John Landrum Cooper (born April 7, 1975), professionally credited as John L. Cooper, is an American musician. He has been the lead singer and bassist of the Grammy-nominatedChristian rock band Skillet since 1996
Cooper has used Ibanez and switched to GMP after Ben Kasica joined the band. Starting with Comatose he began using Traben Phoenix bass guitars
Cooper was briefly in experimental rock group Seraph. The band released a four-song demo, titled Silence E.P., before disbanding. The track listing was "Alone", "Silence", "Wild Honey", and "Fading Love"
John formed Skillet in 1996 with Ken Steorts. Both had met while touring for previous bands; John as vocalist for the Tennessee progressive rock band Seraph and Ken Steorts guitarist for Urgent Cry. The bands disbanded soon after, so John and Ken's pastor encouraged them to form their own band as a side-project. Coming from different styles of rock music, they decided to name the experiment Skillet. Soon afterwards Trey McClurkin joined the band as a temporary drummer. Skillet was only together for a month when they received interest from major Christian record label ForeFront Records and were signed soon afterwards. Ken Steorts left the band in 1999 and Trey McClurkin left the band in 2000 leaving John as the only founding member of the band and primary songwriter.
John provided vocals for !Hero: The Rock Opera. According to a review, Cooper did not tour with the rock opera, he only provided vocals for the Rabbi Kai on the soundtrack.
John Cooper has stated on numerous occasions that he was born and raised in a very religious family and atmosphere. "You couldn't wear black, you couldn't listen to anything with drums, anything with guitars, you couldn't have long hair, you couldn't do this and you couldn't do that. Everything was so lifeless. I know I'd read the Bible and be like...'This isn't what the Bible says. I like the idea of living for Jesus, but I hate the idea of living for you.' Ya know?" (Creation Festival 2010, YLO Interview)
Cooper is married to Korey Cooper, the keyboardist, and guitarist for Skillet. Both have tattooed wedding rings on their fingers, instead of the traditional jewelry bands. They have two children: Alexandria (born in 2002), and Xavier (born in 2005).
During a 2010 Creation Festival YLO Interview, John revealed that "early on, we decided we would never have kids on the road. We were not going to do it. And then God spoke to us later, just showing that God can change our minds, right? So then God starts speaking to me about kids, and I was like "Really? But we made a decision NOT to do it." and God's like "I don't care." So...that's how that happened! It was a big shock, because we were really against that, but then again we didn't know that Skillet would be going this long. I didn't know that I'd be 35 and still doing this."
Cooper is a huge fan of Dr Pepper, and can often be seen drinking it in numerous Skillet podcasts. This happens so often that former Skillet guitarist Ben Kasica referred to him as a professional soda connoisseur in one podcast. He has also started to like Ted's Escondido in Oklahoma City and collects life-sized posters of Spider-Man and Batman.
In one podcast he made a comment that his pet peeves are bare feet and getting wet. He said that when he goes to the beach he wears his tennis shoes because he doesn't like having sand and dirt on his feet. He hates looking at people's feet and getting into pools. His nickname, often mentioned in Skillet podcasts, is "Doggy".
An interest of John's that is often talked about during touring is his love for 80's music. In 2008 he stated humorously, "Any band with spandex and really big hair was my band. Stryper all the way!" He often expresses his liking for mullets and 80's power ballads, saying "every good metal band has to have a power ballad". These interests are a common joke on tour between the fans and band members.
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