When Did Skillet Start?

Mary M. Saucedo

As a professional copywriting journalist, I believe understanding a band’s origins is crucial to truly appreciate their journey and success. Skillet is no exception to this rule. The Christian rock band was formed in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1996.

John Cooper, the band’s lead vocalist and bassist, started the band with two other members: Ken Steorts and Trey McClurkin. They had a vision of creating a unique blend of rock and spirituality that would appeal to a wide audience.

Skillet’s early years were not without struggles and challenges. The band went through several lineup changes and financial difficulties. However, their unwavering passion for music and faith kept them going.

Key Takeaways:

  • Skillet was formed in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1996.
  • The band’s founding members were John Cooper, Ken Steorts, and Trey McClurkin.
  • The band faced several obstacles during its early years but remained committed to their vision of creating spiritual rock music.

The Early Years of Skillet

Skillet was formed in Memphis, Tennessee in 1996, by John Cooper and Ken Steorts. The two met while attending a church camp and decided to form a band together. Cooper became the lead vocalist, while Steorts played guitar. Along with Trey McClurkin on drums and Tommy Lee on bass, they recorded their first self-titled album and began performing locally.

Despite their passion and dedication, Skillet struggled in their early years. They faced numerous challenges, including financial difficulties and lineup changes. However, they refused to give up and continued to pursue their musical dreams.

The Formation Story

The idea for Skillet came about during a conversation at a church camp in the summer of 1996. Cooper and Steorts bonded over their shared love of music and decided to form a band. They recruited friends McClurkin and Lee and began rehearsing in a garage.

Their sound was a fusion of different genres, including grunge, alternative rock, and Christian music. They drew inspiration from bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains.

Founding Members

The original lineup of Skillet consisted of John Cooper (vocals), Ken Steorts (guitar), Trey McClurkin (drums), and Tommy Lee (bass). However, Steorts left the band after the release of their first album to focus on his ministry work. He was replaced by Kevin Haaland.

Over the years, Skillet has experienced several lineup changes, with Cooper being the only constant member. However, each member has played an integral role in shaping the band’s sound and contributing to their success.

Despite the challenges they faced in their early years, Skillet persevered and continued to grow and evolve. Their journey is a testament to the power of passion, dedication, and hard work in achieving success in the music industry.

Skillet’s Musical Journey

Skillet’s musical journey is a testament to their dedication and passion for rock music. Over the years, they have released several albums that have garnered critical acclaim and an ever-growing fanbase.

The band’s first major-label album, “Hey You, I Love Your Soul,” was released in 1998 and showcased their unique sound that blended elements of rock, metal, and electronic music. Their subsequent albums, “Invincible” and “Alien Youth,” continued to solidify their place in the rock scene.

In 2006, Skillet released “Comatose,” which marked a turning point in their career. The album’s title track became their first mainstream hit, and the album itself was certified gold. This success was followed by “Awake” in 2009, which included the hit singles “Monster” and “Hero,” and earned the band their first Grammy nomination.

Skillet continued to dominate the rock charts with their subsequent albums, including “Rise” in 2013 and “Unleashed” in 2016. These albums featured hits such as “Sick of It,” “Not Gonna Die,” and “Feel Invincible,” which demonstrated the band’s ability to evolve their sound while staying true to their roots.

Through their music career, Skillet has proved themselves as one of the most prominent rock bands of the 21st century. They have won several awards, including multiple Grammy nominations, and have sold millions of records worldwide. Their powerful and dynamic performances continue to captivate audiences around the world.

Skillet’s Discography

Skillet has released a total of 10 studio albums, including their most recent, “Victorious,” which was released in 2019. Their discography showcases the band’s evolution in sound and style, with each album offering a unique listening experience.

Album Title Release Date
Skillet 1996
Hey You, I Love Your Soul 1998
Invincible 2000
Alien Youth 2001
Collide 2003
Comatose 2006
Awake 2009
Rise 2013
Unleashed 2016
Victorious 2019

Skillet’s discography includes some of their most popular songs, such as “Monster,” “Hero,” and “Feel Invincible.” Their music has earned them numerous awards and recognition, including a Billboard Music Award for the “Top Christian Album” for their album “Rise” in 2014.

Exploring Skillet’s discography is a great way to understand their evolution as a band and appreciate their contributions to the rock genre. Each album offers a unique listening experience that showcases the band’s growth and development.

Skillet’s Impact and Fanbase

Since their formation in 1996, Skillet has been a force to be reckoned with in the rock music scene. With their powerful sound and relatable lyrics, they have amassed a dedicated fanbase that spans the globe.

What sets Skillet apart is their ability to connect with their fans on a personal level. Their music speaks to the struggles and emotions that many people face in their everyday lives, making it easy for listeners to relate to and find comfort in. This connection has resulted in a loyal fanbase that has only grown over the years.

Skillet’s music career has been nothing short of impressive. With 10 studio albums and multiple chart-topping hits, they have solidified their place in the rock genre. Notably, their album “Awake” achieved double-platinum status, and their song “Monster” remains one of their most popular and recognizable hits.

Skillet’s impact extends beyond their music. They have collaborated with several other artists and have been a part of numerous tours and festivals. In addition, they have been involved in various philanthropic endeavors, demonstrating their commitment to making a positive impact in the world.

Overall, Skillet’s band history and music career have left a lasting impact on the rock genre and their loyal fanbase. Their ability to connect with listeners and create powerful music is a testament to their talent and dedication to their craft.

In Conclusion

After exploring Skillet’s journey through their formation, early years, musical evolution, discography, and impact, it’s clear that their origins play a crucial role in understanding their path to success.

From the band’s formation in Memphis, Tennessee in 1996, to the release of their breakthrough album Comatose in 2006, to their more recent hit songs like “Feel Invincible”, Skillet has remained a relevant force in the rock music scene for over two decades.

Throughout their career, Skillet has had several notable achievements, including multiple Grammy nominations and a Billboard Music Award win. Their music has evolved from a hard rock sound to incorporating electronic and orchestral elements, appealing to a wide range of fans.

Skillet’s success would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of their founding members John and Korey Cooper, along with former members Trey McClurkin and Ken Steorts. Their contributions to the band’s growth and evolution cannot be overlooked.

Overall, Skillet’s impact on the rock music industry is undeniable. Their passionate fanbase and dedication to creating meaningful music have solidified their place as one of the most influential and successful rock bands of our time. As their journey continues, let’s continue to appreciate and support the music of Skillet.


Q: When did Skillet start?

A: Skillet was formed in 1996.

Q: What are Skillet’s origins?

A: Skillet was formed in Memphis, Tennessee.

Q: Who were the founding members of Skillet?

A: The founding members of Skillet were John and Korey Cooper.

Q: What were some notable milestones for Skillet in their early years?

A: In their early years, Skillet released their debut self-titled album and toured extensively.

Q: How has Skillet’s sound evolved over the years?

A: Skillet’s sound has evolved from a traditional rock sound to incorporating elements of alternative and electronic music.

Q: What are some of Skillet’s popular albums and songs?

A: Some of Skillet’s popular albums include “Awake,” “Comatose,” and “Unleashed.” Their hit songs include “Monster,” “Hero,” and “Feel Invincible.”

Q: How has Skillet impacted the rock music scene?

A: Skillet has had a significant impact on the rock music scene with their energetic performances and unique sound. They have gained a dedicated fanbase globally.

Q: Have Skillet been involved in any collaborations or philanthropic endeavors?

A: Skillet has collaborated with various artists and has been involved in philanthropic endeavors, supporting organizations such as World Vision.

Mary M. Saucedo
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