He also opened up about being raised in a community where rock music wasn’t allowed and leaning on his faith while his mom was dying from cancer.
Fox News: Tell us about your new comic, “Eden: a Skillet Graphic novel,” which happens to be your first-ever graphic novel.
Cooper: Sounds good when you say it — your first-ever graphic novel — because it makes it sound [like] there’s going to be more in there. I loved it. I love comics and so I’ve always dreamt of doing a Skillet comic book and so it was getting a call to do this. I was like, yeah, I got some story ideas I’d really like to do it. We’re not superheroes in the book. It’s more science fiction. So it’s drawing on influences that I really loved. Like Dune, I love the Dune books and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep which is what the movie “Blade Runner” was based on, the “Matrix” and things like that.
And I wanted to have this kind of dystopian a little bit of a deconstructed future where the planet is dying and it has a supernatural thing to it, as well there’s these groups of people that are all having the same dream they’re dreaming of a gate that takes you to another universe that is, you know, a more innocent time free of violence and pain and bigotry and all the stuff that we see all the time. So it’s a little bit like a can we get back to where we came from kind of an idea, so it has this cool like supernatural spiritual undertones for the book.
Fox News: How were comic books influential to you growing up?
Cooper: I always loved comics. Ever since I was a kid Spider-Man has been my favorite superhero since I can remember. I always liked that there was the good versus evil thing. It might sound really cheesy but it was always the idea that no matter how bad the world was going to get that good was going to win. I always loved that concept and it always made me feel powerful.
It was like that you can take on the world thing. So comics have always done that for me even when I was growing up in the 80s. Comics are a lot more popular now than they were when I was a kid. When I was a kid you’re a comic nerd and you got made fun of. But I’m like I don’t care this is something that I’ve loved ever since I was a kid, Star Wars, comics and I’m always gonna love it. So I’m kind of a big representative of all nerd comic things.
Fox News: You’ve stated on numerous occasions you were born and raised in a very religious family atmosphere. What was it like growing up where listening to rock music was not allowed?
Cooper: I was raised in Memphis, Tenn. which you know a lot people call that the Bible Belt. Not everybody knows what that means. But yeah, I was definitely raised I couldn’t wear black, couldn’t have these tattoos for sure, no rock and roll nothing with drums. Drums was like the devil’s instrument where I grew up and so I kind of grew up in a very strict household. There were some really good things about it though because I am a Christian.
I believe in the Bible and I believe in the principles of the Bible and living by it. And as I got older I just kind of said, a lot of the things that I’m being told I can’t do. I don’t really see in the Bible and so I’ve obviously become my own person and I played in a rock band and I believe that music was created by God not the devil. I think the drums are a wonderful instrument and black is the best color because it goes with everything and it’s slimming. So there you go.
Fox News: What role does your faith play in your personal or professional life today?
Cooper: Faith is the most important thing in my life. Sometimes when I was younger people always say, “Hey, your faith has to be the most important thing.” And then everything else is underneath it. As I got older, I realized that faith is not just number one, that faith is all-encompassing. Faith is like this and everything else in your life is inside of it.
You know everything is inside of that faith whether it’s me being a good husband, loving my wife, me being a good dad, taking the time to love my kids and not be selfish because you realize how selfish you are when you have kids cause kids especially babies are such hard work.
In my music, the way that I treat people, the way that I always do good business, I never steal money from promoters and my business world always treat my fans good, treat people the way that I want to be treated. Faith to me is not just the most important thing. It is everything. It’s the whole reason we’re here. In my view, the Bible’s view [is] to bring pleasure to God. I think that that’s a real honor as one who was created to do so to the creator. That’s how I see my life.
Fox News: Have you ever turned down any opportunities because it conflicted with your values?
Cooper: Yes I have. I probably wouldn’t say what they were because then it sounds like I might be slamming somebody else, but I’ve been asked to be involved in certain things, film, that I wouldn’t be comfortable with. But I’m comfortable with quite a lot because I kind of feel like this is just my song. I don’t mind if it’s in a movie that I disagree with.
But there’s some things that are just out of balance for me and that would be if we’re getting to a place that is supporting what I would consider to be like extreme violence, extreme love of death and things like that. I’m not into that but I love being involved in things like currently, we’re involved with WWE wrestling. Wrestling has been very good to me and they believed in us when no one else did. All the way back to our song “Monster,” they were the first people to play Monster and now they’re playing our new song “Legendary” as their theme song for RAW which is huge for me.
So I love partnering with sports, comics, WWE, film, things like that but there have been times I’ve just said hey, that’s just not something we can be a part of and if it costs me money I don’t care because again life isn’t about money — life is about being comfortable with the decisions that you make, be proud of who you are being able to stand behind your decisions is is an important thing.
Fox News: Can you recall a moment in your life where you leaned on your faith to get through it?
Cooper: I’ve had a really wonderful life. But I have had hard times like everybody else. My mom passed away when I was 14 from cancer. But it was also the 80s and cancer research thank God has come such a long way. But in the 80s chemotherapy was such a nightmare. My mom was sick almost for three years so from the time I was 11 to 14 I was around someone that was physically ill most of every day. You kind of get used to like seeing this, the feeling of death, the stench of death.
Coming into a house and having someone that’s on their deathbed for a couple of years is very difficult. And so, I learn to deal with death at an early age. And that was hard because I began fighting with my dad a lot. He was hurting; I was hurting, my brothers were hurting and I really at that point had to realize that I needed to lean on God and I didn’t have anybody to talk to. So, I would talk to God in my room at night and I began to know Jesus as a friend. And so that’s why I always tell people I don’t like to preach at people but proselytize you know.
But when people ask me I always say, “Hey, Jesus wasn’t just a savior to me.” He became a friend to me, someone that I could tell, “Hey, I’m going through a hard time [and] this stinks pretty bad. And I feel all alone. I feel like no one is listening.” Jesus became a friend to me and a hope for me. And that has affected my songwriting, the book that I wrote” Eden” my comic book you know all the things that I write about and talk about. Will all come back to my faith.