Skillet are currently in the midst of the Carnival of Madness tour with We As HumanIn This Moment, Papa Roach and Shinedown. At their recent show in Charlotte, Noisecreep met up with frontman John Cooper before their set to discuss their 'Rise' album.

One of the topics was the songwriting process for the disc. Cooper worked with some outside songwriters on some of the tracks, which they had done before, but not to this extent.

"We never did it to the level we did on this record," Cooper reveals. "I had worked with a guy named Brian Howes, who wrote and produced the first Hinder record. He’s a very good songwriter. He has written with Puddle Of Mudd and Daughtry and a lot of successful artists. He and I co-produced one of our records three albums ago (2006‘s ‘Comatose’) and we got to be really good friends. We have written a lot together here and there."

"This time, I think because of all the pressure of having a platinum record and what the songs have to be, including the co-writes we wrote 72 songs for this record, which is double what we did on the last one," Cooper says. "The last one we had 38 songs."

Why so many songs? "There was so much pressure about the songs that they kept making me write and write," Cooper exclaims. "After about 50 songs I said, ‘Guys, I don’t have anything else to write about.’ So they suggested doing some co-writes. I wrote with a lot of people. I wrote about 25 songs with other people."

With over 70 songs written for the album, most won't ever surface. But a few might. "Some of the songs we didn’t record were some of my favorites," Cooper says. "That’s how it happens sometimes. My guess is that some of those will come back around on the next project. We did put three songs on an extended version of the album. Out of those three songs, two of them were some of my original favorites for the record. They ended up going on the B-sides, which I was kind of bummed about, but at least they are there."

After Carnival of Madness wraps up, Skillet will venture to South America in October to play live for the first time. Then they'll head to Europe for a tour with Nickelback.