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With an ever-evolving musical style characterized by a hard rock sound, it's hard to believe that Grammy nominated band Skillet has been playing Christian rock since 1996. However, the band's accessible music, universal lyrics, and lavish tour dates have made them hugely popular with fans of all beliefs. While Skillet has had a reputation for revolving band members, the current lineup of Jonathan Salas, John Cooper, Korey Cooper, and Jen Ledger is putting on many a memorable tour date in 2011. While concert dates for the Avalanche Tour are over, Skillet has plenty of 2011 tour dates where fans can check out new addition Jonathan Salas and the rest of Skillet live.
Skillet was formed by current lead singer and bassist John Copper (formerly of Seraph) former guitarist Ken Steorts (of Urgent Cry). The two met while on tour with their respective Tennessee bands and decided to form a side project. Skillet signed to ForeFront Records and -- in 1996 -- released their self-titled debut album. Fans enjoyed Skillet's post-grunge style and the band went on a number of concert dates around the US while writing material for their second album, Hey You, I Love Your Soul. Soon after the album's release, John's wife Korey (formerly of Alkeme) joined the band to play keyboards live and has since become a fixed and popular member of Skillet, taking on keyboards, synth, and rhythm guitar. Skillet's next album, Invincible, was released in early 2000 and became been their highest selling album to date.
Even with such a heavy workload, Skillet continued to play a number of concert dates while writing their fifth album, Alien Youth. The album's self-titled lead single was a hit on Christian charts, propelling Skillet on to a number of headlining tour dates in promotion of the album. More changes came for Skillet on their sixth album, Collide. While the electronic and rock sounds were kept, the music developed a harder sound that was offset by softer instruments like the violin, similar to Evanescence. Fans seemed to enjoy the adapted sound and the album was followed up by the release of Comatose in October of 2006. The album generated a number of hit singles that not only swarmed Christian music charts, but broke into mainstream charts as well.
Skillet's latest full-length album, Awake, was released in August of 2009. The album reached a three-way tie for the highest-charting Christian album on the Billboard Hot 200 when it reached the #2 spot. Korey Cooper released a remix of "Monster" on their podcast in 2010, and the ensuing popularity inspired the upcoming Awake and Remixed EP. Skillet can currently be found on a number of tour dates in 2011 following the Avalanche Tour, with performances lasting until the end of the year. Skillet's remaining tour dates in 2011 jump around the country a bit, going back and forth between the east and west coasts in a matter of days. After a solid concert schedule in June, July, and August, Skillet has just a few concert dates in September. Skillet has one scheduled concert date in October before scheduled 2011 tour dates end on December 30 in Lynchburg, Virginia. It's likely that Skillet will add more 2011 tour dates in the fall, so make sure to check concert dates on Eventful to see when Skillet will be in your area.
Every teenager needs an anthem. Every teenage summer needs a soundtrack. Every generation looks for a trusted leader of the parade that is LIFE; someone to look to for all things style and substance. From the first sound of percussive can’t-sit-still rock-infused pop on Say It you get the sense that you might have just found the first official “next big thing” for 2007. Tracks like “Set the World on Fire” and “You” certainly feel anthemic and once you see newcomer Britt Nicole’s heart for the youth of this generation it all starts to click. You may have just stumbled across all three.
With such noted producers at the helm as Tedd T. and Double Dutch, Britt’s Sparrow Records debut is a wonderfully textured effort mingling upbeat pop with pensive ballads. The title track, which Britt penned with Cindy Morgan, Jason Ingram and Tedd T. is among the young artist’s favorites. “We were talking about how as people, we tend to live in the past a lot or in the future,” she says. “We rarely live in the NOW and God is in the now. It’s about living in the moment. That’s really the message of Say It - From now on, every second of every minute, I’m living in it.”
The youthful and petite brunette speaks to her generation in a language they understand – seamlessly transitioning from drinking chai tea and texting friends to the deep desire to inspire her peers to be consumed with a passion for God and to know Him deeply. “I personally lived the experience of being raised in church all my life and being a part of youth group. I always sang about God, talked about God, read about God, but I knew, I knew, I knew that there was something more,” shares Britt, who works with the youth group in her home church when she is not on the road. “I meet a lot of young people who have been in church their whole life and know about God but don’t really know Him as their Father and their friend. They see God as so far away and think ‘Does he really understand me and does he really know what I’m going through?’ My heart is to go into those dry, dry places that need water and fresh fire.”
This heart for ministry is nothing new for Britt who at a young age was involved in with her grandfather’s church and TV ministry, singing with her brother and cousin. Her roots go deep, stemming from a long line of loving, Godly family members which helped to develop her heart to sing and to develop her own unique path.
Britt, who started writing songs at 16 and has co-written every song on her upcoming release, has found her own direction for her writing and musical style, which is simply an outpouring of her depth and committed spiritual walk as a young woman who loves God intensely.
She doesn’t simply sing about issues surrounding today’s youth, but Britt shares from personal experiences such as her parents’ divorce when she was only seven years old. “Don’t Worry Now” is a song that Britt explains actually healed her personally through writing it. “I talk about things (on the record) that I’ve struggled with, my weaknesses, hurts and own life experiences and just trying to be real,” says Britt. “Through God’s peace and healing in my own life, I feel that I can speak and sing of these things with genuine conviction and passion for those who are in similar places.”
We all need a companion and confidant to get through life’s peaks and valleys – someone to dance with, to cry with and to just be yourself around. For you it might be a journal, a best friend, that perfect summer soundtrack – or all three. Meet Britt Nicole.