The music industry"s success stories often surprise — witness the unstoppable "Old town Road."

But that would have imagined one of the most accomplished rock bands that the 21st century would be based in Wisconsin and also share a name v a food selection section at Denny"s?

But together is the story of Skillet, the Christian rock band featuring 3 Kenosha-based members: frontman john Cooper ~ above vocals and bass, wife (and Kenosha) native Korey on guitar and synthesizers, and Jen Ledger ~ above drums and also vocals. Likewise in the band: Nashville-based lead guitarist Seth Morrison. 

Skillet has actually sold an ext than 12 million albums. The band"s past four releases — native "Comatose" in 2006 come "Unleashed" in 2016 — have been certified yellow (at a minimum) by the Recording sector Association the America. The 2009 album "Awake," featuring breakout single "Monster," has actually gone double platinum. This year, Skillet joined music company Pandora"s "Billionaires Club," crossing the 2 billion streams mark.

You are watching: How did skillet get their name

The win streak is bound to continue with the band"s 10th album "Victorious," the end on Friday (followed through Skillet"s an initial graphic novel, "Eden," the end Aug. 27). 

Even man Cooper establish Skillet isn"t a family members name like hard-rock plot Metallica, Shinedown or Godsmack. Skillet"s sales and streaming success have never to be frontloaded roughly the band"s releases; every those accreditations were accomplished across many years, through positive and passionate native of mouth. 

"Skillet has always been under the radar," Cooper claimed from his tourism bus in ~ Summerfest, a few hours before the tape played for an overflow crowd on one of the Milwaukee music festival"s the smallest grounds stages, the Briggs & Stratton big Backyard. 

"Maybe that"s a really good thing, since you can never go the end of layout if you"re never the flavor of the day."

A band hitting its own sweet spot 

That flavor really hits a sweet spot.

Skillet is definitively a hard-rock band — identified by Cooper"s gruff vocals, Morrison"s and Ledger"s aggressive playing and also a pyro-loaded live collection — that welcomes pop hooks and also hip-hop production, a comparable approach that"s assisted Imagine Dragons, Twenty One Pilots and Fall out Boy discover crossover success at a time when rock is no longer the many consumed music genre. 

"We"re ready to try brand-new recording techniques, like using a synthesizer instead of a etc part, or a north machine," Cooper said. "At part point, in the hard-rock scene it ended up being a an unfavorable thing come appeal to young fans, which is just bizarre. … I think those bands space hurting your careers."

But Skillet isn"t strictly a hard-rock band. It"s also a Christian tape — John flourished up in a devout family members in Memphis, and Korey"s parental co-founded Living irradiate Christian Church in Kenosha. Skillet has actually 21 No. 1 singles top top Billboard"s Christian charts, however the Coopers" uplifting lyrics, operation by their minister at living Light, are broad enough to attach beyond Christian circles.

See more: Carole ‘ Hey All You Cool Cats And Kittens Carol E Baskin!


"Whether you"re spirituality or one atheist or anti-God, music has a supernatural top quality to it," man Cooper said. "Every day on social media ns see world say, "I don"t get this Jesus stuff, but your music renders me feel better." "

And across their career, the members of Skillet have stuck to their guns, detect a method to lure listeners that don"t monitor Christian or hard-rock music while still pleasing devotees in every camp. 

"There was never ever a push like, "OK, we require to discover ways to connect with fans who don’t get who we are,"" Cooper said. "We simply kind of interpreted our fans and also they always understood us, and also I think that’s why we have been for this reason successful." "Sometimes the faith element was inadvisable from details people in the music business," Cooper continued. "Some radio stations provided to say, "It"s too positive, it doesn"t feel choose real absent music." … 

"But people love positivity in culture today. And they love your faith. … Our songs just exude that spirit of "Be yourself, be proud of who you are, you can make it," and also people space connecting through that."

Mastering that formula 

Longtime fans room going to attach with "Victorious." It"s the an initial Skillet album developed largely through the Coopers themselves, tape-recorded on the tourism bus and also backstage at miscellaneous shows throughout Europe. However John isn"t hyperbolic once he argues the album feeling "louder and an ext in-your-face," and the band has mastered the formula, again moving the type of positive, stadium-ready absent anthems — a la lead solitary "Legendary" —that have end up being Skillet"s signature. 

" "Victorious" has actually a lot of song that space trying come say that life is no going to it is in grand, it"s going to be hard, and sometimes it"s yes, really ugly. However there is hope." 

Skillet is walk to be touring phibìc America with late October behind "Victorious," consisting of runs v rock bands Sevendust and Pop Evil, and another with change Bridge, prior to headlining a European tourism that lasts until mid-December. 

Performing is Cooper"s favorite part of his job, and the Coopers" teenage kids, Alexandria and Xavier, travel v them. However John’s looking front to downtime with household in Kenosha during the holidays, already planning out what Christmas cookies they"re going to make.

"I have come to love all points Wisconsin," Cooper said. "Being below reminds you who you are. The downfall of absent stars and also celebrities is as soon as they begin to believe their very own press, and also coming back to Wisconsin I recognize that I"m not all that. I"m a dad and another human at the Brewers game."