Radio Killing The Rock Star Says Skillet Frontman

K. Wiggins | 10-14-2019

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Skillet frontman John Cooper believes that the rock music market is dying and he blames who he calls the gatekeepers, aka radio station programmers.

Cooper discussed the problems the band has run into getting airplay on rock radio during an interview with Myglobalmind. He said, "If there is anything that Skillet does well, it's our live stage performance; it's what we are known for.

"It's great to play in front of new people. If the only place people hear rock music is on a local rock station, they will not know Skillet. I find it strange because we sold so many records.

"Case in point of what we are dealing with: we are on tour with Alter Bridge and the band Dirty Honey is opening the shows, they have the No. 1 Active Rock song on the radio right now. We released a song at the same time as them, being a veteran rock act that has sold a lot of records, and we cannot get radio to play our song. We haven't broken Top 10.

"At the same time, Dirty Honey is No. 1, and they have 90,000 streams this week. Our song has almost 400,000 streams. I go into radio stations and ask, 'Why don't you play us?' and they say they don't think fans will like it. I mention to them that we have four times as many streams as the No. 1 artist. They turn around and say, 'Yeah, but those aren't really rock fans.'

"The rock market is dying, and it's the gatekeepers' fault. They don't want to change or try anything new. They play bands that sell to young people, then tell you they're really not rock fans. I reminded them who was listening to Guns N' Roses, Nirvana or Linkin Park when they first came out - young people. It wasn't a bunch of old folks like us. They will put themselves out of business."

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