By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
For Skillet, the Winter Jam tour stop in Tupelo will be a bit like a homecoming. After all, the Christian rock band formed just a few miles up the road in Memphis back in the mid-1990s. Following the release of hit records like “Alien Youth,” “Collide,” “Comatose” and “Awake,” the group, fronted by John Cooper, spent much of its time on the road, and a few years ago Cooper and his wife and bandmate Korey Cooper moved to Wisconsin to be closer to family and Korey’s church.
It’s been a busy 16 years for Skillet, professionally and personally, and the 2012 Winter Jam tour is another achievement for the group.
“The tour is just absolutely awesome,” John Cooper said in a phone interview with the Daily Journal. “The crowds have been amazing. The actual Winter Jam production is stunning. It’s the biggest production we’ve ever gone through.”
Cooper promised to perform all of the hits fans are looking for, like “Monster” and “Awake and Alive.”
“You have an idea of what songs we must play, and I try and put all of those songs in,” he said. “If you don’t play ‘Monster’ or ‘Hero’ or ‘Rebirth,’ people are gonna start throwing stuff.”
Skillet will soon have new songs to show off.
The group is hitting the studio later this year.
“There’s a thread of that Skillet sound that’s definitely going to be on the record. It’s not gonna be like a huge (change), but at the same time, we’re making some changes,” he said. “We’re gonna try something new, but it’s still going to sound like Skillet.”
Until those new tracks are finished, fans can find them on the Winter Jam tour with artists like Sanctus Real, Kari Jobe and Group 1 Crew.
“I love seeing 4-year-old kids with their grandparents, and youth groups and different ethnicities and people of all different denominations. It’s great for people to come together and have an event like this,” Cooper said. “It’s massive. I’ve never seen a show with that big a production outside U2 or Radiohead or something. It’s very large, and it’s a very exciting show. People who’ve seen Skillet, chances are they haven’t seen it quite like this.”
Rock With A Message
WHAT: Winter Jam, featuring, NewSong, Sanctus Real, Peter Furler, Kari Jobe, Building 429, Group 1 Crew, Dara MacLean, For King and Country, We as Human, speaker Nick Hall and illusionist Brock Gill
WHEN: 6 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: BancorpSouth Arena, Tupelo
INFO: bcsarena.com, jamtour.com