In the shadow of the Bethlehem Steel stacks, Musicfest 2013 was in full-swing on Sunday, August 4, and a huge rock show was rolling into the Steel City. Christian hard rock icons Skillet were set to headline, and while We As Human, Decyfer Down, and Thousand Foot Krutch kicked off the evening’s festivities, I got a chance to sit down with Skillet frontman John Cooper backstage to talk about their impending performance, the band’s latest album, and much more.

Back on June 25, Skillet released their much-anticipated new album, RiseThe disc delighted fans and critics alike, debuting at #4 on the Billboard Top 200, #1 on Christian Albums, #1 on Top Rock Albums, and #1 on Top Hard Rock Albums. “You can’t but look at numbers,” John said. “You want to know how you’re doing.” Clearly, Skillet have been doing well. In addition to their commercial success on the charts, the band recently headlined Creation Festival back in June. “I think we’ve played creation twelve times,” said Cooper. “[Creation] was one of the first festivals we ever played at in our whole career, so going back to headline, it was a little dreamy. Check it off the list.” The band’s latest album is a much more ambitions one, both musically and lyrically. “Our sound has been very complex in the past,” John stated. “It’s been a little more musical; a little more dynamic, and I think this record is a little more dynamic than ‘Awake’.”

Skillet formed in Memphis, TN in 1996. After releasing five studio LPs, the band hit the mainstream with their 2003 album Collidewhich cracked the Billboard Top 200 at #179 and garnered the band their first Grammy Award nomination for Best Rock Gospel Album. In 2006, the band released Comatose. The album went gold, and earned Skillet their second Grammy Award nomination for Best Rock/Rap Gospel Album. The band followed up with an even bigger success in 2009 with Awakewhich debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200, and eventually went platinum. The album won the band the Billboard Music Award for Top Christian Album in 2011. Famous for their extensive touring, Skillet have shared stages with artists like Stone Sour, Creed, Shinedown, Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin, Papa Roach, Seether, Theory of a Deadman, Halestorm, and many more. Throughout their career that spans over a decade, the band has been nominated for 2 Grammy Awards, 3 Billboard Music Awards, and 18 GMA Dove Awards (winning in 2008 for Rock Song of The Year – “Comatose”). Skillet are currently trekking across the country with Shinedown, Papa Roach, In This Moment, and We As Human on the 2013 Carnival of Madness Tour. On September 20, the band will be headlining Uprise Festival in Shippensburg, PA. For Skillet and their fans, the time to Rise is now. – by Matt Bishop

Carnival of Madness 2013

08/27 Clarkston, MI DTE Energy Music Center Tickets
08/28 Big Flats, NY Tags Tickets
08/30 Charlotte, NC Verizon Wireless Tickets
08/31 Virginia Beach, VA Farm Bureau Live Tickets
09/01 Raleigh, NC The Red Hat Amphitheater Tickets
09/04 Memphis, TN Mud Island Amphitheatre Tickets
09/06 Allegan, MI Allegan County Fair Tickets
09/07 Maryland Heights, MO Verizon Wireless Amphitheater St Louis Tickets
09/08 Oklahoma City, OK Zoo Amphitheater Tickets
09/10 Denver, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre Tickets
09/12 Spokane, WA Spokane Country Interstate Fair Tickets
09/14 Sacramento, CA Discovery Park Tickets
09/15 Las Vegas, NV The Joint Tickets
09/17 Boise, ID Century Link Arena SOLD OUT
09/18 Puyallup, WA Northwest Concert Center Tickets

About Matt Bishop

Welcome to the Revival of rock 'n' roll music. The way you used to hear rock, see rock, and feel rock is going to be shattered into a million pieces, reassembled, and revived. Dive into the realm of rock with interviews, concert coverage, and breaking news that make the music seem real again - in your ears, in your mind, and right in front of your very eyes. You'll feel the cool steel of the guitar strings and the smooth wood grain of the drum sticks right in your hands, all with the echoes of reverb in your head. This is the way rock was supposed to be experienced. Welcome to the Revival of rock 'n' roll music.
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