Collide #2 ("A True Skillet Sensation")
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Brio Magazine
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A True Skillet Sensation
Interview by: Marty Kasza (from
Skillet. What kind of name is that for a band? A very appropriate one, really. At least for this group. For the past eight years, founding members John and Korey Cooper, with more recent additions Lori Peters and Ben Kasica, have served listeners one sizzling flavor after another. If youre a fan -- aka a panhead -- you've tasted the electronica, techo and industrialization explosions of past albums. Now with their most recent recipe of songs on Collide, Skillet cooks up a guitar-dominated dish thats certain to appeal to hard- rock-loving teens.

"I've always made a conscious effort to write about what I felt God was telling me on every project, and since weve started, weve covered a lot of bases," lead singer John says. "We've encouraged those within the church and have introduced people to Christ. This current phase of Skillet will take us farther down those roads even more effectively."

So what are the secret ingredients to being a ministry-minded alternative-rock band for Christ? Keep reading, and we'll spell it out for you.

A Special Skillet Recipe
Start With a Bunch of S kill
Add it to 1 Hometown in K enosha, Wis.
Stir Until Theres a Bit of I nfluence
Mix in Lots of Great L yrics
Toss in 4 People L iving a Dream
Give an Extra Dose of E ncouragement
And finally, Spread the Specialty to a Worldwide Group of Teens

A Bunch of Skill
Brio: Korey and Lori, not many hard rock bands have female members. Do you feel like you have to prove yourselves?
Korey: There's always a sense that we have to prove ourselves. We almost have to go above and beyond what a guy would do just to be accepted. Most women are involved in pop rock, so to be in the genre of heavier rock there's always something to prove.

Lori: Because I play drums, which is mainly a male-dominated instrument, I've always had to fight my way -- especially for the good parts in junior and senior high band. I've had to show more enthusiasm than the average musician. I've had to practice harder and prove that I can do it.

Ben, what do you think about being in a rock band that includes two women?
Ben: It's cool. It was weird coming into a band with a girl drummer, because it's very odd, but Korey and Lori are both awesome.

1 Hometown in Kenosha, Wis.
Why is it important to Skillet to be involved in your home church in Kenosha?
Korey: A vital part of anybodys growth in the Lord is accountability. It's important for us as a band to be involved in our local church because we want the covering of our elders. We need them looking out for us because its easy for anybody to be deceived. We need other people sharpening us -- that's how we grow.

A Bit of Influence
Share a testimony of how God has used you or Skillet to impact someones life.
Korey: God's used me to touch young people through Skillet, but it's easier to think of things that happened before Skillet when I was working with teens in our youth group.

One particular girl comes to mind. She says things today like, If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be walking with the Lord. I really appreciate you for that. I was just doing what a youth worker does -- being involved in the lives of teens and loving them. Somehow God used me to touch her.

Lori: There's a guy from Iowa who lives in Kenosha now, and he's a big Skillet fan. He's in my home group and part of our church, so I'm getting to know him. He's there because his life was changed at a Skillet concert. He was into drugs, but now hes doing great. It's cool how what were doing in Skillet interacts with what our church is doing.

Lots of Great Lyrics
Collide features your first love song. What is it about love that you wanted to share with people?
John: I've written a number of love songs, but it never made sense to put one on a previous album. My wife, Korey, and I wrote this song, and I'm excited about it because its not just about being in love. It's about how love can conquer all.

You have another song called "Imperfection". What would you say to a teen dealing with low self-esteem?
John: The whole point of that song is to let people know that even if you dont feel like it, youre worth so much. There's a psalm I've loved since I was a kid. It says, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14). That's brilliant!

When you're young you learn there are no two snowflakes alike. I thought about that as I was writing this song. If God creates such intricate details in something as small and insignificant as a snowflake, then how much more special has God made you and me.

Tell us about the new musical phase Skillet has entered.
John: Korey and I began talking about what we wanted to do, and it seemed like it was time for a change. We wanted an album as aggressive as we sound live. It's good to redefine Skillet and keep our fans guessing because we don't want to do the same thing again. We want to explore new areas and keep things fresh with the band.

How do you hope the lyrics on Collide will impact people?
John: We sing about issues on this album that we havent sung about before. Our past records have been geared toward the church and big-picture Christianity -- the kingdom of God and revival. This album deals with issues everyone has gone through at some point. We sing about fear. The album title, Collide, is about that very thing: What do you do when youre a believer wanting to live in faith, but youre bombarded with fear every day?

4 People Living a Dream
Lori, have you always dreamed of being in a band?
Lori: Ever since I can remember! I grew up with the MTV generation, and I'd tape music videos and watch them over and over. That's how I started playing drums on my own, by watching drummers in videos.

And you played drums at school, too, right?
Lori: Yeah. I started on my own when I was 13. Then I bought my own drum set and got into school band around eighth grade. I played through 12th grade and then one year in college. I also played at church.

Ben, how did you end up in Skillet?
I was in high school, planning to go to college the next year. I always loved music and thought I was called to be in a band, but I didnt know how that was going to work out. One day I was practicing guitar and God spoke to me that I was going to play in a band with John. The next day I got a call from him, so it was totally the Lord who set it up.

What about you, Korey? Are you living a dream?
Korey: I was raised in a Christian family and was saved at age 5. When I was older, I knew God had a purpose for me. My lifes verse is Psalm 37:4: "Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart." When I was 13, God spoke to me that music was part of what Id be doing in my life. I held on to that. I didnt know anybody in the music business, so I was overwhelmed that God could make this happen.

How can a girl figure out what Gods calling is on her life?
Korey: Sometimes girls feel as if God has something for everybody but them. Biblically speaking, most of the figures I admire are males, but I never saw it like that when I was younger. I saw it as, "There's David, and he believed God. Look at all the amazing things that happened to him. It's the same God who lives in me." It helps to look at it that way as opposed to, "Those callings are just for guys."

Hearing from God is a hard thing to explain. Christians have to develop a personal walk with the Lord and pursue Him alone, trusting that He wants to speak to us. He makes things clear in His time. Some people give up because theyre not hearing when they want to hear or what they want to hear. Have patience and persistence, and believe the best about the Lord. Continually be faithful to Him in the little things.

An Extra Dose of Encouragement
What encouragement do you have for teens?
Korey: This isn't a new thing, but its so important -- purity. Girls choose to do things with guys that they shouldnt. My encouragement is to hold on until youre older. If God wants you to marry, then theres a guy out there whos the perfect one He has for you. In His timing everything will be right.

If you give yourself to singleness for a season, then it will be amazing once you meet the guy God has for you. I didn't date until I was about 23. John was my first boyfriend, and he's everything I ever wanted.

The Bible talks about fleeing temptation, and it all starts in your mind. If you allow your mind to entertain thoughts you know you shouldnt, it's going to eventually follow that physical things will take place. Your actions are an outflow of whats going on in your heart. You've got to take your thoughts captive to Christ and think on things that are pure, holy and good.

A Worldwide Group of Teens
Most of your listeners are teens. Whats your heart for your audience?
Korey: One thing on my heart is discipleship. I want to equip young people with knowledge of the Word and faith to believe they can do the things God has called them to do. A big mission of Skillet is evangelism. We want people to be saved, and we want to influence the world instead of the world influencing us.

So there you have it -- a great compilation of just the right ingredients to make a Skillet sensation! You can learn more about the band by visiting their Web site at