SKILLET’s John Cooper spoke to Myglobalmind about the difficulties his band has encountered getting its music played on Active Rock radio stations around the United States — this despite the fact the group has sold more than 12 million albums.
“If there is anything that SKILLET does well, it’s our live stage performance; it’s what we are known for,” he said. “It’s great to play in front of new people. If the only place people hear rock music is on a local rock station, they will not know SKILLET. I find it strange because we sold so many records.
“Case in point of what we are dealing with: we are on tour with ALTER BRIDGE and the band DIRTY HONEY is opening the shows,” he continued. “They have the No. 1 Active Rock song on the radio right now. We released a song at the same time as them, being a veteran rock act that has sold a lot of records, and we cannot get radio to play our song. We haven’t broken Top 10. At the same time, DIRTY HONEY is No. 1, and they have 90,000 streams this week. Our song has almost 400,000 streams. I go into radio stations and ask, ‘Why don’t you play us?’ and they say they don’t think fans will like it. I mention to them that we have four times as many streams as the No. 1 artist. They turn around and say, ‘Yeah, but those aren’t really rock fans.’ [Laughs]
“The rock market is dying, and it’s the gatekeepers’ fault,” Cooper added. “They don’t want to change or try anything new. They play bands that sell to young people, then tell you they’re really not rock fans. I reminded them who was listening to GUNS N’ ROSES, NIRVANA or LINKIN PARK when they first came out — young people. It wasn’t a bunch of old folks like us. They will put themselves out of business.”
SKILLET is currently on the road in support of its tenth full-length album, “Victorious”, which was released on August 2 via Atlantic.
SKILLET’s previous 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.
SKILLET has enjoyed success on both the secular rock and Christian charts, with four consecutive No. 1 albums on the latter — including “Victorious”. SKILLET has also had 27 Top 5 hits on the Christian Rock charts.