SKILLET's JOHN COOPER: 'Pandemic Of Fear' Is 'Much More Alarming And Deadlier' Than COVID-19 Pandemic
January 8, 2022
John Cooper, the frontman for the Grammy-nominated Christian rock band SKILLET, spoke to Brutal Planet Magazine about the lyrical inspiration for the group's upcoming album, "Dominion". He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "So much of what the album is about is facing the challenges that are inside. In other words, there are challenges from outward. Me and you and everybody listening, we do not have the power to end COVID. Me and you don't have the power to end the economic stuff that's happening or inflation or the fact that some people — I don't know — may be losing their jobs, for whatever reason that may be; we don't have the power to do anything about that. But we do have the power to control what happens in our hearts and in our minds. And I think that that's one of the things that really fueled the fire for me.
"I, of course, recognize that the [COVID-19] pandemic is real, I recognize people are dying, people are suffering, but in my view, what I consider to be a pandemic of fear, a propaganda of absolute fear, I find that to be much more alarming and deadlier than the actual pandemic itself," he continued. "That's not downplaying the pandemic — I just see that in people that I know; I see that in my friends; I see that in some of my family.
"A few months back, I read on the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site], for instance… A lot of people don't know this… I was reading the risk factors to die from COVID. So not to get COVID, but what are the highest risk factors to die from it if you were to get it. The number one risk factor most people know is obesity. That sucks; it's just the way that it is. Most people know that. But the second highest risk factor for dying from COVID is fear — fear and anxiety-related illness. That's remarkable to me, yet we are being told every single day fear, fear, fear, and I see it in people.
"I just wanna encourage people… I'm not encouraging you to break protocols for anything, I'm not saying the pandemic isn't real, but don't give in on the inside," Cooper added. "You can't do anything about the outside, but you can do something about the inside. So this is a record that I hope encourages people to defy that impulse to be afraid."
"Dominion" is due on January 14 via Atlantic. Produced by Kevin Churko (PAPA ROACH, DISTURBED, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH) with songs written by John Cooper, Korey Cooper, Kevin Churko and Kane Churko, the effort was created 100% remotely between the band's tour dates, home studio in Wisconsin, and the Churkos' studio in Las Vegas.
Last November, the Memphis, Tennessee-born Cooper, who lives in Kenosha, Wisconsin, said that COVID-19 vaccine mandates are "much more about tyranny than they are actually keeping people safe."
During the summer, Cooper, who is unvaccinated against COVID-19, opened up about his reluctance to wear masks, saying: "The issue of the mask wearing, to me, is nothing more than theater. It is making me jump into an unreality, something that I do not believe, just to acquiesce to either the overlords — overlords meaning government, Big Tech [Editor's note: A name given to the five largest and most dominant companies in the information technology industry of the United States — namely Google (Alphabet),Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft], big business, big media, whatever — to acquiesce to what they want me to do. Even though I know that it's not true, but I'm gonna play the game. And every time I put my mask on, I know that I'm doing something that I do not believe in. In other words, I'm being forced to lie… I'm being forced to jump into something I don't believe, and I'm living by a lie — I'm living by a lie that this mask is actually gonna keep me safe from all harm. To acquiesce to the government, which says that I'm believing something that I know that I don't believe. So now I'm basically living in a fantasy world. That frightens me. And every time I put that mask on, that's basically what I think. I know I'm doing this, I know it's show, I know it's theater, I know my overlords don't even believe in it, because if they did, they wouldn't be breaking all of their own rules."
Wearing face masks and coverings is recommended, or in some places mandatory, in public spaces to help stop the spread of COVID-19. But anti-maskers think government orders requiring face coverings in public spaces or those put in place by private businesses violate their constitutional rights.
Studies have shown that masks limit the spread of the coronavirus by blocking respiratory droplets that can travel through the air when someone coughs, sneezes or even just speaks. There is also strong evidence to suggest that masks help protect others from catching the virus from the person wearing the mask.
In various interviews over the years, John has said that he "always had faith in God" and that his mother was a "Jesus fanatic." He also claimed that he was willing to put his career on the line to take a stand for Christ.
Last April, Cooper told the "Undaunted.Life: A Man's Podcast" that it was perfectly fine for Christians to play rock music. "I would say that music is created not by the Devil; [it is] created by the Lord," he said. "All things were created by God. So instead of thinking that the Devil owns a genre of music, I would say capture that music and bring it back into subjection under the Lordship of Christ."