"PRS is an industry leader. The quality is unrivaled, the company has the best customer service, and the guitars are awesome looking. I love the way the guitars feel, and most importantly, they sound incredible."
From being a classically trained pianist to her work as a songwriter, Korey Cooper of the GRAMMY®-‐nominated and platinum selling rock band Skillet is a musical force. From stage, Cooper’s talents inhabit her roles of guitar, keys and vocals. Off stage, she is heavily involved in songwriting and programming for the globally touring band. Topping multiple Billboard Sales Charts and consecutive No. 1 radio hits across multiple formats, Skillet has grown to become a platinum blockbuster, selling more than 11 million albums and singles in the U.S. alone, while taking home three Billboard Music Awards.
A musical, female entrepreneur in her own right, Cooper pioneered as a woman in the rock industry when joining Skillet in 1998, a rarity at that time. Amidst an active touring schedule of over 200 dates a year, Cooper’s devotion to her two children takes precedence, even Homeschooling her children on the road. Skillet’s most recent release, Unleashed, is currently available.
PRS: What was it about the guitar that first pulled you in? Who were some of your biggest musical influences?
KC: When I was a kid, I always wanted to play guitar and piano. I just loved music. My parents did some research and felt piano was the way to go first, so that’s what we did. I had played around on guitar some throughout the years, but it wasn’t until I was well into my years with skillet that I moved to it being my primary live instrument. I like how mobile it is for a live show. It’s much cooler and more aggressive. Even when it’s an emotive moment, it’s way more “in your face”.
My biggest musical influence is early U2, and I absolutely love the Edges guitar work. What a pioneer! He’s definitely my favorite guitar player. The cure would also be a big influence. I love the simplicity in the guitar parts and the hooky guitar lines interspersed throughout. On the heavy rock side, I lean towards indie and grunge era guitar. And as far as lead tone and overall guitar vibe, I’d have to reference the Def Tones.
PRS: How would you describe yourself stylistically?
KC: When it comes to guitar work, I am definitely drawn more toward emotive stuff verses the impressive technical work…vibey tones, single hook lines, bends and slides…a little on the messier side is more appealing to me. I love The Edge; Jimmy Hendrix; Def Tones; The Cure. To generalize myself musically, I would say melancholy with swagger. Most of what I bring to Skillet falls somewhere in that category.
PRS: What attracted to you to PRS guitars?
KC: PRS is an industry leader. The quality is unrivaled, the company has the best customer service, and the guitars are awesome looking. I love the way the guitars feel, and most importantly, they sound incredible.
PRS: What do you do to warm up before you hit the stage?
KC: Before I hit the stage, I think about how grateful I am to be doing this for a living. I think about how incredible the power of music is, and what an honor it is to have so many people come out that identify with our songs. I think about what’s about to take place, and I hope that people will be touched, feel understood or encouraged in some kind of way as we play, and how I need to leave it on the stage every night, because that’s what the people deserve. Then I feel super humbled and super excited all at once.
PRS: Describe life on the road.
KC: Road life is very difficult. It’s hard to understand it until you live it, but it’s claustrophobic and demanding. Its high pressure and boundless. You discover new levels of exhaustion every day. But it’s also exciting and adventurous. We’ve been all over the world, experiencing different cultures and meeting different kinds of wonderful people. Everyday we can share that hour & a half of music together with the fans and hope people go away feeling a little bit better than they were before they came.
Skillet’s most recent album Unleashed is available now.