The might of Christian rock band Skillet’s colossal hit “Monster” was once again vindicated in December 2015, when the RIAA certified it for sales of 2 million copies. It also had a great run on Billboard’s rock and Christian charts, topping out at No. 20 on Rock Airplay, No. 4 on Mainstream Rock Songs, No. 8 on Rock Streaming Songs and No. 1 on Christian/Gospel Digital Songs.
In the face of such an accomplishment, you’d think vocalist/bassist John Cooper would be brimming with confidence when it came to writing the band’s next album, Unleashed. But not quite.
“Quite honestly, after doing music for 20 years, it’s easy to feel like you are outdated, too old or irrelevant to culture to keep writing ‘on-point’ songs,” he admits. “I love touring and playing music. But sometimes the ebb and flow of this business can make you want to give up before you even try. Specifically, when I was writing this record, there were times when I wondered if I should even try.”
Cooper observes that repeatedly hearing the mantra of “rock is dead” and feeling the pressure to shy away from making such music can be hard to deal with. “But in the end, I know who I am. I know I couldn’t really stop playing music, and I certainly cannot try to be something that I am not. Therefore, I wanted to make a hard-rocking album that I believe in. If it’s ‘too rock’ or outdated, then so be it. This is who I am. I’d rather fall down swinging than not show up for the fight.”
Thus, Cooper penned “Feel Invincible,” the first single from Unleashed (due Aug. 5 on Atlantic Records). He says the track “represents the album in one facet really well: [Unleashed] is full of crowd-chanting anthems. The album is very exciting to listen to. Driving beats and melodic choruses, whether it’s hard rock or leaning toward pop.” He also notes that Unleashed is “quite diverse — there are more extreme songs on both sides of the spectrum, meaning harder rock and even metal, but also pop and atmospheric tunes/sounds.”
Billboard has the exclusive premiere for the official video for “Feel Invincible.” Watch the clip below:
“Feel Invincible” has already scored a synch victory for Skillet: The track has been chosen as the theme for TBS’ E-League, an eight-week live video-gaming competition that will be broadcast in more than 80 countries. The fight song’s chorus chants, “You make me brave/ You’re my titanium/ Fight song, raising up/ Like a roar of victory in a stadium,” making its pick for a tournament a no-brainer.
In real life, Cooper says he gets a sense of strength from “a deep-rooted belief in God, and I find strength in reading the Bible. It helps me remember who I am. I also find strength in my wife. We share everything. We are partners. We tour together, rock together, raise kids together, pray together. And yes, we argue together at times. But she is a rock for me.”
[Editor’s note: A different version of this video was originally published with this article.]