Here's your pass to the band's exclusive interview and performance in Billboard's New York studios
Christian alternative/hard rock band Skillet earned its second No. 1 album on the Christian Albums chart last week with "Rise," which also entered the Billboard 200 at No. 4 with 60,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
"Rise" lead single "Sick of It," meanwhile, has racked seven weeks atop Christian Rock Songs. It's reached Nos. 12 and 18, respectively, on (the secular) Active Rock and Heritage Rock charts.
The quartet recently stopped by Billboard's New York studios to discuss the set and the band's sturdy foundation on which it's built its following. Founding member John Cooper says that "Rise" is a conceptual album that tells the story of "your average teenager coming of age and being faced with how terrible and tragic the world is. 'Rise' is the story of finding faith and salvation in God."
"We were not intending to make a concept record, but it was very clear the songs were telling a story."
Skillet, which is touring North America this summer as part of the Carnival of Madness tour (along with bands including Shinedown and Sevendust) before heading to Europe on a bill with Nickelback, is one of the few bands that's been able to successfully straddle the secular and Christian markets. Cooper attributes its wide appeal to having stayed "extremely loyal to our Christian roots. We proclaim our faith but we don't preach it.
"We (try to) write songs that all kinds of people can relate to."
Check out Skillet – husband-and-wife John (lead vocals, bass) and Korey Cooper (guitar, keyboards, vocals) and drummer/vocalist Jen Ledger and lead guitarist Seth Morrison – in our exclsuive Chart Beat Meet & Greet Q&A and as the band performs "Sick of It" and "Rise."