SKILLET frontman John Cooper spoke to the Lazer 103.3 radio station about how his Christian faith and approach to life has helped the band thrive over the course of its 23-year existence.
"You can either make the world a better place or you can make it a suckier place," he said. "And you can do that by going to the mall and treating somebody bad that messed up your order at McDonald's and be a butthole to somebody, or you can be the guy that smiles and says, 'Hey, no problem.' Be nice. If you can help the people that are hurting, help the poor — I like all that kind of stuff. And I believe it to such a degree that it infiltrates everything that I do, is what I'm trying to say.
"My faith is important to me," he continued. "Everybody knows that we're religious, and I am a Christian. I'm very proud of my Christian beliefs, because they mean something to me on a day-by-day basis. So that's with my kids, the way I treat my kids and the way I teach my kids to treat other people — respect everybody, no matter where they come from, no matter what they believe, you listen to them and you treat 'em good. And because of that, I think it's in my songs. People get a pretty good idea when listening to SKILLET — they always tell me, 'Your music makes me feel inspired; it makes me feel like I can face anything in my life.' That means a lot to me that it helps people in that kind of a way, because music helps me in that way. So I'm always happy about that."
Cooper went on to say that the only way to bridge our divides as a society in these politically charged times is to listen to your opposing side.
"People aren't really all that much different," he explained. "A lot of times in college, they call it virtue signaling, and what they really mean is basically, if you think it's gonna make you seem virtous, you have to yell at everyone you disagree with, and that is the crappiest way to get any point across.
"I always use veganism as a good example of this, because nobody is gonna get offended if I talk about veganism, so it's a great hypothetical," he continued. "I could care less what anyone else eats, and maybe if somebody that I was friends with talks me into veganism, I might actually give it a shot if they were nice about it. If you go order a cheeseburger and somebody starts screaming at you about you killing animals and how much of a bad person you are, is that ever going to make you wanna try veganism? It just doesn't work. Everybody just needs to chill out.
"I think this whole virtue-signalling thing is really bad, and I think that it makes people feel like they're doing something that's an act of service to their religion by yelling at other people, and it's just so bad for society."
SKILLET's tenth full-length album, "Victorious", was released on August 2 via Atlantic.
In support of "Victorious", SKILLET will headline a tour this August joined by SEVENDUST with special guests POP EVIL and DEVOUR THE DAY.
SKILLET has sold more than 12 million albums. The band's past four releases — from 2006's "Comatose" to 2016's "Unleashed" — have been certified at least gold by the Recording Industry Association Of America (RIAA). SKILLET's 2009 album "Awake" has gone double platinum.