“There was all of this anger coming out from all different directions,” recalls Skillet lead singer/bassist John Cooper. “I felt that it was a time where people's voices needed to be heard. People wanted to fight for what they believed in... My goal with this song was not only to inspire people to rise up and speak for what they believe, but I also wanted to speak what I believe,” he continues. “And that message is that, as the song says, ‘Love is the answer.’ It's about change, it's about respect, and it's about loving those who you disagree with.”
Cooper believes “The Resistance” is about telling us that "we can make the world the way we want it to be. There's so much hatred and evil, but there is also love and hope. There are huge problems in the world that I don't even need to mention, because everyone sees them already: violence, human trafficking, poverty, etc.,” he says. “One of the issues that I am passionate about is less serious than those major evils, but still, it's a present danger. I'm talking about the everyday animosity between people who think differently than each other.
“Friendship and loving disagreements have become lost arts. Most Americans don't have any friends outside of their own religious or political paradigms,” he observes. “I'm not saying I think that is ‘evil,’ but I do think it unhealthy. Furthermore, that animosity and lack of empathy can lead to prejudices or racism, and that leads to hatred. Unfortunately, that hatred can lead to violence."
What gives Cooper hope in this world are his personal relationships. “I have lots of friends who hold polar opposite of my beliefs. I enjoy those conversations. I truly believe that if we can understand each other one-on-one, then we can hope for a movement of understanding on a larger level,” he says.
Billboard has the exclusive premiere of the lyric video for “The Resistance,” which uses footage from the band's headlining set at the Creation Festival East in Mount Union, Pa., in July. The track debuted at No. 38 on Mainstream Rock Songs. Watch it below:
Listeners might think that Skillet is venting some pent-up emotions by the end of the song, which veers into hard-charging metal territory for its last few seconds. But Cooper says that he was just having some fun.
“Sometimes in making music these days, everyone wants a radio single. Everyone wants to trim the fat off of every song and make it as marketable and commercial to as many people as possible,” he says. “That makes great sense, but sometimes greatness in artistic expression can be found when you do something different enough that it turns some people off. Sometimes a reaction of shock is better than no reaction at all. The ending is a window into a part of my musical taste that not everyone loves, but is a guilty pleasure.”