Courtesy of Atom Splitter PR
It’s not often that you get a chance to see a band like Skillet at the Strawberry Festival in Plant City. This year, on March 3, however, you will.
In the past, acts performing at the Strawberry Festival were predominantly Country or oldies acts. A few years ago, the festival began booking more rock bands like Cheap Trick and Bret Michaels of Poison. Skillet is a modern, platinum-selling hard rock/metal band.
In fact, the band’s single, “Monster,” is one of the most-streamed singles in Christian music, and it currently has almost 236 million streams on Spotify alone. It was the number one streaming Christian song and the number eight streaming rock song of 2015.
Skillet’s guitarist and keyboardist, Korey Cooper, produced the band’s latest album, “Victorious,” which was released on Aug. 2, 2019. The group has been touring to promote the album since with bands like Sevendust and Alter Bridge.
Skillet was formed in 1996 in Memphis, Tennessee, by John Cooper. Atlantic Records signed them in 2003. Cooper says the band was pretty underground for the longest time.
“I usually tell people that Skillet is the biggest selling band that you’ve never heard of because we were pretty underground for a long time and mainly known for our live shows,” says Cooper.
He says the band’s popularity grew because they kept touring and meeting fans and treating them well. The band members consider their fans to be a community and a family. Cooper says he has reached a number of fans who told him they met their spouses at Skillet concerts.
Skillet’s fans are known as “Pan Heads.” When the band first started playing, fans would bring actual skillets to the concerts. At a festival in 1998, there was a kid in the crowd with a Skillet duct-taped to his head like a baseball cap. Someone said, “Look, that’s a real pan head out there,” and that’s where the name comes from.
Skillet’s connection with the audience could be partly attributed to the band member’s religious beliefs.
“The one thing that identifies me most as a person, maybe even Skillet as a band, is probably my faith in God,” Cooper says. “I’m a Christian, and I’m very serious about my faith in God.”
He does say that not all Skillet fans know of their beliefs, but that it is the first thing other fans think about the band.
Cooper further says, “Skillet is not a band that only plays music to Christian people. We’re a very inclusive band. Our concerts are very inclusive because I think that music should bring people together. It should make people’s lives better and make people love each other more.”
Go to www.skillet.com to find more information on the band. Then see them in Plant City at the Strawberry Festival on March 3. Don’t forget your pan.