Brave

They’ve been around for more than two decades, but Skillet are still rocking as hard as they did when they burst onto the scene. Frontman John Cooper caught up with Alex recently to confirm some trivia about the band, as well as tell the story of a traumatic experience which shaped his life and his faith.

John remembers Skillet’s previous Australian tours so clearly that he was surprised to learn they’ve been away since 2011. In interviews, his wife and bandmate Korey always says Australia was her favourite tour. ‘It’s funny,’ he said, ‘because we have these memories of it being the best thing we ever did, except we hardly ever come back.’

Trawling Google before their interview, Alex found some trivia about the band which she asked John to verify. He really is a big fan of Dr Pepper, and he says it’s probably accurate that the group goes through a kilo and a half of coffee beans a week. But the most surprising rumour he confirmed was that he doesn’t really dig the name of his own group!

When he was growing up, deciding on a name was a big part of the magic of starting a new outfit. But Skillet was a side-project, which started when he was a bit older and more jaded. ‘I’d already been in three bands,’ he said, ‘and I didn’t think it would go anywhere.’

Since all the members were from different bands, someone suggested the name as a reference to cooking: ‘Putting them all in a skillet and making something new.’

‘I thought that’s kind of dumb, but who cares! We won’t be around in a year anyway. So I said yeah, ok. And here we are, 22 years later, and I’m stuck with this name, doing an interview with you, having to admit that I never really liked the name.’

Getting a bit more personal, Alex asked John whether their new single, Brave, had a story behind it. Though he says the song isn’t directly about this story, it takes him back to his own childhood. He was raised in a Christian family, but his faith was challenged by his mother’s three-year-battle with cancer. All through that time, she never doubted that God would heal her.

you have to find out who God is from reading the Bible, because good theology, good Bible understanding, will help you in your life in such an immense way

‘I was 15 years old, but the last three weeks of my mom’s life, I was not allowed to visit her at the hospital. She didn’t want us to lose faith, because God was going to heal her, and if we saw how bad she was doing, we may not have faith. But if you believe it, it will happen.’

‘I know there’s lots of people who are very much into that belief,’ he said, ‘so I’m not trying to beat anybody up about what they believe the Bible says. And I think we should have faith, but I would have rather seen my mom during those last few weeks.’

‘My mom used to always tell me, if things don’t work out, you can’t be mad at God. And so I learned at a very young age not to blame God for my problems, not to blame God for the things He chooses that don’t jibe with what I want, but that my life was to be about Him, and whatever He chooses is right, and whatever He chooses is good.’

That’s a lesson John has always held on to, and one he often finds himself offering to others. He says a lot of young people are into Jesus, but not into the Bible. ‘I always encourage them, you have to find out who God is from reading the Bible, because good theology, good Bible understanding, will help you in your life in such an immense way.’

He often finds himself doing damage control for people who’ve lost faith because they feel God didn’t answer their prayers. ‘We have to come back to just realising that God is good, and anything He does is right, and however He wants it is perfect. Our lives just need to be about glorifying Him—whatever that’s going to look like, however hard it might be.’

‘So especially young people listening, but anybody listening, when they say like: ‘Hey! I’m into Jesus, but I don’t really know how to read the Bible,’ then I want to encourage them to find out who God is, from His word, because your life will never be the same once you really discover that.’

Ultimately, that message is the connection between the song and the story. ‘Because of who You are,’ John sings, ‘I know who I am.’ It was knowing who God is that kept his faith strong through the trauma of losing his mother. Through the darkest times, knowing that truth can help us all to be brave.

Check it out below!

 

About the author

Jonathan Craig

MORE GREAT READS FROM

Brave

They’ve been around for more than two decades, but Skillet are still rocking as hard as they did when they burst onto the scene. Frontman John Cooper caught up with Alex recently to confirm some trivia about the band, as well as tell the story of a traumatic experience which shaped his life and his faith….

Pursuing God’s Best

With more than 59,000 likes, the Facebook page Pursuing God’s Best has really taken off since Morgan Clegg created it three years ago. Alex caught up with Morgan to hear some of her story, and find out what inspired her to spread the simple message—that we should wait for God’s best in everything. Morgan says…

Learning to Imitate Jesus

How Many New Years Do You Have Left? is a YouTube video coming from a small ministry making a big impact—The Normal Christian Life. It’s based out of Brisbane’s Glory City church. This ministry was born from the idea that we should all imitate Jesus—and its YouTube videos are taking that message worldwide. The guy…

That Christian Vlogger

Justin Khoe, also known as That Christian Vlogger, isn’t afraid of controversy. On his YouTube channel, he tackles tough topics like women in ministry, homosexuality and politics. He investigates what the Bible really says about them, and debates the big issues with his viewers, and even other YouTubers. ‘I like to talk about subjects that…

Faith Over Fame

Imagine the impossible! For Sam Humphrey it was starring on the big screen alongside his personal hero, Hugh Jackman. Because Sam has an unusual disability. In the musical blockbuster The Greatest Showman, Jackman plays P. T. Barnum, an entrepreneur who made his name with a circus featuring a number of unusual people. It’s a story…

Playing God’s Game: Marnus Labuschagne

Just by walking onto the cricket pitch, Marnus Labuschagne is sharing his faith. The 23-year-old, who plays for Queensland as well as the Brisbane Heat, always has Bible verses written on his shoes. And on the bottom of his bat, the number 40:31, a reference to his favourite verse from Isaiah. ‘But those who hope…

Recent Articles

Brave

They’ve been around for more than two decades, but Skillet are still rocking as hard as they did when they burst onto the scene. Frontman John Cooper caught up with Alex recently to confirm some trivia about the band, as well as tell the story of a traumatic experience which shaped his life and his faith….

Pursuing God’s Best

With more than 59,000 likes, the Facebook page Pursuing God’s Best has really taken off since Morgan Clegg created it three years ago. Alex caught up with Morgan to hear some of her story, and find out what inspired her to spread the simple message—that we should wait for God’s best in everything. Morgan says…

False Imagery

When the 2018 Met Gala photos went up, I found myself clicking through the best dressed shots. Despite not caring about fashion nor being an avid consumer of celebrity lifestyles, I was lured by headlines like ‘Rihanna is the new young pope’ and ‘Jared Leto channels Jesus’. It wasn’t until much later that I decided…

Rowing in Unchartered Waters

‘But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you…’ Acts 26:16 ESV The Greek word huperetes is translated as ‘servant’ in…

Donate to vision

Over 80% of our income is from the freewill gifts of wonderful people just like you.
So thank you for helping. Your generous support is 'Connecting Faith to Life'.