awake album cover.
  • Kids Rock: "Rise" features a children's chorus singing "Rise, rise, rise and revolution" at the climax of the song.
  • Kill It with Fire:
    • Used as a rather violent metaphor in "Gasoline".
      Soak my heart in gasoline
      Light a match and consume me
      Soak my pride in gasoline all of you and none of me
    • "Burn It Down".
      Set this pain up in flames
  • La Résistance: In "Rise" and "The Resistance".
  • Lead Bassist: John.
  • Love Is Like Religion: "My Religion":
    I don't need to stare at stained glass and a steeple
    I don't need to dress to impress all the people
    Don't need no priest, don't need no pew
    You are my religion, my religion is you
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Monster" is an energetic, bouncy song with lyrics like:
    My secret side I keep hid under lock and key
    I keep it caged but I can't control it
    'Cause if I let him out he'll tear me up, break me down
    Why won't somebody come and save me from this, make it end?
  • Mad Doctor: Ben and Jen in the "Monster" music video.
  • Martyr Without a Cause: "My Beautiful Robe" is about a man who seems to have a bit of a Messiah complex.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • "Rippin' Me Off", one of the band's heaviest and angriest songs, comes right before the romantic duet "Will You Be There (Falling Down)" on Alien Youth.
    • The end of "Rise", where, out of nowhere, a telephone rings. It all goes downhill from there.
    • Another sudden heavy-to-light transition happens on "Hey You, I Love Your Soul", when "Take" suddenly segues into the piano intro for "Coming Down".
  • Never My Fault: One of the misdeeds of the subject of "It's Not Me, It's You" is shifting the blame on the narrator.
    You tried to make me think
    That the blame was all on me
  • Please, Don't Leave Me: "Dead Inside" contains the line "Don't you leave me here! Alone in all this fear!"
  • Power Ballad: At least one on every album.
    • "Saturn" on the self-titled.
    • "More Faithful" on Hey You, I Love Your Soul.
    • "Rest" on Invincible.
    • "You Are My Hope" and "Will You Be There (Falling Down)" on Alien Youth.
    • "A Little More" on Collide.
    • "Yours to Hold" and "Say Goodbye" on Comatose.
    • "Believe" and "Never Surrender" on Awake.
    • "Fire and Fury" and "Hard to Find" on Rise.
  • New Sound Album:
    • Hey You, I Love Your Soul and Collide both qualify.
    • If nitpicky enough, one could label every album from Hey You up to and including Collide as this.
  • Rage Breaking Point: "Circus for a Psycho".
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "It's Not Me It's You" about someone who has negative influences.
  • Reluctant Psycho: "Monster".
    My secret side I keep hid under lock and key
    I keep it caged but I can't control it
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: "Circus for a Psycho".
    Tonight, get ready for a fight / 'Cause now you know it's time to ride my circus for a psycho
  • Rock Trio: The original line-up.
  • Self-Titled Album: Their debut.
  • Soprano and Gravel: Almost every song with John and Jen on vocals. Specifics include "Awake and Alive", "Hero", "Rebirthing", "The Last Night", "Will You Be There (Falling Down)" and "Feel Invincible".
  • Take That!: "Rippin' Me Off" is a rather strongly-worded response that John wrote after attending a Marilyn Manson concert.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Dr. Pepper. For John at least.
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: A rare key change down in "The Fire Breathes".
  • Two Girls to a Team: A rare four member example.
  • Video Full of Film Clips: The video for the accoustic version of "Stars" has clips from The Shack (2017).
  • You Are Not Alone: The topic of "Whispers in the Dark".
    You'll never be alone
    When darkness comes you know I'm never far
    Hear the whispers in the dark